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Crown Royal IROC Series Hits the Road at DIS

All-Star Series Preps For Pepsi 400 Weekend Road Race

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (May 9, 2006) -- Crown Royal IROC Series test drivers Dave Marcis, Jim Sauter and Grand American sports car driver David Donohue kicked off two days of testing on Daytona International Speedway’s 3.56-mile road course.

It’s the second test this year for the Crown Royal IROC Series on the 3.56-mile road course at Daytona as the invitation-only All-Star series prepares for Round 3 of the four-round series during the upcoming Pepsi 400 Weekend.

For the first time in 14 years, the Crown Royal IROC Series will race on a road course with a 20-lap, 71-mile event on Thursday night, June 29.

The Crown Royal IROC Series, celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2006, kicked off its season during Speedweeks with a 40-lap event around Daytona International Speedway’s 2.5-mile tri-oval.

The Crown Royal IROC Series has four cars at the track with three test drivers as they prepare for the twist and turns of Daytona’s legendary road course.

“I think the test is very important,” Marcis said. “We had some track time here back in January when the road race division was here testing. That allowed us to get a few laps on the tires and get a few ideas, which I think is going to be a big plus.

“This test here today, I’m glad to see that the clouds have gone away and it’s going to heat up because this is going to simulate the conditions a little bit better with what we’re going to face in late June or early July. I feel it’s very important to get the proper balance on these cars.”

Marcis, who is the all-time leader in Daytona 500 starts and miles completed, is enjoying the challenges that are presented on Daytona’s demanding 3.56-mile road course, something he had never experienced until January’s test.

“I’ve ran some road courses, but I’ve never ran here on the infield road course at Daytona International Speedway,” Marcis said. “To come here and do it, it was quite an eye opener. When you stand there and watch the cars, it doesn’t look like they’re going that fast.

“When you get in that race car and you start driving it, when you enter those corners at the speeds you do, it’s quite an eye opener. You realize then it’s not as easy as it looks. It’s pretty difficult and pretty demanding. You’ve got to really stay on top of what you’re doing and concentrate on getting in those corners properly.”

Donohue, who drives the No. 58 Red Bull Porsche FABCAR for Brumos Racing in the Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve, is serving as a first-year IROC test driver and is being leaned on heavily in preparing for Daytona’s road course event.

None of the Crown Royal IROC test drivers have the miles on Daytona’s road course like Donohue, whose late father Mark won the inaugural 1973-74 IROC season finale at Daytona.

“I just tell them everything I know,” said Donohue when asked about the information he’s providing Marcis and Sauter. “Maybe one or two things are something they’ve never heard before. Mostly they’ve heard everything before. I don’t know what I could teach them but I owe them a lot because they’ve been teaching me a ton on the ovals.

“I consider myself an open book. Anything I can do to help them. They’ve been doing me favors since we started this. I think I’ve learned a ton. I love to get in Dave Marcis’ head for just a day. I think he forgets more they most people ever know.”

Crown Royal IROC testing continues on Wednesday between noon and 9 p.m. with a section of the Oldfield Grandstand open to the public through the lobby of DAYTONA USA.

Tickets for the Pepsi 400 Weekend are available online at http://www.racetickets.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

 

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