BRUMOS RACING SCORES HISTORIC ROLEX 24 WIN WITH PORSCHE RILEY AND DONOHUE/LAW/GARCIA/RICE; TRG PORSCHE 911 GT3 CUPS TAKE ONE-TWO IN GT
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida - January 25 - On the 40th anniversary of his father's victory at the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, David Donohue, of Malvern, Penn., drove a gripping last hour of the 2009 sports car classic to pass, and then hold off, former Formula 1 champion and NASCAR star Juan Pablo Montoya to score an overall win for him and his teammates Antonio Garcia (Madrid, Spain), Darren Law and Buddy Rice (both Phoenix, Ariz.) in the Brumos Porsche Riley prototype at Daytona International Speedway.
It was the closest finish in the 47-year history of the Rolex 24, with Donohue edging Montoya by 17- hundreths of a second. In fact, with four cars finishing within eight seconds of the leader, this year's finish will be hard to beat. The Brumos Racing team Porsche Riley of Joao Barbosa (Porto, Portugal)/Hurley Haywood (Ponte Verda Beach, Fla.)/JC France (Daytona Beach, Fla.)/Terry Brocheller (Vero Beach, Fla.) finished third after contesting the race late into the event.
Porsche's perfect day was completed when the TRG Porsche 911 GT3 Cup racer piloted by Andy Lally (Dacula, Ga.)/Patrick Long (Bellair, Fla.)/Joerg Bergmeister (Langenfeld, Germany)/Justin Marks (Rockland, Calif.)/RJ Valentine (Braintree, Mass.) won the GT class of the Rolex 24 by a lap over TRG Porsche teammates Ted Ballou (Corona Del Mar, Calif.)/Emmanuel Collard (Paris, France)/Tim George, Jr. (New York, NY)/Richard Lietz (Ybbsitz, Austria)/Spencer Pumpelly (Suwanee, Ga.). Porsche also took third in GT, with the Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car of Sascha Maassen (Aachen, Germany)/Phillip Martien (Finksburg, Maryland)/Patrick Pilet (Le Chesnay, France)/BJ Zacharias (Cincinnati, Ohio).
The Brumos Porsche team win was significant for many reasons, including:
The first overall win for Porsche since 2003 (The Racer's Group Porsche 911 GT3 RS), and the first overall win for Brumos Racing since 1978 (Porsche 935). The first win for a Porsche entered in the overall class since 1995 (Kremer - Porsche K8). First win for the Porsche 911-based 3.99-liter Grand-Am race engine. Brumos Racing's first Daytona prototype win since 2003 (Mont Tremblant) Porsche prototypes led 500 of the 735 laps.
"This was a great team effort, which started last winter when we did more than 3,000 hours of testing, lots of creative problem-solving by the Brumos crew, and hard work by Porsche to improve our chances to win races overall," said an elated Donohue, who scored his first overall 24-hour win.
"We were rock-solid when we got here, and we never touched the car once it rolled off the trailer. From fastest in practice in the winter test to qualifying on the pole for the race, we were set for a good event, and my teammates did the rest. This was really great." said Donohue.
The Crown Royal Penske Porsche Riley driven by Timo Bernhard (Germany)/Romain Dumas (France)/ Ryan Briscoe (Australia) led much of the early part of the race, including the overnight hours, until the transmission broke as the sun came up on Sunday. The Penske Racing crew replaced the gearbox but lost 15 laps in the process, and ended up finishing sixth overall.
In the GT class, the Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars were also fast, leading the class for many hours until mechanical ills beset them, especially the #86 Farnbacher/Lux/Marsh/Roush racer, which finished fifth, and the #87 Henzler/Keen/Werner/Westbrook Porsche, which finished eighth.
TRG team owner Kevin Buckler, who has an overall win and a class win at Daytona to his credit, said this GT victory was as rewarding as his overall victory in 2003.
"This effort from all the guys at the shop, the drivers, and our partners make this very sweet. The Porsches ran great all weekend, and it was a great win. It's nice to have people working with you that are both talented and personable," said Buckler.