8Star Motorsports conducted the first test of its No. 3 Corvette Daytona Prototype Tuesday at Sebring in preparation for the June 1 Grand-Am Rolex Series round at Belle Isle Park in Detroit. Team owner and driver Enzo Potolicchio shared the test driving chores with Michael Valiante and Rafael Matos at the Florida track's short course.
“It was a really good day for 8Star for the amount of improvements we made during our first-ever test,” said Potolicchio. “Stephane (Sarrazin) and Pedro (Lamy) had not driven the car before this year, so everything we've done so far has been during a race weekend, which isn't the ideal situation.
"I think having Valiante here was definitely a positive because of the feedback he was able to give us from all his DP experience. The car is a lot quicker and lot easier to driver – its more connected front to rear. We showed a lot of speed here at Sebring and will have a better car next week at Detroit.”
Valiante is scheduled to substitute for full-time 8Star DP driver Sarrazin at Mid-Ohio on June 15 with co-driver Lamy. Sarrazin has prior commitments for this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans that takes place the next week. Valiante and co-driver Richard Westbrook took a Corvette DP to victory last year at Mid-Ohio.
“We worked really well together and the car got better every time we went out,” said Valiante. “Hopefully, today's test and the races between now and then will give the team a great baseline to start with and be really competitive.
"Enzo's got a real drive and push to make 8Star Motorsports a top-level team and I think they've got all the ingredients to make a successful, championship-winning team. Now it's just a matter of building a database of knowledge with the car and today's test was a great start.”
8Star Motorsports team manager Gary Neal was satisfied with the day's activities.
“It was a very productive test,” said Neal. “We have not had the opportunity to learn the tendencies of the Coyote chassis to this level at the race weekends. The Sebring test allowed us to run through a systematic test program and we made some big gains in car performance. We now head to Detroit with a clear direction for the setup.”