2006 CROWN ROYAL IROC SERIES FINALE; PIT NOTES FROM ATLANTA
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
The Crown Royal International Race of Champions Series began testing over the weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway in preparation for the finale round of the 2006 $1million All-Star series. Race Four will take place on Saturday, October 28 at 3:00 p.m., ET, broadcast live on SPEED Channel.
Dave Marcis, David Donohue, Jim and Jay Sauter, the Crown Royal IROC team of test drivers, have the equalizing process on the fleet of racecars well under way for the Series' third consecutive finale at the 1.54-mile oval. Jay Sauter said, "I think the cars are really good. Today we've got a bit of a wind condition so that can make the cars feel a little tight or a little loose, but overall we've got a great package and the IROC cars are capable of putting on a great race on Saturday."
Donohue began testing with IROC this season and is enjoying his first experience at Atlanta Motor Speedway. "The track is new to me and it's been a lot of fun, but of course I have the best coaches in Dave Marcis and the Sauters (Jim and Jay). I think we have really good racecars with the way we've tuned them so far, and Atlanta Motor Speedway lends itself to great racing, so I think we'll all see another exciting IROC finale this Saturday."
Crown Royal IROC Series competitors Sam Hornish Jr., Steve Kinser and Wayne Taylor arrived at Atlanta Motor Speedway to start practicing for the 65-lap season final.
Hornish Jr. has had a stellar season in 2006 winning his first Indianapolis 500, and topping that off by becoming the first three-time IndyCar Series champion. His next quest in 2006 is claiming his first Crown Royal IROC trophy. After an initial day of seat time in the IROC cars Hornish Jr. said, "Everything went pretty good despite the wind out here today which was moving the cars around a little bit. But I feel pretty comfortable so far for the first day, but no matter how comfortable you get during practice it all changes once we get everybody out there for the race. I certainly would like add an IROC race win to what has been a pretty good year for me."
Wayne Taylor is co-representing the 2005 Grand American Sports Car championship along with teammate Max Angelelli in the 2006 Crown Royal IROC Series. Taylor and Angelelli split the IROC season with Taylor racing in the opener at Daytona International Speedway in February and Angelelli taking over the IROC car for Race Two at Texas Motor Speedway, and again in Race Three on the road course at Daytona. Taylor will complete the series for the duo at Atlanta and will spend the week practicing everyday in preparation for his second career oval race. "Atlanta is very different than Daytona, you certainly have to drive a lot harder on this track than you do at Daytona. But as they did back in February, the IROC test drivers have done a great job in getting me up to speed, which happened rather quickly for me here today. I did, unfortunately, get caught up by the wind and spun the car around, luckily without hitting the wall, so it's not the most favorable conditions today. Other than that, the cars are great to drive and a lot of fun, so I'll be looking forward to getting back in tomorrow and doing some more laps."