The 2010 season of the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge has officially begun. The first thing that happened was the series name, known last year as the KONI Challenge, was changed. The next thing is the first event of the season, which began the last weekend (Jan. 8 - 10) with the test days at Daytona International Speedway in Florida.
In general, the cold weather didn't affect the test too much. Only one practice session was cancelled because the track was too wet and slippery. As for the other sessions, once the tires got some heat in them, the handling wasn't dramatically different than it would be in warmer temperatures.
The test session went well for the No. 61 ROUSH® Performance Mustang. We had the rare opportunity to test some experimental set-ups that we wouldn't normally have the time to dive into on a race weekend.
Luckily, we didn't get any significant damage in the test (only chips from rocks on the track). So, the work at the shop will consist of some final car preparation. In just a few weeks, we'll be back down in Florida, fighting for the win at the first race of the season.
As you may have seen on Grand-Am.com, I'm now racing under a new team name: ROUSH® Performance. Essentially, it's the exact same team as last year. We've taken the program more internally to ROUSH® in 2010. However, we have the same crew, drivers (I'll be co-driving with Billy Johnson), and racecar. We have a great team, and I expect great things for us in 2010. We won one event last year and finished fourth in the point standings. I believe that we can improve in both of those areas, and be competitive each time we hit the track this season.
I'd like to thank our team sponsors: ROUSH® Performance, Diarkis, UPT, PWR, Image Builders Marketing, and MechanixWear.