Randy Ruhlman tests Daytona Prototype car at Grand American Series Homestead Tire Test
Miami (December 7, 2005)--Randy Ruhlman, fresh from his ground breaking Trans-Am season in the #49 Preformed Line Products Corvette, jumped into testing in a Daytona Prototype car at Miami-Homestead Speedway Monday and Tuesday. Running in the #15 CB Motorsports Riley-Scott Pontiac, Ruhlman easily made the transition from big front engine, rear wheel drive sedans to the rear engine prototype Grand American series car and put in some fast lap times, while learning some of the subtleties of Prototype racing.
The Grand American Series is the fastest growing road racing series in the world. Its beginnings and continuing ties to the NASCAR family of racing series affords it great visibility and longevity. The series, which hosts over 45 Daytona Prototype entrants, has a full Television package on the SPEED Channel with the majority of races shown live or same day coverage.
Ruhlman said, "I have always loved driving in the Trans-Am series and we had a great season in 2005, coming just short of winning the Driver's Championship. Last week while we were in South Africa, the opportunity came up for me to drive at this Grand-Am DP test here at Homestead. Now, as we are coming to find out down here, the future of Trans-Am has become increasingly questionable. The timing of this test gives us the opportunity to experience Grand Am DP first hand and evaluate the series as a good direction to pursue."
"The DP car was easy to drive, and fun to go flat out on the high banking on Turns 3 and 4. I have always been really good on equipment and tires, and this endurance style of driving should suit my strong points. So, while one chapter of racing may be closing for us, this certainly opens an exciting new direction. We are going to go home and find out what is and isn't possible for the 2006 season, and then get out there and start getting ready for the new year," finished Ruhlman.
Also checking things out at the test was Ruhlman's Trans-Am team owner Jim Derhaag. Derhaag and Ruhlman have competed in individual races in the Grand American Series over past years. Ruhlman drove in the final GTS race of 2002, finishing third with co-drivers Justin Bell and Simon Gregg, as a prelude to the Rolex 24 at Daytona race, where Derhaag Motorsports qualified on the GTS pole in one of the world's true driving endurance tests of men and equipment.
This week's tire test at Homestead is actually the first event of the upcoming season, as teams prepare for the 2006 Rolex 24 at Daytona, January 24th-26th, part of the Daytona NASCAR Speedweek events. Other Grand-Am events in the 14 race, 2006 season include the Long Beach Grand Prix, Mexico City, Miami-Homestead, Laguna Seca, Phoenix, Virginia International, Barber Park (Birmingham, AL), Watkins Glen, Miller Motorsports Park (Salt Lake City), Mid-Ohio and Infineon Raceways.
Randy Ruhlman was the 2005 Trans-Am winner of the Long Beach Grand Prix and Cleveland Grand Prix races. He finished second in the 2005 Driver's Championship in the Derhaag Motorsports prepared #49 Preformed Line Products Corvette. Ruhlman was named the BBS "Most Improved Driver of the Year, was on the podium four times including two wins, and finished in the top five in all but two races in 2005. He is fourth overall in top five finishes in Trans-Am history.