Porsche V8-Coyote on 8th row as AMA Champs ready for four-wheel enduro challenge

Daytona Beach, FL 22 January 09 – The Spirit of Daytona Racing No. 09 Porsche V8-powered Coyote will start the 47th Rolex 24 At Daytona from the eighth row after Guy Cosmo set a fast lap time of 1:42.475-seconds around the 3.65-mile road course at Daytona International Speedway. Cosmo will be sharing the driving duties with a triumvirate of motorcycle champions as Jeff Ward, Scott Russell, and Jason Pridmore will take on the Rolex 24 starting on Saturday afternoon in the AMA Motorcycle Team-liveried Coyote.

The fifteen-minute qualifying session set the top 20 positions for both the Daytona Prototype and GT Class grids, with the final qualifying spots up for grabs on Friday. The Rolex weekend is a home event for Spirit of Daytona Racing, and the team is looking to improve on their performance in the 2008 race event, which saw the team score the highest Porsche-powered finish in the Daytona Prototype class. With new faces in the car, and a new look outside of it, Spirit of Daytona is focused on doing well in the big battle over 24 hours starting on Saturday.

“The car is still not where we want it to be yet, but we made some solid strides again today,” said Cosmo. “We’re focused on having a car that is not only good over a long tire run, but also one that’s good for all four drivers. So we might compromise a little on one-lap speeds, but at the end of the day that doesn’t really matter for this race. We just need to be able to run lap after lap at a sustainable pace, so where we start really won’t factor into that.”

The lap time was over two and a half seconds faster than the team went in qualifying last year as the development program for the Coyote-Porsche V8 continues to increase pace.

“This is the first time we’re racing with this new bodywork, so we are learning what the car likes and just trying to find a balance that’s good for all four guys,” said team owner Troy Flis. “We were hoping to be a little bit closer to the front with some of the times we did in practice, but we’re happy to have made the progress that we have so far. The car has run like a train so we’ve been able to make good use of the track time we’ve had available and that’s vital for us to be ready for Saturday. This race is a huge challenge, and we’re just looking to get going, set a pace, and learn as much as we can.”

Friday will see two Rolex Series practice sessions before the race action kicks off at 3:30 PM ET on Saturday. FOX will bring live coverage starting at 3:00 PM before SPEED picks up coverage starting at 4:30 PM.