Oryx Racing, the team owned by Humaid Al Masaood – based out of Abu Dhabi – is about to switch campaigns! Going from a very successful debut year in the LMP1 class of the American Le Mans Series, they are about to enter a full season campaign in the 2012 Rolex GT Series.

Owner/driver Humaid Al Masaood will be joined at the Rolex 24 At Daytona in the No. 74 Barrett-Jackson Audi R8 GRAND-AM by fellow UAE driver Saeed Al Mehairi and Steven Kane of Northern Ireland.

“Last year we were paired with Dyson Racing in the American Le Mans Series, but we decided to go out and do our own thing this year,” said team manager Tom Maplethorpe. “We’ve done the 24-race in Dubai several times, but this will be our first 24-hour raced in the U.S.

“We’re confident we’ll have a great year,” Maplethorpe said. “The Rolex Series schedule is great for the drivers. Last year we did Mid-Ohio, Road America, Lime Rock and (Mazda Raceway) Laguna Seca, and getting to race at Daytona, Watkins Glen and Indianapolis is huge. It’s big for the drivers, along with the entire team. All of the guys on the team are really looking forward to it.”

The team’s first test with the new Audi will be the Roar before the Rolex 24 on Jan. 6-8 at Daytona. “That will be the first time the guys actually get in the car,” Maplethorpe said. “We’ve got to be realistic. The Rolex 24 will be the first race in the U.S. in the new Audi R8 GRAND-AM. We’re not going to make any bold statements, we’re going to take it one step at a time. We’re sure Audi has produced a great car. It’s already proven itself. We’ll have to see how we get on with it.”

We will be following the team as the enter this massive adventure, so stay tuned for more news and behind the scenes activity as it comes >>>

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For Phil it's all about the car, the quality of content and the story. Having experienced life on both sides of the automotive business, the unbridled urge to set up his own unique motoring website led to crankandpiston.com being founded in his spare room. The rest as they say is history.

Phil McGovern

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