Daytona 24: Harold Primat race report

Primat disappointed at early Daytona exit Harold Primat was left a frustrated spectator for most of the Daytona 24 Hours after a blown engine forced his SAMAX Motorsport Riley Pontiac into retirement after less than four hours. The...

Primat disappointed at early Daytona exit

Harold Primat was left a frustrated spectator for most of the Daytona 24 Hours after a blown engine forced his SAMAX Motorsport Riley Pontiac into retirement after less than four hours.

The Geneva-based driver managed just one full stint at the wheel, most of which saw the car struggling with a down-on-power engine, before his race was over and admitted his disappointment at being forced to retire with less than a sixth of the race distance completed.

"SAMAX have a good record here at Daytona, so I expected a lot more," Harold said. "I'm really disappointed because this year, with drivers such as Jimmy Johnson and Juan Pablo Montoya, the field was so strong and I was really looking forward to competing on-track with those guys for the full race. Everyone knows Daytona is a very tough event, but it would have been nice to have seen a bit more of it."

SAMAX's problems began early in the race during the car's first stint. Champ Car ace Ryan Dalziel reported a misfire, and although the issue seemed to have improved after his first pit stop, more engine problems affected Primat's stint at the wheel.

"At one point I was fighting with the Brumos Porsche and got a much better exit from the chicane," Harold said. "I used the advantage to try and pass on the straight, but the engine just didn't have the power to do so. It felt flat, with a lack of torque and really struggled for power exiting the corners. After two thirds of the stint the engine lost a cylinder, but the team asked me to stay out so we could pit during a caution period, so I kept running on seven cylinders.

"The team tried to fix it at my pit stop when I handed over to Tomas Enge, and although they thought the problem had been solved, Tomas was still having trouble and the engine eventually blew halfway through his stint.

"It's such a shame because Daytona is fantastic fun. You can really race here in these cars, but we hardly got a chance to. After signing for a team with such a strong history in this event, retiring after less than four hours was definitely not what I expected."

-credit: hpPR

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya