The latest additions to the 2006 Rolex 24 At Daytona entry list are NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour star Ted Christopher and veteran sports car standout Joao Barbosa, who have joined forces with one of sports car racing's most storied teams. Christopher-who will be making his sports car racing debut-and Barbosa have been added to the driver lineup for the No. 59 Brumos Racing Porsche Fabcar in the January 28-29 Rolex 24 At Daytona, the opening race of the 2006 Rolex Series Car Series schedule.
The pair joins five-time overall Rolex 24 At Daytona winner Hurley Haywood and JC France, a two-time winner in Rolex Series competition. Despite his limited sports car experience, Christopher was very impressive in a recent private test at Homestead-Miami Speedway, his first time driving for Brumos Racing.
"Man, he was quick," Brumos regular driver Darren Law said of Christopher's showing in the test. "We were amazed how quickly he got up to speed."
Christopher is also expected to join the team for the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen in June at Watkins Glen International. Christopher "cut back" his racing schedule in 2005, running in 85 races after competing 93 times in 2004. Over the past four seasons, the Plainville, Conn. driver has raced 327 times.
"Ted is an unbelievable racer," said Brumos Racing team owner Bob Snodgrass. "He's raced more times in the last couple years than many guys have in their careers. I'm very happy to have a fellow Northeasterner on the team for the Rolex 24 and for Watkins Glen."
Christopher won the Dodge NASCAR Weekly Racing Series national championship in 2001, and was a runner-up in the 2005 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. He has numerous track championships to his credit, including five at Stafford Motor Speedway.
"I've been trying to get to run the Rolex 24 for about five years," Christopher said. "I seem to do well in road racing - I don't know why."
A racing natural, Christopher finished fifth in his first road course event-the inaugural NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series event at Watkins Glen International in 1993-and placed second in his first start in that series at Lime Rock Park. He ran in two NASCAR Cup Series races at the Glen, in addition to winning two Modified Tour and three Busch North races at the circuit. He also won a Busch North race at Lime Rock.
"I really like driving the Brumos Porsche, it's a lot of fun," Christopher said. "My main concern is all the up-shifting and down-shifting-we don't do much of that in oval racing."
Barbosa, meanwhile, made three Rolex Series starts-all in the GT class-in 2005, earning a best result of fifth in the 6 Heures du Circuit Mont-Tremblant. The 30-year-old native of Portugal had his best season of Rolex Series competition in 2003, when he finished second in the GTS class with three class victories. Barbosa also earned a GT class victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2002.
Christopher and Barbosa will join Haywood and France to participate
in the annual Daytona Test Days on January 4-7, 2005