Adam Christodoulou has set his sights on victory in the GTD class, ahead of his return to the Daytona International Speedway for the highlight of the American endurance racing calendar, the Rolex 24 at Daytona (January 27-28).
Last year the AMG driver returned to Daytona where the car led 108 laps in the Mercedes-AMG GT3’s US debut finishing third on the podium, just 5.6 seconds off the winner, so this year Adam is determined to put memories of the narrow defeat to bed in the first round of the 2018 IMSA Sportscar Championship.
Christodoulou returns to a largely unchanged Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports line-up alongside Ben Keating and Jeroen Bleekemolen, joined by Luca Stolz as the fourth driver; the Briton’s team-mate in last season’s Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup.
Adam said; “I’m delighted to be invited back to Daytona with Mercedes-AMG Team Riley
“We had a great debut last year for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 and we had the possibility of winning the race going into the final hour, so I’m looking forward to pushing ustwo places better and win some nice shiny watches!
“I’ve been lucky to race with Luca for the entire 2017 season in the Blancpain Endurance season, he’s a talented and fast but precise driver, so I’m confident we’ve got a bullet-proof line-up that can fight for the win again
“I’m expecting us to be at the sharp end and be the best American AMG Team out there. If there’s anybody that you can rely on to do the perfect job, it’s the Riley boys.”
Keating, who is the team’s mandated Bronze-graded driver, set the foundations for victory last year with a superb triple stint from the start of the race, Christodoulou is confident that the Texan will again prove to be the team’s ace in the pack;
“Ben was amazing last year, he qualified the car for us, we threw him straight into the deep end and he smashed out a triple-stint from the start of the race putting us into a strong position
“He’s got to be one of the fastest, if not the fastest AMdriver out there, so I’m looking forward to working with him again.”
Preparations start with the Roar before the 24 this weekend as Christodoulou re-familiarises himself with the intricacies of the 5.73 km layout, part of which uses the famed Daytona banking.
The 28-year-old first raced at Daytona in the Grand-AM series in 2011, finishing sixth in a SpeedSource-prepared MazdaRX-8, and has since seen the event grow into one of the biggest in the world; with the likes of two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso, former F1 racer Paul di Restaand reigning European F3 champion Lando Norris all set to make their endurance racing debuts in the LMP2 class.
Christodoulou concluded; “It is a very special event, it’s one that everyone wants to be involved with and it’s on every drivers bucket lists
“There’s some massive names that are going to be involved this year and that’s brilliant because you always want to compare yourself against the best in the business.”