Daytona 24 Hours Review: Banner
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Daytona Beach Florida (January 25, 2009): After 24 hours of racing's most grueling contest Paul Edwards, Kelly Collins and Jan Magnussen brought the Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R to the finish line in 4th position today in the Rolex 24-Hour at Daytona International Raceway. The race began the 2009 season of the Rolex Grand-Am Road racing Championships Presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16.

The Banner Racing Team recovered to finish 4th from a pit lane collision during the late night hours and a broken muffler, that threatened to light up the right rear tire, that dropped them out of the top three for the second time.

To finish in the top four Collins, Edwards, and Magnussen drove nearly flat out for 24 hours to try to maintain pace with the Porsches and Mazdas who have a significant top speed advantage on the big Daytona banked track.

We ran as hard as we could go for the entire race, there was nothing left, said team owner Leighton Reese. We just don't have the speed here and it is very, very frustrating but we had a hard fought fourth and these Banner Racing guys should be proud of that. Of course we want to win but the alternative is to wind up in the garage and today we won some good championship points so it was a strong effort from everyone on the team.

Oh, yeah, very happy with a fourth place finish, said Paul Edwards. Considering that we were in the garage twice and the guys turned around the car faster than anyone else out here could do it. They knew exactly what they were doing at all times. When I came in (with the broken exhaust) they knew what was wrong and what they needed to do before I got there. We had two 8 minute turnarounds to two 20 minute jobs.

Considering the contact we had in the pits, which is unforeseeable, and the exhaust problems and a couple of little problems that put us into the garage twice, fourth is a fantastic finish, said driver Kelly Collins. Particularly considering that at any given time we were racing a car that was between 12 and 16 miles an hour slower than the cars that won the class. Fourth is better than the seventh we had here last year when we won the championship so we have this one under our belt and we are on our way to trying to defend our championships. The car is in one piece so that is always a good deal.

But for team drivers Collins and Edwards who will try to repeat their Grand-Am championship run from 2008 in 2009 the crew were the stars of the 4th place finish of the Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R.
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