Daytona Preview Notes: Patrick Barrett
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Los Osos, Ca - January 19, 2009. North America's endurance sports car season kicks off this week with its biggest event, the 24 hour Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 race at Florida's famed Daytona International Speedway. The green flag falls at 3:30 PM EST on Saturday January 24th and the finish comes at 3:30 PM on Sunday the 25th.

Patrick Barrett is in the lineup for two Grand-Am events this week. He will be with PR1 Motorsports as they run their Pontiac Grand-Am GXP.R in the 24 hour race, and he will contest the Koni Sports Car Challenge Fresh From Florida 200 race on Friday with APR Motorsports in their VW GTI.

The PR1 driver lineup includes Edmonton, Canada's Mike Forest, Barrett's co-driver in the team's best Rolex GT finish to date, a fourth in the 2008 season finale at Miller Motorsports Park, Utah. Three California drivers, Thomas Merrill from Salinas, Al Salvo from Arcadia and Jeff Westphal from San Carlos will be on board the number 32 Miracle Sealants GT for the round-the-clock race.

Everyone on the team is feeling good about our chances for a strong finish. The crew has done an amazing job preparing the car throughout winter testing, and I think if we can stay out of trouble and run a consistent pace, we will finish well, Barrett said.

On Friday, Barrett, the 19 year old college student from Los Osos, California will pair with fellow San Luis Obispo county resident, and APR veteran Mike Sweeney in the number 181 Koni ST Class VW GTI . Their sister car, the Gunther VW number 171, will be piloted by 2006 Daytona 24 GT class winner Ian Baas of Indianapolis, Indiana and reigning SCCA VW Jetta TDI Cup Champion Josh Hurley of Cooper City, Florida.

Barrett commented, I'm really looking forward to competing in my first Koni Sports Car Challenge race with APR. The team has a very positive and professional attitude and showed well in their rookie season last year. I'm excited about working with them.

The Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 twenty four hour marathon will be run on the Daytona high banked oval, which when configured with infield turns is 3.56 miles long. The three hour Grand-Am Koni Sports Car Challenge race will be run on the same 12-turn speedway road course.

Barrett is coming off a successful rookie season in Grand-Am Rolex GT. In addition to crossing the finish line in fourth at the season finale in September, he qualified a team best fourth at New Jersey Motorsports Park in August and led the first thirty minutes of that race. He was 2007 Pacific F2000 champion, raced in England as a member of the 2007 Team USA Scholarship program and was 2006 Jim Russell USA series champion.
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