Justin and CGRFS runners-up at Daytona 24 Hours Justin scored his second podium in three Rolex 24 At Daytona outings as he shared the runner-up spot for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) alongside team-mates Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas...
Justin and CGRFS runners-up at Daytona 24 Hours
Justin scored his second podium in three Rolex 24 At Daytona outings as he shared the runner-up spot for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) alongside team-mates Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas and Max Papis in the No. 01 TELMEX/Target Dinan-Prepared BMW Riley. The No.01 entry was just one of two Daytona Prototypes to finish on the lead lap, completing 755 laps before coming home 52.303 seconds short of the race-winning No.9 Action Express Racing Porsche Riley.
The race began behind the safety car after torrential rain fell just before the start and the green flag fell on Lap 7. A clear dry line began to emerge two hours in and after three hours Justin got behind the wheel of the slick-shod No.01 car. During the first of his three double stints he worked his way through the field from P8 to P4. By the time Justin returned to the fray in the early hours of Sunday morning the CGRFS No.02 car had retired with mechanical problems and it was already clear that the No.9 Porsche Riley was going to be the No. 01 car's main rival for victory. During the night the two cars engaged in a fast-paced battle and by the end of Justin's second stint he handed the No. 01 car over in P2.
Justin began his final stint with around four hours to go and took the No. 01 car into the lead, but about 90 minutes later he felt something wrong with the car coming out of the Bus Stop, just before the pit entry. "There was a loud clunk and the car shook around with a rattle," said Justin. "I thought it was a wheel bearing problem or a puncture. I had five seconds to decide - "do I do another lap or do I dive in the pits?' I was worried that if it was a puncture we'd lose bodywork if we stayed out so I decided to pit. We checked it out, but there wasn't a problem so we went back out and continued. Maybe it was just some debris on the track. Whatever it was, it's disappointing to have to hand it over like that, but that's racing."
When the No. 9 pitted for fuel and tyres Justin was able to get a lap back and in his final stint team-mate Scott Pruett was able to get the No. 01 car back on the lead lap. But with the No. 9 car's strong pace and no cautions to help close the gap the team had to settle for second.
"It's been a great experience being part of the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sebates team at this event," concluded Justin. "Everyone in the team did a fantastic job. The crew did excellent pitstops and hats off to Scott, Memo and Max - they've been great team-mates."