GT Daytona McLaren 720S GT3
- Corey Fergus
- Jeff Kingsley
- Paul Holton
Daytona Beach, FL -- The BMW Performance 200 kicked off the start of the 2012 GRAND AM season, and it also marked the start of a new program for Adam Burrows and Trevor Hopwood. The duo, who have been racing together in Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge as full time co-drivers since 2007, were embarking on their first trip to Daytona as competitors, rather than co-drivers.
Burrows was signed by Compass 360 Racing (C360R) to drive with Andrew Novich in the No. 74 Dr. Kimberly Henry / Speed Secrets Honda Civic Si entry, with Hopwood tabbed to share the driving duties with experienced pilot Bo Roach in the No. 77 Joe Marina Honda/Luna-C Racing Honda entry.
There were a lot of items on the to-do list as the duo were taking on a new car, new co-drivers, and a new season. But helping to make the transition easier was the fact that the duo were doing it in familiar surroundings, having run with C360R on the way to second in the championship in 2008 on the strength of two wins.
“Being back at C360 was a lot like coming home,” said Burrows. “In fact, it was like coming back to a newly renovated home--after we finished second in the 2008 championship, Ray (Lee, Technical Director) and Karl (Thomson, Team Principal) have gone on and finished first or second in every championship since. As good as the guys were with the Acuras back in 2008, they are even better now with the Honda Civics, and that high level of preparation was a huge attraction for us to come back.”
The Daytona race weekend had a bit of a first day of school feel as everyone got to know everyone else, and learned where everything was.
“It was different for both of us, but after Daytona, we know we’ve got some great co-drivers,” said Hopwood, who is a high-school teacher. “It was a fun weekend, just getting to know and work with Andrew and Bo. Fortunately, they are smart, quick guys who happen to also be a lot of fun to be around outside of the car. So it’s a new program for us, but you have to go where the opportunity is and that is the biggest thing for both of us. Ray and Karl really have a great program in place, and with the potential that the 2012 Honda Civic Si has already showed, I think there is a lot of optimism about how we can pick up some momentum this year.”
It wasn't just in the garage where the two Champions got a look at each others Honda Civics, as the two were on track battling for position late in the BMW Performance 200.
“Adam had the penalty and that played out with our pit stops so we were fighting over pretty much the same piece of track,” said Hopwood. “That was certainly a first for us in GRAND-AM, but we had done that for probably hundreds of laps in Spec Racers so it wasn’t that big of a deal.”
Despite getting along great with their new co-drivers and becoming acclimated to the new Honda Civic, It was still a bit odd for Burrows and Hopwood as the race weekend progressed.
“I had more than one moment where I’d look over and see Trevor also on the pit box during practice and I’d think, ‘wait, who is in the car?!” joked Burrows.
The duo will look to grow that momentum, and get a little more used to competing rather than sharing, when the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge resumes March 29 at Barber Motorsports Park. Be on the lookout for an upcoming GRAND-AM video which will feature Hopwood, Roach, Burrows, and Novich as the foursome were handed the mic and interviewed each other as part of a special video series for GRAND-AM.