The Fitzgerald Chronicles: Daytona [Grand Am Cup]
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Last weekend was the start of the 2006 Grand American Road Racing Association season, which kicks off each year with the 24 Hours of Daytona. This year the race was held a week earlier so as not to conflict with the Super bowl, which I normally sleep through as it usually the night after the race. This was good timing for me since I grew up in Seattle and am looking forward to watching the Seahawks play in their first Super bowl next Sunday.

I drove in both the Rolex 24 and the Grand Am Cup race, which was held on Friday. I will be driving a 997 Porsche (the street car version) all season in Grand Am Cup with my former World Challenge teammate Tim Pappas. The team is called Fast Metal Motorsports. It is a new team, but a very experienced group of racers led by Julian Calvet.

In the Rolex 24 I drove a new Porsche 997 GT3 Cup car with Farnbacher Loles/Orbit Racing, which combined the talents of the Rolex 24 GT class winners of the past two years. I was very optimistic because our effort was being led by the head of Orbit Racing, Rodger Hawley, who directed our 2004 GT class victory. In addition, I had an exceptional group of fast German co-drivers, which included Marc Basseng, Dominik Farnbacher and Pierre Ehret - the latter two, winners of last year's race. We also had my good friend Thomas Blam calling our pit strategy, so all the pieces were in place for a successful result.

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