DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Mazda will be looking for strength of numbers in Saturday's Grand Prix of Miami, when the Rolex 24 At Daytona winning No. 70 Castrol Syntec entry from SpeedSource is one of eight Mazda RX-8s entered in the GT class at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
In addition to the No. 70 of Sylvain Tremblay and Jonathan Bomarito, South Florida-based SpeedSource has the No. 69 FXDD entry for Emil Assentato and Jeff Segal, and will debut the new No. 68 Nuclear Clean Air Energy Mazda RX-8 for 2009 Formula Atlantic champion John Edwards and Star Mazda champ Adam Christodoulou - both rookies in GRAND-AM.
Dempsey Racing has a pair of Mazda RX-8s, the No. 40 for Patrick Dempsey and Joe Foster, and the No. 41 for 2009 GT champion Leh Keen and James Gue. Team Sahlen is fielding a pair of Mazdas for Joe Sahlen, joined by Joe, Will and Wayne Nonnamaker, while Racers Edge Motorsports has the No. 30 Idemitsu RX-8 for Todd Lamb and Jordan Taylor.
While Mazda has strength in numbers - unusual for the Rotary brigade in the GT ranks - they face strong opposition from two Chevrolet models, Porsche and BMW.
LG Motorsports makes its Rolex Series debut with the No. 28 Wheel Enhancements Corvette for 2009 Homestead winner Kelly Collins and Eric Lux. Switching to Corvette in 2010 is Banner Racing, which fields the No. 07 Mobil 1 Corvette for 2009 Miami GT winner Paul Edwards and Scott Russell.
Stevenson Motorsports also switched over the offseason, going from Pontiac to Camaro, and has doubled its efforts with a two-car team. Robin Liddell and Andrew Davis - second at Miami in 2009 - return in the No. 57, and will be joined by the No. 97 of Jan Magnussen and Gunter Schaldach.
Porsche will be represented by five single-car entries. Andy Lally and Ted Ballou will pilot the No. 66 AXA Porsche GT3. Magnus Racing will have the No. 44 entry for John Potter and Craig Stanton, while Miller Barrett Racing has the No. 48 Marquis Jet GT3 for Bryce Miller and Luke Hines.
Autohaus Motorsports has switched to a Porsche for the Grand Prix of Miami, with the No. 46 for Shane Lewis and Richard Zahn. Grant Racing/901 Shop has the No. 72 for Tennessean Milton Grant and his two sons, Carey and Kevin Grant.
Perennial Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge powerhouse Turner Motorsport will also compete in GT this season, fielding the No. 94 BMW M6 for Bill Auberlen and Joey Hand.
Practice for the Grand Prix of Miami begins at 9:30 a.m. ET Friday, with qualifying beginning at 3:45 p.m. The race takes the green flag at 5 p.m. Saturday, following the Homestead 200 for the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge at 1 p.m. Qualifying will be streamed live on SPEEDtv.com beginning at 3:40 p.m. ET Friday.