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Jan 27, 2014 - 07:32 AM
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2014 Daytona 24: B. Sweedler, T. Bell, J. Segal, A. Pier Guidi
Posted by: newsla on Jan 27, 2014 - 07:29 AM
Grand Am News
2014 Daytona 24: B. Sweedler, T. Bell, J. Segal, A. Pier Guidi


DAVE HART: We appreciate you sticking around. I'll let you start, just talk about the race and what it's like to be the champions in your class of the first race in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship.

 

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BILL SWEEDLER: First of all, I'd like to say quickly for a moment that the Level 5 team, Scott Tucker, literally the entire drivers' lineup, our spotters, you know, it's bittersweet that we weren't part of the podium ceremony, but frankly it is exciting that IMSA really took a look atwhat actually happened, which was incredible racing in the last five minutes of this race, and Alessandro, you not only drove an incredibly clean race but didn't give up, and frankly that's what I believe IMSA and the Tudor UnitedSportsCar series is going to be all about as we move forward.

While it's bittersweet we weren't there, the fact is the winning team is now declared the winner. I think that's the right thing that needs to happen.

DAVE HART: Alessandro, if you would talk about those last few laps and the race you had.

ALESSANDRO PIER GUIDI: I don't want to talk about the decision because it's an IMSA process. I don't want to say anything about that, but I want to say it was really an exciting two last laps of the race. After 24 hours we were so tired, but we never give up. Now I am here finally, and I am so happy and proud to have won the 24 Hours at Daytona.

DAVE HART: Jeff, if you would talk about being a Rolex 24 champion.

JEFF SEGAL: Yeah, it's something that I've wanted since I took an interest in sports car racing, never mind became a driver. This race has meant everything to me as an American growing up racing sports cars in America. The Rolex 24 is it. This is the most prestigious race. To compete here is a privilege. To win this race with a team like Level 5 and the driver lineup that we have here, and for a manufacturer like Ferrari particularly celebrating their 60th year in North America, it's incredible. It was a phenomenal race, incredibly competitive.

I think of the more or less 30 cars in the class, 20 of them you could have said were favorites for the race. To come away with a win in that type of competitive environment is just unbelievable, so I'm really, really happy about that.

TOWNSEND BELL: It's been such a roller coaster. I've never done a 24‑hour race. I don't think I've ever gone a day without at least three hours of sleep. You just talk about, not just for us but all of these 68 teams that are here with the same goal, I didn't realize how much really goes into it. It's quite spectacular. But what an unbelievable finish, and to hear from so many people in the last four hours like Mario Andretti and Dario Franchitti and Dan Gurney, people that I know but I don't talk to them on a regular basis, but to hear from people on Twitter or texts or phone calls, as race fans watching great racing, I'm proud for IMSA and everything we're trying to dowith this new series that great racing wins the day.

Q. I think it's a question for Bill Sweedler. Can you give some information regarding the preparation of the car? Is this just a customer car you received from Ferrari or you put any idea ideas, maybe aero package into the car?

BILL SWEEDLER: Frankly, Michelotto is just an incredible Ferrari, the Ferrari shop for all sports cars, and if I told you what we did, and it's a testament not only to Ferrari and Michelotto, it's a testament to the Level 5 team. The Level 5 team ordered those cars about a week after the press announcement that they weregoing to enter the GTD field with two cars. As Cristiano back there will attest, maybe it was two weeks after that, but literally Level 5 has had those cars in their possession for no more than 24 days. That car is directly from Michelotto, with the engineering and the team, the entire team of Level 5 doing what they do best, which is excellence.

TOWNSEND BELL: That's the secret. Nothing.

BILL SWEEDLER: Great people.

Q. Townsend or Bill, what does this mean for you considering you're nowleaders of the North American Endurance Cup, and heading into Sebring what's the thought process?

TOWNSEND BELL: I mean, Bill and I, as you know, have been racing the last two seasons in the GT Le Mans category, although we won Sebring in 2012 in GTC, and I joke with him over the last two years while we were suffering a bit in the GT Le Mans category and battling with a tire battle, I joked with him, hey, we should go to this GTD series because we have a 100 percent win record on the spec tire because we had done one race together, my first sports car race. To have Daytona and Sebring, the two of us ‑‑ and the four of us, Jeff has got such an amazing career, and Alessandro, as well, many great accomplishments, it's just nice to be able to say you've won Sebring and Daytona. I've only done the sports car thing for two years. We're ready to go to Le Mans now, I think.

BILL SWEEDLER: We need to talk to Level 5 about that.

TOWNSEND BELL: We need to talk to Scot about that.

DAVE HART: Gentlemen, congratulations, and thanks very much.



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