Tomorrow is the Porsche 250 at the Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham Alabama. The race is the second race of the season for the Rolex Sports Car Series and should be another entertaining race.
For Porsche racing fans you may want to keep an eye on Rolex 24 at Daytona class winners John Potter and Andy Lally in the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT3, and 2011 GT class points champions Leh Keen and Andrew Davis in the No. 59 Brumos Porsche 911 GT3. One other car to watch will be the Rum Bum racing Porsche 911 GT3 that is switching from BMW to Porsche starting with this race.
Below is more information about the race.
GRAND-AM Rolex Series teams have had two months to recover from the mind-boggling 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Now, it’s time to get back to work, and it’s tough to think of a better place than beautiful Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., for Saturday’s Porsche 250.
This will be the first test for the next-generation Daytona Prototypes in a sprint race, and there are a number of pressing questions begging to be answered:
Can the Riley DPG3s continue the momentum from the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, where the new cars swept the podium? Rolex 24 winner Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian will have Ozz Negri celebrating his century race with John Pew in the No. 60 Liveon.com Ford/Riley, while Daytona runners-up Ryan Dalziel and Enzo Potolicchio share the No. 8 Starworks Motorsport Ford/Riley.
How will the Corvette Daytona Prototypes fare in their second outing? David Donohue and Darren Law led the Bow Tie Brigade at Daytona with a fifth-place finish in the No. 5 Action Express Vette. They will be joined in similar Coyote-chassied Corvettes by teammates Joao Barbosa, Terry Borcheller and JC France in the No. 9 entry, while Spirit of Daytona looks to continue his series of strong showings at Barber with Antonio Garcia and Richard Westbrook in the No. 90.
What about the championship contenders who struggled at Daytona? While Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas had a strong run in the opener – the No. 01 TELMEX BMW/Riley led 96 laps – late-race gearbox problems resulted in a sixth-place finish, ending a run that saw the No. 01 team finish either first (three times) or second in the five prior runnings of the Rolex 24. Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates also is running the Riley DPG3.
Two other perennial contenders – GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing and SunTrust Racing – both finished well down the running order at Daytona. Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty followed up their 2007 and 2009 Barber victories by winning the DP title. This year, they have a new Red Dragon No. 99 Corvette that debuted 89 laps behind the winner in the Rolex 24. The new No. 10 SunTrust Corvette is even farther behind in the standings, finishing last at Daytona after experiencing engine problems in the early going. Max Angelelli returns with Ricky Taylor – who never even got to drive in the Rolex 24.
Can an older DP pull off an upset? Alex Popow and Lucas Luhr – who shared the second-place car in the Rolex 24 – run the No. 2 Starworks Ford/Riley DPG2 for a final time at Barber. Car owner Peter Baron plans to upgrade to DPG3 specs for Homestead in April. Popow is on a hot streak, coming off a victory in the most recent Ferrari Challenge race at St. Petersburg after winning his class in the 12 Hours of Sebring.
Returning Stars, New Cars Pace GT Field
The GT field has 19 solid entries, including defending Barber winners Bill Auberlen and Paul Dalla Lana in the No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW M3, Rolex 24 class winners John Potter and Andy Lally in the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche GT3, and 2011 GT champs Leh Keen and Andrew Davis in the No. 59 Brumos Porsche GT3.
Robin Liddell returns in the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro, with Ronnie Bremer sitting in for John Edwards – coming off surgery following a skiing accident. Liddell and Bremer co-drove to victory in the last two races of 2011. Another strong Camaro is the No. 88 Autohaus Motorsport entry of Jordan Taylor and 2007 Barber winner Paul Edwards.
The GT field also includes a new Ferrari 458 Italia Grand Am – the No. 69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD of Jeff Segal and Emil Assentato – plus a pair of new Audi R8 GRAND-AMs, the No. 51 APR Motorsport entry of Dion von Moltke and Dr. Jim Norman, and the No. 74 Oryx Racing car for Humaid Al Masaood and Steven Kane.
TRG has a pair of Porsche GT3s, the No. 66 of Rolex 24 runners-up Steve Bertheau and Spencer Pumpelly, plus the late-entered No. 68 of Emilio Di Guida and Jeroen Bleekemolen – who ran a fast lap late in Wednesday’s unofficial test day at the circuit.
Marsh Racing runs the No. 31 Corvette of Boris Said and Eric Curran for the first time in 2012, Horton Autosport makes its season debut in the No. 73 Porsche of Patrick Lindsey and Eric Foss, while Jeffrey Earnhardt makes his Barber debut with Chris Cook in the No. 14 POYNT Ford Mustang.
Mazda has a solid six-car entry, including two-time Barber winners SpeedSource with Sylvain Tremblay and Jonathan Bomarito in the No. 70 RX-8; two cars for Dempsey Racing, the No. 40 for Joe Foster and Patrick Dempsey, plus the No. 41 of Charles Espenlaub and Charles Putman; and three for Team Sahlen, with Joe Sahlen and Dane Cameron teamed with Joe, Will and Wayne Nonnamaker.