Merrill and Corsa Team PR1 BMW M6 Fastest GT Car at Daytona Test

Daytona Beach, FL – December 11, 2009 – During the December 8-9, 2009 Pirelli tire test, the #32 Corsa Team PR1 BMW M6 turned its first laps at Daytona International Speedway’s legendary 3.56-mile, 12-turn road course. Driven by Max Hyatt of Santa Fe, NM, Thomas Merrill of Salinas, CA, and 2008 Rolex Series GT Co-Champion, Paul Edwards of Nipomo, CA, the car completed several sessions as the team ran through a variety of test programs. Edwards provided critical technical insights into the nuances of the formidable Pratt & Miller chassis while Hyatt and Merrill focused on preparing for the 24 Hour event. Working together with the Corsa Team PR1 engineering and race crew, the trio got the #32 to the top of the time sheets and unofficially turned a time that was a mere tenth off of the 2009 pole position winning lap.

Corsa Team PR1 driver, Max Hyatt, was thoroughly impressed with Daytona and his BMW’s pace.

“I drove the BMW M6 during the final four races in 2009, but this was my first time driving anything at Daytona. Everyone tells you to watch out for the transition from the banking leading into the infield, but I really didn’t have a problem with it”, Hyatt said. “The banking all around the track is very impressive. It’s shocking how much banking there really is, but the transition felt very smooth in the M6. The whole team was so excited, this was the best test we ever had. It was really great working with Edwards. He’s undoubtedly the best driver in the paddock for this type of car. He gave me great advice and was very complimentary about the development the team’s done. The Pratt & Miller chassis is fantastic. It brakes well, gets around the corners quickly, and the Dinan BMW power is awesome. It’s a very balanced package and we’re all confident about our chances.”

Merrill, who earned an eleventh place finish for Corsa Team PR1 at the 2009 Rolex 24 At Daytona, used the two day test to familiarize himself with the Pratt & Miller BMW M6.

“I haven’t been in a GT car since the Laguna-Seca race in 2009, and that was in the Pontiac,” Merrill said. “So I had to shake the cobwebs off and get used to the new car all at the same time. This car is a lot different. The new aero, engine, and chassis all make the car a whole different animal. But it’s very adjustable, and we’re happy with where we’re going with it. It was really great to have Paul Edwards there with us. Max and I are pretty young, so his experience and advice gave us a leg up on what we need to do as drivers.”

Edwards used his vast experience in the Pratt & Miller chassis to help Corsa Motorsports PR1 prepare for the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

“This was my first experience working with Corsa Team PR1,” Edwards said. “But I’ve know Bobby Oergel for years through karting, so I knew when I got to the track that it would be a world-class operation. We had a two day test program outlined that we stuck to pretty closely. I felt very good about the car’s preparation and was confident with the team. Working with their engineering staff was great, we made some changes that really helped. A 24 hour endurance race requires a different setup, so it took a little getting used to at first. Working with the Dinan guys was a new experience for me, and it went very well. After this test, I’m very impressed with the team and I think this package will be more than capable.”

“Max and Thomas both have a great future,” Edwards continued. “It was Max’s first time at Daytona, but he kept getting faster and really improved over the test. Thomas Merrill has a lot of talent as well. Both of those guys learned a lot and both have what it takes.”

Team owner, Bobby Oergel, is looking forward to the seeing his #32 BMW M6 compete at the Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona.

“I’m really happy with our team, our drivers, and our car,” Oergel said. “We’ve been focusing on reliability and the development of the car and we’re at the point where we’re happy with the balance. The Pratt & Miller chassis is performing exactly as we had hoped and we couldn’t be more pleased with our Dinan BMW V8. We are finalizing our driver lineup and we have an all new partner to announce after the New Year. We’re extremely grateful for their support and I personally can’t wait for the 24.”

Drivers and partners interested in the Corsa Team PR1 Rolex Series BMW M6 program can contact the team directly at or at 559.277.1300.

The 2010 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 will begin with the Rolex 24 at Daytona at the Daytona International Speedway on January 30-31, 2010.

In paddocks packed with excellent teams and quality drivers, Corsa Team PR1 has established itself as one of the sports top driver development programs. Based in Fresno, CA, Corsa Team PR1 occupies an expansive facility housing a stable of F2000 Zetec and Grand Am Rolex Series race cars. Team drivers enjoy the benefits of a completely professional program including engineering support, state-of-the art data acquisition, and a race winning experienced crew. Corsa Team PR1 drivers, and partners, enjoy first-class trackside hospitality and comprehensive marketing support.

More information on Corsa Team PR1 can be found at or by contacting the team directly at or at 559.277.1300.

Pratt & Miller is positioned among a very small group of North American companies, with proven capabilities to design, develop, build, race, and especially to win. It sounds exciting, but any racer will tell you that the glamour and excitement are the tip of the iceberg. The rest is hard work, and a lot of it, with time and quality demands that are intense. A nine-to-five job it most definitely is not. The green flag is going to drop on a certain time on a certain day; delays and excuses simply aren’t part of the deal. The skills and can-do attitude it takes to win at the upper levels of professional racing transfer well to non-racing automotive projects, too. That approach adds a vital element to Pratt & Miller’s formula for success, whether a customer’s goal is to win on the racetrack or in the automotive marketplace – or both.

Founded in 1979, Dinan develops, manufactures and markets a comprehensive line of high performance products and systems, distributed through a nationwide network of Authorized Dinan BMW Performance Centers that includes select BMW Dealerships and Independent BMW Service/High Performance facilities.

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