GRAND-AM Series: Morcillo Gets Head Start in 2012 Sunoco Rolex 24 At Daytona Challenge

By Auto News Log • March 28th, 2011

SILVERSTONE, England – Javier Morcillo has shot straight to the top of the leader board of the Sunoco Rolex 24 At Daytona Challenge after putting in an amazing performance at the three-hour endurance race this weekend, getting a head start on the unique competition to earn a funded drive in a Daytona Prototype in the 2012 historic 50th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Not only did Morcillo score points for finishing second in the race but also for setting pole position and fastest lap. Morcillo’s Azteca Mosler led for the first half of the race, with the car not coming in until just before the half-way mark to hand over to co-driver Manuel Cintrano, refuel and get new tires.

“We had our fuel consumption calculation and we were planning to stop earlier than that but I had two safety cars and we saved huge on fuel,” Morcillo said. “It was basically because I was on idle in third gear so we took no fuel and I was changing early every gear with that in mind – I was really aware we were going after our window. It’s a good surprise.”

Cintrano however was unable to keep up the pace that had been set and the Spaniard couldn’t stop the mighty MJC (2010 champions) as Keith Robinson went on to take the lead and in turn the 100 points awarded to the winner in the Sunoco Daytona Challenge.

Despite the victory, Robinson is in third position as the Hawthorn Racing team – who are competing in class three – took first place within its class. Jay Shepherd took pole position for the team giving him slight advantage over his co-drivers who are also competing for the chance to drive in the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

With the F3 and GT drivers yet to race in their opening rounds the standings could change shortly.

This weekend also saw a busy couple of day for competitors in the new Sunoco GRAND-AM 200 Challenge with racers in the Dunlop Production Touring Car Trophy (PTC), Legends and Britcar Production series. The winner gets a funded ride in the GRAND-AM 200 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Race on the eve of the 2012 Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Aaron Steele from MSV F3 remains on top after his fantastic opening round at Snetterton on March 19-20, where he won both races, captured two pole positions and set the fastest lap twice – including setting the overall lap record on the circuit during the second race.

Mark Cunningham of SG Racing competing in the Britcar Production class got the weekend off to a flying start by winning the round and receiving 100 points. The PTC also started off their season at Silverstone this weekend and Adrian Churchill received maximum points after the first race when he set pole, fastest lap and won the race outright. However the second race saw Churchill finish seventh, bringing his average point score down.

Source: GRAND-AM Road Racing


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