GT Daytona McLaren 720S GT3
- Paul Holton
- Matt Plumb
Daytona, FL—After a short off-season the Compass360 Racing team returned to Daytona with plans for another great KONI Challenge season and the hopes of more race wins in their three Acura TSXs.
The team started its 2007 Championship run in fine style, winning the first race of the season with a dramatic run from the back of the pack, and hopes to duplicate that result in 2008.
The Daytona win was the beginning of an exciting year for the team, who’s #76 TSX won more races (four) than any other Grand Am KONI ST team in 2007. Two races where contact sidelined #76—Lime Rock and Mid-Ohio—defined the season however, with Compass360 co-drivers Karl Thomson and BIlly Johnson finishing just a few points behind their season-long nemesis in the Turner 330i BMW in the final Driver and Team Championship tally.
This year, Compass360 has tapped the driving talents of 2007’s number one car, having signed Turner co-drivers Adam Burrows and Trevor Hopwood, surprising many in the paddock. “I was excited when we announced that Adam and Trevor would be driving for us in 2008,” noted Team Principal Karl Thomson, “But I’m even more excited now that we’ve had the opportunity to test together.”
Indeed, both Hopwood and Burrows demonstrated their impressive skill by adapting quickly to the front-drive Acura TSX platform. “I’m really happy with the team and the car,” enthused Hopwood. “(Crew Chief) Ray really impressed me with his knowledge—he really knows his stuff.”
Thomson and 2008 co-driver Travis Walker were quick during Grand Am’s Friday practice, posting the fifth fastest time of the day in the team’s new #74 TSX. “We were just breaking in the new car for Adam and Trevor,” explained Walker. “We worked on set-up and got the package sorted out.”
This set-up obviously worked well, as Burrows set the fastest time in ST class on Sunday morning, just a few one-hundredths ahead of a Subaru Legacy and a Chevy Cobalt. Christian Miller, in the team’s #75 car, was seventh-quickest, just eight-tenths behind Burrows.
“We are all aware that the competition in ST is going to be very tough this year,” remarked Burrows. “I’m really looking forward to taking on that challenge with Compass360. The team and drivers have great chemistry, and the test was very productive.”
The team returns to Florida on January 24th and 25th for the opening KONI event of 2008, the Fresh From Florida 200 at Daytona International Speedway. Currently 95 cars are registered for the event, 51 of them in ST class, certainly one of the largest class fields in recent memory. The event will be televised tape-delayed on SPEED Channel.