Full Rolex Sports Daytona Prototype Season for Victory Junction - Orbit Racing
Veteran sports car driver will debut with Grand-Am team in next weekend's Rolex 24
Bill Lester will return to the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 in 2009, driving the full Daytona Prototype season for Victory Junction - Orbit Racing.
The veteran of sports car and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competition will debut with the team in the Rolex 24 At Daytona from Jan. 24-25, sharing the No. 45 BMW Riley with Kyle Petty, Darren Manning and Leo Hindery Jr.
"I'm extremely excited about this opportunity," Lester said. "I was looking to run full time with a team running for the championship, and that's what this team provides. Victory Junction - Orbit Racing has all the right components, and I think I will give the team an excellent opportunity to be very successful this season."
In 2007, Lester and Manning tested with a team that consisted of the engineering staff and other key members that are now part of the Victory Junction - Orbit Racing team, and saw first hand what the team had to offer.
"The team is a really good organization, and the guys have been working together for a long time," Lester said. "Despite this being a new program for Orbit, the team members have been together for multiple seasons with solid results."
Rodger Hawley, owner of Victory Junction - Orbit Racing, is equally enthusiastic about the opportunity.
"I was at Daytona last year when Bill and Darren were testing together," Hawley said. "Bill was right there on times with Darren, and has tremendous potential. Last year, he was in a situation where he could not show his talent. Bill is going to turn a lot of heads this year and regularly compete for victories when we finalize our line-up for the season."
The team is currently finalizing sponsorship arrangements and the driver lineup for the 2009 season, which it plans to announce at the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Lester, a Washington D.C. native currently residing in Atlanta, has an Electrical Engineering and Computer Science degree from the University of California, Berkeley. After working his way up the sports car ladder - racing in IMSA GTO, SCCA Trans-Am and SCCA SPEED World Challenge - he joined the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He ran six seasons in that division, winning three pole positions and scoring two top-five finishes. Lester joined the Daytona Prototype class of the Rolex Series last year for Southard Motorsports, co-driving with Shane Lewis to three top-10 finishes.
Headquartered in Riviera Beach, Fla., Victory Junction - Orbit Racing is a multi-faceted business that includes a successful sports car team, a race preparation and parts store, a high-performance Porsche parts distributorship and a race-tuning facility. The team captured the GT victory and finished second overall in the 2004 Rolex 24 At Daytona, and finished second in GT in the 2003 24 Hours of Le Mans, with Hindrey in the driver lineup.