Daytona, Forida, February 4 -- American City Racing League drivers were very much in evidence at the 2001 Rolex 24 hour race. ACRL Western division driver Chris Ronson teamed up with ACRL Eastern division competitor A.J. Smith to take the...
Daytona, Forida, February 4 -- American City Racing League drivers were very much in evidence at the 2001 Rolex 24 hour race. ACRL Western division driver Chris Ronson teamed up with ACRL Eastern division competitor A.J. Smith to take the Sports Racer 1 (SR1) class victory, finishing 11th overall. Team owner Jim Downing and Howard Katz were both stricken with flu, so the brunt of the driving chores fell to Ronson and Smith. Ronson put in two double shifts in the car, plus a triple shift and a pair of single stints, for nine hours of driving in terrible conditions. Smith had 10 hours behind the wheel, includine the last two. Much of the race was run in rain showers on a wet track.
"We might have taken the overall win, but we lost about 20 laps due to a leaking brake caliper and another 20 with transmission problems," said Ronson. "I had to pump the brakes up on the front straightaway so I could get the car slowed down for turn one." Ronson also said the car had no contact with other cars during the race, a remarkable feat in the very croweded field of 80 starters.
The victory was all the sweeter for Ronson, because he had a hard crash in last year's Rolex 24, sustaining a broken ankle that put him out for most of the 2000 season.
Among other ACRL alumni in the field were: SR2 winner Andy Lally, who won an Eastern division ACRL event in 2000; Darren Law, who co-drove a GT Porsche 911 to eighth overall; Jeff Clinton, Sports 2000 National Champion, 47th in an SR2 Lola; 1998 ACRL Western Division Sports 2000 Champion Spencer Trenery, 72nd overall in a Riley & Scott SR1; and Clint Field, who co-drove father John Field's SR1 Lola to 21st overall.