No. 968
October 17, 2018

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January 28, 2009


(Photo by John Thawley Copyright © 2008 Creative Communications Group, All Rights Reserved)
Publisher's Note: Once again we're extremely pleased to be able to share ace photographer John Thawley's superb work with our readers during the 2009 season. Click here to go to John's gallery of images from the Daytona 24 Hour race. - PMD

arrowup.gifarrowup.gifarrowup.gifDavid Donohue, Buddy Rice, Antonio Garcia, Darren Law, Brumos Porsche. David Donohue (No. 58 Brumos Racing Porsche-powered Riley) blew by Juan Pablo Montoya (No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Lexus-powered RIley) 41 minutes from the end and then held on for the win in the closest finish in Daytona 24 Hour history, with Montoya finishing just 0.167-seconds behind Donohue, about four car-lengths behind. The winning team completed 735 laps, a total of 2,616.6 miles, which is a new record for the event. Montoya's co-drivers were Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas and Scott Dixon. The other Brumos Porsche team car (No. 59) co-driven by Hurley Haywood, Terry Borcheller Joao Barbosa and J.C. France finished on the lead lap in third place. The Sun Trust Racing Ford-powered Dallara of Wayne Taylor, Max Angelelli, Pedro Lamy and Brad Friselle finished fourth, 7.589 seconds off the lead and in sight of the winners. Much was made of Donohue winning on the 40th anniversary of his dad's (Mark) win in the event, but Donohue had this to say to the media about it: “It’s a good story line but, to be perfectly honest, he’s been gone for quite some time (Mark was killed when David was eight years old) and our guys have done the hard work and putting in the effort to win this race. I’m certainly really very proud of my father and his accomplishments and what he’s done, and just coincidentally we happened to nail it on the 40th anniversary of his win. But I feel more of an attachment to the effort my guys have put in and Brumos ... That’s where my heart is, to be honest.”

(Photo by John Thawley Copyright © 2008 Creative Communications Group, All Rights Reserved)
BMW and Rahal Letterman Racing introduced the newest-generation BMW M3 racing machine during the American Le Mans Series’ annual Winter Test at Sebring International Raceway on Monday. The new BMW is expected to be a tough competitor in the GT2 class, but it will have its hands full racing against the dominant Porsche and Ferrari machines (not to mention the factory Pratt&Miller Corvette Racing GT2 cars this summer). Click here to see a full gallery of John Thawley's beautiful images from Sebring. Simon Pagenaud (de Ferran Motorsports ARX-02a LMP1 prototype) was fastest on the first day of the test. The young Frenchman led all competitors with a 1:44.814 (127.082 mph) around the 3.7-mile, 17-turn circuit at Sebring. The ALMS Winter Test also marked the public debut of Acura's swoopy new ARX-02a prototype in LMP1. The new Acura LMP1 cars were designed by Wirth Research. Pagenaud will team with owner Gil de Ferran for the full season (Scott Dixon will be the third driver for the long-distance races). On Tuesday, Scott Sharp, driving the Patrón Highcroft Racing’s Acura, the second of the new P1s, turned a lap of 1:46.824. Sharp will be driving with David Brabham and Dario Franchitti on March 21 in the 57th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida, the opening race of the 2009 American Le Mans Series. The ALMS WInter Test concludes today (Wednesday). Wednesday Update: Scott Dixon turned a lap of 1:45.671 (126.052 mph) for de Ferran Motorsports this morning. Acura’s other P1 entry from Patrón Highcroft Racing was second quickest in the morning session despite turning just eight laps. The car of David Brabham, Scott Sharp and Dario Franchitti posted a quick time of 1:46.157 (125.475 mph) before an electrical issue arose during the session. Dario Franchitti turned in a fast lap of 1:46.367 (125.227 mph), setting his time in the day's final session. Wolf Henzler clocked a lap of 2:02.839 (108.435 mph) in the middle session for Farnbacher Loles Racing in its new 2009-spec Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, quickest of the day. Richard Lietz, a Porsche factory driver, set a time of 2:02.960 (108.328 mph) in the car that he is driving with full-season partners Dirk Werner and Wolf Henzler. Lietz outpaced the Flying Lizard Motorsports duo of Jörg Bergmeister and Patrick Long, also driving the new Porsche 911, by less than 0.7 seconds. Next up was Dominik Farnbacher in the much-improved Panoz Esperante GTLM from Panoz Team PTG. Farnbacher, a four-time winner in GT2 last season, turned in a lap of 2:03.980 (107.437 mph) in the car that he drove with Ian James. A second Flying Lizard Porsche, driven by Johannes van Overbeek, Darren Law and Seth Neiman, was third in class at 2:04.536 (106.957 mph).


The 2009 Patrón GT3 Challenge by Yokohama will be the first race series to use tires featuring environmentally friendly "orange oil" technology. The tires, which are produced using approximately 20 percent less synthetic rubber, will be used by all teams in the six-race series that features Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race cars. Yokohama Tire has developed a process that combines orange oil with natural rubber to form a new compound called “Super Nano-Power RubberTM.” This proprietary technology reduces the amount of petroleum used in tires. “The use of orange oil is an incredible breakthrough for both race car and passenger car tire production” said Mark Chung, director corporate strategy and planning. “This innovative technology increases the use of natural rubber in lieu of petroleum-derived synthetic rubber, while achieving the same level of performance as conventional race tires.” Researched and tested on the race track, the orange oil technology will also be available to U.S. consumers in the all-new dB Super E-specTM passenger car tire this summer. Yokohama’s Motorsports division began researching this technology in the late 1980s. Development was recently accelerated as part of the GD100, the company’s global environmental strategy. Benefits from this technology are realized in the manufacturing process, continue throughout the useful life of the tire as a result of lower rolling resistance, and conclude with improved recyclability, according to Chung.

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