Daytona 24: SAMAX/Zogaib race report

Rolex Race ends early for Florida Children's Hospital team; Motor woes cut Zogaib's race short January 27, 2008 -- Daytona Beach, FL -- As he assembled an all star roster of driving talent, joined with a strong team, and brought a cause close to...

Rolex Race ends early for Florida Children's Hospital team; Motor woes cut Zogaib's race short

January 27, 2008 -- Daytona Beach, FL -- As he assembled an all star roster of driving talent, joined with a strong team, and brought a cause close to his heart to the forefront of national attention, Henri Zogaib was hoping for a victory on the track, and a win off of it this weekend in the Rolex 24 At Daytona. While the partnership with Florida Children's Hospital brought a satisfying surge of attention for the world class Florida Children's Hospital, the on-track efforts of Zogaib and his co-drivers Allan McNish, Lucas Luhr, and Mike Rockenfeller were cut short after the No. 2 Kids Finish First.org Pontiac Riley was unable to last the distance due to a significant setback with the powerplant.

As Florida Hospital President and CEO Lars Houmann and Florida Children's Hospital supporter Ken Griffey Jr. looked on from the trackside hospitality with a huge group of supporters rooting them on, the No. 2 Kids Finish First.org Pontiac Riley took the green flag from the seventh row of the 65-car field with Mike Rockenfeller behind the wheel. The German hot shoe put in a strong opening stint as the distinctive image of Florida Children's Hospital livery caught the eye of the cameras while the car kept making progress up the charts. But after the car entered the eighth hour of the 46th running of the 24 hour event, the SAMAX Motorports team was forced to withdraw the entry after the motor lost a cylinder and was deemed not to be capable of continuing.

"I am very disappointed not to achieve my dream of a victory in the Rolex 24 At Daytona today, but I still feel as though this weekend was a win for the Florida Children's Hospital," said Zogaib. "I know we still achieved a very important goal and helped thousands to find out more about the facility and the amazing things that the hospital does for families from all over. The hospital will always have an effect on me in the form of my two healthy and amazing children who both started their lives there, and I am grateful to have the opportunity to show a small token of my life-long appreciation for the Hospital this weekend."

The halted race effort came as an unwelcome blow for a team that many picked as a leading contender for a strong race result.

"I am amazed by the job my co-drivers did and it's frustrating to have been so tremendously fast all weekend and not convert that into a victory, but that's racing," said Zogaib, who with wife Jenni and their children Jake and Jenna, recently gave a $1.5 million gift to Florida Children's Hospital and has also joined the Florida Hospital Foundation's Executive Board. "I want to thank everyone who was a part of this effort this weekend and while I am disappointed about the way the race played out for us tonight, I know in the coming days the fact of what we were able to accomplish off the track will make those feelings go away."

-credit: -sgm

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Allan McNish , Lucas Luhr , Mike Rockenfeller