Frank A. Filipponio
| Jan 29, 2013
After leading January’s Roar Before the Rolex 24 test, 'Team StopTech' partner Napleton Racing went on to pace practice, capture the pole position in qualifying, and this past Sunday, secured the inaugural victory in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series new GX class in the 2013 Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Napleton team drivers Shane Lewis, David Donohue, Dr. Jim Norman and Nelson Canache led nearly the entire 24 hours aboard the StopTech-equipped No. 16 Napleton Racing Porsche Cayman S. It’s easily the biggest victory ever for the emerging Napleton team, based out of Chicago-area dealership Napleton Porsche of Westmont.
“It's a testament to these guys,” Lewis said. “When I say they started this project in November and it was 24/7... it was 24/7. When they left the Roar, the flu goes around and everything, every single one of them got sick, every one, and yet they were in the shop every single day working on the car.”
Ed Napleton, owner of the Ed Napleton Automotive Group and a Cayman competitor as well, was the team principal behind the effort along with Napleton Porsche of Westmont General Manager Ron Barnaba. Barnaba is also the founder of the Pirelli Cayman Interseries, which also uses StopTech brake components for the entire field. Additional leadership came from team manager Mike Colucci, who has also managed Brumos Racing in the past.
Donohue, also a former Brumos veteran and winner of the race overall for the team in 2009, praised the Napleton team’s preparation and the performance of the Cayman this weekend.
“We did push pretty hard for a long time through the night,” Donohue said. “I wasn't pushing towards the end, obviously, but I think it's a testament to Porsche and the Cayman. Each of these cars in our class was independently built by small shops and Napleton is probably the biggest shop because it's actually a Porsche dealership.”
The only minor issues that delayed the Napleton Cayman throughout the 24-hour endurance classic were early radio issues, a small spin, and a couple pit lane violations. Otherwise it was a near flawless race for the No. 16, adorned in a “Hippy” paint scheme that paid tribute to the famous purple and green Porsche 917 that raced in the 1970 24 Hours of Le Mans. The car did not make one single trip to the garage area.
“That was probably the key to our success,” Lewis said. “If it wasn't for the pit lane violations that we had and a couple other minor incidents on track, we would have had the cleanest run that I think anybody has had at Daytona for a long time. But not one time to the garage, not one mechanical issue other than putting tires, fuel, I think they added some oil on occasion. I requested a tear off one time. That was about as mechanical as it was. It was flawless.”
Congratulations to Napleton Racing and here's to a great 2013 season!