Daytona Porsche notes

PCAers Shine at Daytona 24 Hours (PCA Editors Internet News Service) It was almost perfect. At the end of the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, February 3-4, a Porsche 911 occupied nine of the top 10 finishing positions in GTS-2 class with the...

PCAers Shine at Daytona 24 Hours (PCA Editors Internet News Service)

It was almost perfect. At the end of the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, February 3-4, a Porsche 911 occupied nine of the top 10 finishing positions in GTS-2 class with the Porsche 911 entered by the Stadler Motorsport team on top. It was the second straight Daytona GTS-2 victory for the European team with a 4th overall finish. 76 cars started the race. Other top 10 GTS-2 teams, many with Porsche Club of America members as drivers and volunteer crew workers, demonstrated that you can be just as successful, but with a much less ambitious funding and support program.

The second-place GTS-2 car (and 6th overall) was the #78 Porsche 911 RSR of Richard Raimist (San Diego Region), Cort Wagner, Steve Dente (San Diego Region) and Mike Doolin (Intermountain Region). An outstanding effort -- they completed 2,282 racing miles! Plus, they beat the class-winning GTS-1 Oldsmobile Aurora which was part of a two-car factory team.

Rolando Saldana (San Diego Region), who worked in the pits for the #78 911 RSR said, "Most of the crew members were PCA or POC members from San Diego and Los Angeles. As one of the pit crew members going over the wall, I had the best time of my life. The car ran flawlessly. The only time the car came into the pits was for the usual fuel, tires and driver change stops -- a true testament to Porsche's reliability. What an awesome car! Plus, it goes to show the level of driver-skill being developed by the PCA club racing program."

According to Bill Anders (Orange Coast Region), "Rick Raimist and Steve Dente are old autocrossers from the San Diego Region. I understand their whole team is a volunteer effort, and what an effort! Rick rode shotgun in my car for a few laps at an SDR autocross last fall. Not only is he a good driver, but an excellent instructor. Maybe I'll be ready for next year's 24 Hours -- yeah, right."

Barney Bettilyon, Intermountain Region, had this to say about #78 co-driver Mike Doolin. "Mike was instrumental in getting me involved in the PCA. He was my first autocross instructor and his first race ever was, as chance would have it, the First Ever Race, at Second Creek in Denver in June of 1992. Those of us racers from the Intermountain Region have had a lot of fun with Mike's success at Daytona. All twelve of us met him at the airport when he got back into town on Monday night. Cheering and screaming, you'd have thought some returning War Hero had arrived. Mike always tells everyone that he is from Sandy, Utah, never from Salt Lake. His new nick name is 'The Pride of Sandy!'"

The #73 GTS-2 Porsche 911 of Jack Lewis, Edison Lluch, Vic Rice, and Kevin Buckler (Golden Gate Region) started the race 10th in class, 50th overall, and moved steadily through the field during the 24-hour grind to finish 9th in class, 16th overall. The fog and drizzle didn't slow this car one bit. IMSA race-watchers will remember that Buckler won his first IMSA GTS-2 outing last July at Sears Point.

A 24-hour race can be Heartbreak Hotel for some competitors -- a steady push up the charts only to have a problem dash their hopes in the latter stage of the race. And so it was, almost, for the #03 GTS-2 Porsche 911 of Alan Friedman, Larry Galbo, Kelly Collins, Jim McCarthy (Northeast Region member and owner of Windward Performance Products), and Dirk Layer. Many other PCA folks participated as crew members.

According to Mark Forrester, Northeast Region, "Some PCA friends who are Connecticut Valley Region and Northeast Region members ran the Windward Performance Products/Brey-Krause #03 GTS-2 car, a 3.8 normally aspirated RSR look-alike. The car was purchased, torn down, rebuilt, race prepped, and shipped to Daytona, all in the three-week period before the race.

"The car qualified just about last on the grid, in 74th position. Never-the-less, on the first lap of the race the car moved up 8 places and then another 5 on the second lap. At around 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, the team found itself 15th overall and 8th in class. We passed the word on to the ESPN folks that this team of amateurs, most of whom had no professional race experience, were doing real well. They thought it was a good story and sent a crew over to broadcast the next pit stop live, which they did. Way cool!

"By 12:15 p.m., with only 45 minutes to go, the car was 13th overall and 7th in class with 6th a real possibility. Then the unfortunate occurred. A rod came through the top of the case as the car was leaving the pits after what was to be its last stop for gas and tires. Its race was over. Needless to say the crew was pretty dejected as they figured they would fall way back in the standings. As it turned out, the car finished 17th overall and 10th in class. Not bad we think."

Even the #06 BMW M3 had a PCA driver; David Donohue, mmember of the Riesentoter Region.

Top 10 Finishers in GTS-2

1) #55 Porsche 911 - 649 laps Lilian Bryner, Enzo Calderari, Ulrich Richter, Ferdinand de Lesseps

2) #78 Porsche 911 - 641 laps Richard Raimist, Mike Doolin, Cort Wagner, Steve Dente

3) #06 BMW M3 - 638 laps David Donohue, John Paul Jr., Javier Quiros, Bill Adams

4) #41 Porsche 911 - 608 laps Franco La Rosa, Kurt Thiers, Michel Neugarten, Kurt Dujardin

5) #45 Porsche 911 - 604 laps Doug Trott, John Ruther, Philip Kubik, Rick Bye

6) #99 Porsche 911 - 603 laps Larry Schumacher, Andy Pilgrim, William Pace, Harald Grohs

7) #24 Porsche 911 - 599 laps Ron Finger, Monte Shelton, Joe Cogbill, John Rutherford, Charles Slater

9) #73 Porsche 911 - 591 laps Jack Lewis, Edison Lluch, Vic Rice, Kevin Buckler

10) #03 Porsche 911 - 577 laps Alan Friedman, Larry Galbo, Jim McCarthy, Kelly Collins, Dirk Layer

(Track Length: 3.56 miles)

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