GT Daytona McLaren 720S GT3
- Paul Holton
- Matt Plumb
2007 Grand-Am KONI Challenge Champions Adam Burrows of Canaan, CT and Trevor Hopwood of Lee, NH, will look to get their Championship defense off to a quick start this weekend in the Fresh From Florida 200 at Daytona International Speedway as the KONI Challenge meets for the opening round of the 2008 season.
In looking ahead at the year, one constant theme emerges, as nearly everything this new this year for the KONI sophomores. After being signed by the team that was their closest pursuer through the 2007 season, Compass360 Racing, Burrows and Hopwood will also be representing a new partner as Fisher Skis has signed on as sponsors for 2008 and will adorn the distinctive No. 74 Acura TSX.
And it’s not just a sponsor, new team, and new car for the Champs, as the front wheel drive Acura will be a whole new challenge for the duo, who have extensive racing experience in rear-wheel drive machines, but have adapted quickly in their first laps in testing in the Acura racer. But one thing they plan on being the same, though, is their consistent ability to get the maximum available out of the car all season long. After a record-setting run of podiums in 2007 on their way to the championship, Burrows and Hopwood will look to get things started on the right foot this weekend at Daytona Speedway.
“I’m really happy to have Fisher sign on with us and it’s a huge vote of confidence for us as we look to take on this season,” said Hopwood. “I would suspect that the turbo cars will really be able to stretch their legs here at Daytona but we know that we have a solid package with the Acura TSX, and we’ll just look to keep out of trouble and get things started off right there this weekend.”
Burrows slotted the car into the eighth row of the ST class in qualifying after dramatically changing track conditions kept him from setting the time he was capable of. Despite the bad luck for last year’s Lime Rock Park pole sitter, Burrows knows that at three hours, the Fresh From Florida 200 is a long race and anything can happen.
“We’ve been able to get into a good groove with Compass360 Racing already and we know that we have to adjust to driving a front wheel drive car, but we’ve been really encouraged so far,” said Burrows. “Daytona is a bit of it’s own animal and I think the forced induction cars are going to have a big advantage, but we know this is just the first chapter of the story for the season. I’m not completely happy with how qualifying went yesterday but what is going to matter is a good clean start, good pit stops, and a solid result here this weekend.”
The three-hour Fresh from Florida 200 gets underway at 2:15 PM EST on Friday, January 25. Live timing and scoring is available on grand-am.com and the race will air on Speed Channel.