Jon Field came within four-and-a-half hours of a fantastic overall victory at the Grand-Am season opener, the Daytona 24 hours. The American, with his co-drivers Michael Durand, Duncan Dayton and Rick Sutherland had led the race for ten hours, ...
Jon Field came within four-and-a-half hours of a fantastic overall victory at the Grand-Am season opener, the Daytona 24 hours. The American, with his co-drivers Michael Durand, Duncan Dayton and Rick Sutherland had led the race for ten hours, through the night despite a failed clutch in their Judd-powered Lola only to have a half-shaft fail at 8:30am while leading by seven laps.
The Intersport Team had taken the lead from the Doran Lista team when it stopped first to examine an electrical fault, and then a further stop for an electrical problem and to change the brakes, handing the Lola a nine-lap lead.
As Field returned to the track in second position having repaired the half-shaft, Lola's fortunes were still looking good in the SRPII category, with the Rand Risi Nissan-powered Lola running as high as third overall. The Lola, driven by Anthony Lazarro, Ralf Kelleners, Terry Borcheller and Bill Rand, was the only car in the whole race to start from pole position and never relinquish its lead.
The four drivers had a minor worry when an oil hose union broke, spewing oil over the rear of the car. A quick stop, costing just seven laps, to repair the damage allowed the opposition, the Archangel Motorsports Lola Nissan of Chad Block, Steve Knight, Mel Hawkins and Brian DeVries to close the gap slightly though the final margin of victory was still a massive 25 laps. The sister car of Jeff Clinton Jeff Tilman, Curtis Francois and Larry Connor finished fourth in class. The final Lola, that of Porschehaus Racing, completed only 164 laps before retiring.
The Doran Lista team cruised to a comfortable overall victory in the Dallara Judd after a race of attrition. Two other Judd-powered cars dropped out during the night, the Crawford and the Ascari, while two of the favourites were damaged before midnight.
The Porsche-powered Champion Lola of Andy Wallace, Hurley Haywood, Lucas Luhr and Sascha Maassen started the race in the pit lane when the engine restricted itself to just 5000rpm. The team lost ten laps changing the spark plugs and the leads, but it wasn't until they changed the steering wheel that they realised that the pit lane speed limiter was jammed on. The car had two gear linkage failures during the course of the race, but still finished fourth overall.
Rob Dyson's two cars suffered gearbox failures, one terminal while the other went out with a dropped valve in the engine. The Risi Ferrari also suffered gearbox failures but eventually retired at 6am when it was crashed.