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Pirelli shod Porsches reach the podium at Daytona

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After what amounted to a 24-hour sprint race, Pirelli P Zero Racing Slick tires met their ultimate challenge at the Rolex 24 At Daytona last weekend with flying colors.

The most exciting Rolex 24 in recent memory, the overall qualifying record was broken by David Donohue in the Number 58 Brumos Porsche, and four Daytona Prototype racers fought head-to-head for overall victory up to the closing minutes of the race with only seconds separating each.

Winning their first Rolex 24 since 1978 (when Brumos won the race in their #99 Porsche 935), the Number 58 Brumos Racing Porsche driven by Donohue and co-drivers Darren Law, Buddy Rice and Antonio Garcia defeated the Number 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley driven by Juan Pablo Montoya and his co-drivers Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas by just 0.167 seconds. Donohue battled Montoya in the final laps of the race, overcoming late charges and light contact to edge out the Ganassi car.

Brumos’ victory is also the first Porsche win as a manufacturer in the Rolex 24 since 2003 when the Number 66 The Racer’s Group (TRG) Porsche GT3 RS won the race’s GT Class competition.

"Performance-wise, the tires are performing well,” said Garcia, co-driver of the Number 58 Brumos Racing Porsche Daytona Prototype car. “We don’t have problems anywhere, it’s just total grip.”

“They (the tires) have just been incredible,” said J.C. France, driver on the Number 59 Brumos Porsche that finished 3rd overall. “I can’t say enough about the Pirellis. The speed has always been phenomenal with them.

"We’ve broken track records wherever we’ve gone with the Pirellis. You can’t say enough about the speed with them.”

“The tires have been great,” said Kevin Buckler, owner of the GT Class winning Number 67 (TRG) Porsche GT3 Cup and the Number 66 TRG GT3 Cup cars said. “Pirelli has been a stand-up partner and they nailed it; these tires are great, they are good for everybody.

"We haven’t had a single problem with tires. I'm really proud to be associated with these guys.”

Just like the tires, the Pirelli crew was up to the task of providing world-class service.

Not only did the 10,000 tires brought to Daytona International Speedway for the Rolex 24 have to be maintained at a constant temperature during storage and shipment, but 240 tires had to be mounted each hour by the Pirelli crew that included a team of 70 tire technicians and 10 Pirelli tire engineers from all over the world.

Such a fast pace requires a military discipline to activity in the Pirelli tire center in order to get each team the tires it needed to compete in the most grueling race of the 2009 Grand-Am racing season.

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