Westbrook smiling after Roar

January 6, 2014

Westbrook smiling after Roar

January 6, 2014

_RD49300Richard Westbrook left the November TUDOR United SportsCar Championship test at Daytona battered and bruised – his Spirit of Daytona Corvette Daytona Prototype was in even worse shape.

Westbrook suffered a dramatic crash which put his car into the catch fencing on the front straight. Fast forward to 2014 and the Englishman leaves Daytona in a much happier state of mind after setting the fastest time of the day in yesterday’s Roar before the 24 testing.

2013-03-12 at 00-00-00“We’re really happy with the test, especially after the accident here in November,” Westbrook said (pictured right).

“That was the worst possible start for our 2014 campaign. Ironically, it’s helped turn everything around. Now, we’ve got a brand new car, the guys are on top of it, and I’ve got two great teammates.

“It’s still early, but we had a fantastic, trouble-free test and a nice car. Daytona is a fantastic place to drive when you have a nice car.

“I’m ready to race now, but now the team has to work on a lot of the boring stuff, working on all the details to make sure we’re up front at 2:30 [p.m.] on Sunday, Jan. 26.”

Westbrook set his time in the first test session yesterday and the No.90 car continued to pace the field in the afternoon when teammate Mike Rockenfeller was fastest. The pair will be joined my Michael Valiante for the Rolex 24.

With the Le Mans-style P2 machines struggling to match the top speed of the Daytona Prototypes in Florida, it was interesting to see the Oak Racing Morgan Nissan of Olivier Pla record the second fastest time of day in the afternoon session.

A total of six Le Mans-style P2 machines will line up for the Rolex 24 – the Oak Racing machine, a pair of HPD entries from Extreme Speed Motorsports, the new Nissan-powered Muscle Milk ORECA entry and a pair of diesel-powered Lola Mazdas for the SpeedSource square.

2014-01-05 at 11-44-45ESM suffered a crash yesterday for Johannes van Overbeek in the No.2 HPD. The Californian veteran went off at the “bus stop” on the back straight – damaging the front of the car. The two Mazdas (pictured right) also had their share of teething problems throughout the weekend while the Muscle Milk entry’s top speed was hampered by not having the correct air restrictor.

The team ran the Le Mans-spec restrictor throughout the weekend. The mandated larger option for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship (which provides a handy power boost) was en route from Europe but the weather in New York had the component stuck in transit.

Daytona Prototype teams from Ford also had their share of woes throughout the Roar before the 24. The pair of Chip Ganassi Racing Ford EcoBoost-powered cars plus the Michael Shank Racing entry suffered persistent header failures and left the test on Saturday night.


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