Steele Daytona bound after winning Sunoco Grand-Am 200 Challenge
F3 Cup driver Aaron Steele is heading to America’s famous Daytona circuit after clinching the Sunoco Grand-Am 200 Challenge.
03/10/2011 - F3 Cup driver Aaron Steele is heading to America's famous Daytona circuit after his 12th and 13th victories of season at Silverstone last weekend secured the Sunoco GRAND-AM 200 Challenge.
Steele went into the race weekend needing 58 points to clinch the coveted honour, which will see him line up on the grid at Daytona in a fully paid guest drive. He got straight to work taking pole for the first race netting him a further 20 points, requiring only a fourth place finish to secure the Challenge win and a race seat at the GRAND-AM 200 race in Daytona.
But Steele has had a fantastic year so far and there was only one thing in his mind, winning race one, which he did with relative ease.
Steele said: "I kept this out of my mind and approached the race as normal, as did all of the team - nobody wanted to jinx anything. After race one when I crossed the line, then I could start thinking about it. The realisation moment came when I entered the pits to be greeted by the whole team showing 'GRAND-AM 200 challenge 2011 winner' signs and being congratulated by the Sunoco team too."
Steele then rounded of a perfect day by winning race two as well, making it 13 wins out of 16 races so far this season for the 22-year-old.
The Sunoco GRAND-AM 200 Challenge was launched this year to give more drivers the chance to race at Daytona, hence the ultimate prize being a race seat in the Continental series GS class in the GRAND-AM 200 race on the same weekend as the 50th running of the Rolex 24.
Looking forward to his race in America, Steele added: "The challenge is such a great opportunity, I'm really looking forward to getting on with it and making the most of the opportunity," he said. "I'm particularly looking forward to being at the 50th anniversary with the whole Gray's Motorsport team and celebrating a very successful year with a well earned holiday.
"Hopefully something might come from the opportunity as I plan to maximise it and network as much as I can to create further opportunities. Either way though I know one thing, I'm going to enjoy it!"
Anglo American Oil Company Managing Director; Anders Hildebrand was delighted to have Aaron as the inaugural winner of the challenge.
Hildebrand explained: "This is the first year for the Sunoco GRAND-AM 200 Challenge and it is great to have such a talented racer win. We are excited to be able to give him the chance to showcase himself in front of hundreds of thousands of people at the 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24. Aaron will be a great asset to a team in the GRAND-AM 200 race."
On top of the race seat, the challenge prize includes hotel and travels costs, full details of his drive at Daytona in January will be released soon.