Daytona 24: Jason Workman final report

A Memorable Driving Performance by Jason Workman. G&W Motorsports finish 7th in Daytona Prototypes, 25th overall. Daytona, FL: The 24-hour challenge for every race team is perhaps the pinnacle effort in motorsports. At the Rolex 24 at Daytona ...

A Memorable Driving Performance by Jason Workman. G&W Motorsports finish 7th in Daytona Prototypes, 25th overall.

Daytona, FL: The 24-hour challenge for every race team is perhaps the pinnacle effort in motorsports. At the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Raceway on January 31-February 1, Jason Workman, his co-drivers and the G&W Motorsports crew, experienced what seemed like 48 hours of racing stuffed into one single racing day. But the entire team answered the call and overcame a myriad of challenges and Jason Workman put in a memorable driving effort to bring the crippled race car to a 7th in Daytona Prototype, 25th overall position. To a lesser team or a lesser driver, the result would not have been the same.

The lion share of the driving duties fell to Workman in his first 24 hour event. First co-driver Fabio Spatafora withdrew from the race and then, during his 2nd stint behind the wheel, Hugo Guenette became ill after inhaling excessive fumes during an extended yellow caution period leaving Steve and Danny Marshall along with Workman to drive the BMW Picchio. Workman drove maximum three hour shifts in the car, with a short rest period, only to be called upon to get back in the car during the long night-time racing sessions. During Workman's first stint behind the wheel, in an event that was to occur to several of the Daytona Prototypes, Workman lost the right rear wheel at nearly top speed of 185 mph. Workman managed to bring the car back to the pits where the crew quickly replaced the wheel. Then during Workman's second stint at around midnight, he again found himself suddenly battling for control after the right rear suspension broke, again at nearly top-speed on the high banks and again, Workman managed to get the car back to the pits for repair without hitting the wall or causing additional damage. Despite the unusual amount of repair and adversity, Workman and his co-drivers managed to improve 17 positions during the night.

Then the rains came.

After the long night and many hours already logged by Workman, the torrential rain was Workman's chance to exhibit the car control he has mastered after a number of years competing in open-wheel formula cars, including the often rainy tracks of Europe. For the 30 minutes to an hour before the rain became untenable, Workman's BMW Picchio was the fastest car on the track. But as the rain and wind increased, race officials properly decided to red flag the event and stop racing until the rain lessened and the track drained of the excessive puddles collecting on the racing surface.

When racing resumed with only two and half hours left to compete, the G&W Motorsports entry began to overheat. All the laps under caution during the heavy rains had clogged the radiator and the engine temperature began to rise, spiking to 245 degrees. Workman was forced to race very conservatively during the final hours to keep the temperatures within limits and enable the car to finish the race.

"I can't say enough about the crew," said an excited Workman. "They worked so hard to keep us in the game. The crew was very professional, and acted so quickly and focused during our pit stops. They were right there when we needed them and were able to get us in and out of the pits with minimum delay. They were sensational!"

"Jason Workman was unknown to me and what a pleasant surprise he was after his first time in the car," said Managing Director of G&W Motorsports, Price Cobb. "Obviously, he has tremendous skill and experience. This was evident to me by both his speed in the car and his knowledge. In addition to these qualities, he is well spoken, has exemplary behavior and can follow orders."

The 2004 Rolex 24 may go down in history as one of the most difficult racing conditions in Daytona history. The wind and rain made the race even more challenging than usual. For Jason Workman in his first 24 hour race, it was an experience unlike any he had ever run, with a series of challenges that seemed to come one after another, with increasingly difficult and daunting obstacles. But Workman showed a calm, professional demeanor under pressure, a voracious appetite to get the job done and a driving skill of uncommon dimension. Never before in Workman's career has his ability been so tested or the results so clearly seen. For Workman, it was a race he will always remember and for many people who witnessed it, the name Jason Workman will be one they won't soon forget.

Workman is partnered with "Teen Arrive Alive", a teen driving safety alert program commencing a national roll-out in 2004 and, a European based motor sport web news magazine.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Hugo Guénette , Price Cobb , Jason Workman , Danny Marshall , Fabio Spatafora