David Donohue, Wayne Taylor and Frank Kimmel Debuts
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 8, 2006) – Crown Royal International Race of Champions teamtook to the 2.5-mile high banks of Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the 30th AnniversarySeason opening event on Friday, February 17.
Newcomer to the test team, David Donohue, joined veteran Crown Royal IROC test drivers; DaveMarcis, Jim Sauter, Jay Sauter and Andy Hillenburg. Donohue’s road racing expertise coupled with hisNASCAR experience in the Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series will add a new dimension to theSeries, which announced its return to road racing in 2006.
Representing the 2005 Grand-Am Championship will be the driver team of Wayne Taylor and MaxAngelelli, who will also drive as a team in the Crown Royal IROC Series, each competing in two of thefour races.
Wayne Taylor, a native of Port Elizabeth, South Africa, who will pilot the Taylor/Angelelli IROC machinein the Daytona opener, made his debut on the Daytona oval Wednesday. It was also Taylor’s firstexperience driving a front engine racer. Taylor said, “I was a bit anxious coming here, not knowing whatto expect having never driven a front engine car. The biggest help is that IROC has a crew of supportthat made it pretty easy for me. Also, having David Donohue as a test driver with IROC this year isespecially good for me, as we do know each other and both come from the Grand-Am Series. All of thetest drivers and crew have been very helpful and very informative.”
Taylor continued, “For the first outing it was a little daunting, but with all the coaching from the IROC testdrivers, I’ve been getting better and better. I’m really loving it.”
Of his newly appointed role as a test driver for the Crown Royal IROC Series David Donohue said, “Weended the day with all four fenders still in tact, so I think we did okay. I learned quite a bit today from theSauter’s (Jim and Jay), Dave, (Marcis), and Andy (Hillenburg) and I know Wayne (Taylor) learned a lotas well. With all their experience, they forget more knowledge in one day than I’ll ever know, so I reallylean on their experience while trying to help Wayne. It’s great to have the radio communication betweenus while we’re running, so we’re learning in real time on the racetrack.
Donohue continued, “As for Wayne, hopefully, I bring something to the table, because I know what he isfeeling due to driving the same type of car he does on a regular basis. I understand the sensations he isfeeling and the questions he has and I can help in the translation. We’ll keep on getting more and morefamiliar with it, running in the draft and hopefully end up with a good well tuned race car and a good race.”
Also in for his initial practice was seven-time ARCA champion, Frank Kimmel. Of his first run in theCrown Royal IROC cars Kimmel said, “It was pretty cool to get behind the wheel of one of those IROCcars for the first time. They have a lot of horsepower and when you are on the track with more than one,they seem to suck up really well to each other. Once I was in the race car, it didn’t feel like there was alot of difference between the IROC car and the ARCA car, but it is just a thrill to know what type of racevehicle you are in and think about who I will be racing against in these cars next week.”
Veteran test driver Jim Sauter summed up the day, “We’re used to working with drivers with variousamounts of experience. Drivers like Frank (Kimmel) who need little to no instruction, drivers that don’trace in this style all that often, or as in Wayne’s case, drivers who have never driven in this style vehicle.Wayne has never driven a racecar with a front engine and he’s never been on an oval before. Likeeveryone else we’ve worked with over the years with no experience in this type of racing, his first timeout and he feels like a fish out of water. But, Wayne is game, and very determined to get it. He hasalready improved by leaps and bounds over his first run. Each time out he’s improved 100% over the lastrun. He’s a delightful driver to be with and he is planning to be here everyday, dedicated to learning asmuch as he can before the race. He’s a pro and a champion, and knows what it takes to win. We’ve seenvery positive results in the past with drivers that come from different disciplines yet are dedicated anddetermined to win in IROC.”