Porsche teams show speed, endurance, persistance to earn victories, overall podiums at Rolex 24 at Daytona; Porsche 911 scores 32nd class win. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- February 1 -- Adding to its legacy as the most successful manufacturer in the...
Porsche teams show speed, endurance, persistance to earn victories, overall podiums at Rolex 24 at Daytona; Porsche 911 scores 32nd class win.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- February 1 -- Adding to its legacy as the most successful manufacturer in the 42-year history of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Porsche teams earned victories in both the GT and SGS classes at this year's endurance classic. The two victories give Porsche 57 class wins and the Porsche 911 32 class wins in the Rolex 24.
In the GT class, the #44 Orbit Porsche 911 GT3 RS, with Johnny Mowlem/Mike Fitzgerald/Robin Liddell/Joe Policastro/Jay Policastro sharing the driving duties, ran a flawless race, not only scoring a class win, but finishing second overall. Car owners Joe and Jay Policastro sacrificed their Rolex Grand-Am points and seat time by letting the faster drivers take the car to victory.
"To win the GT class against the quality of competition at this race, and to finish on the podium overall is something we have been striving for ever since we've been coming to this track," said Orbit team manager Roger Hawley.
"Joe and Jay Policastro are the perfect car owners to bring together the team needed to win this difficult event -- they played to our strength to ensure this win," said Hawley.
The #74 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche GT3 Cup racer of Johannes van Overbeek/Seth Neiman/Lonnie Pechnik/Peter Cunningham/Mike Rockenfeller, which started on the pole, had radiator problems early in the event, but came back strong to challenge the Orbit car, finishing second in class, third overall, and only 6.9 seconds behind the leaders.
The #66 The Racer's Group Porsche GT3 RS of Kevin Buckler/Patrick Long/Timo Bernhard/Jorg Bergmeister overcame two flat tires and an accident to run on the same lap as the #73 Ferrari, just missing out on third in class in class. The car ran as high as third in class before slipping to fifth at the checkered flag due to gearbox troubles.
In the SGS class, the #91 Toronto-based Doncaster Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car of Jean-Francois Dumoulin/Robert Julien/Greg Pootmans/Marc Lieb won the event-long battle over the pole-sitting #38 TPC Racing Porsche GT3 Cup race of Randy Pobst/ Marc Bunting/Andy Lally/John Littlechild/Michael Levitas. Third was the other Doncaster racer, the #71 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car of Dave Lacey/Greg Wilkins/Mark Wilkins/Tom Nastasi/Kenny Wilden.
"We have won the Grand-Am Cup championship two years in a row, but this is something special. Not only does it show the world what a great team John Lacey has put together, but it showcases the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup as a true endurance racer," said Robert Julien, who co-drove the last two years in Grand-Am Cup with Jean-Francois Dumoulin.
In all, Porsche 911s finished in eight of the top overall 15 positions.
In the Daytona Prototype class, #59 Brumos Racing Porsche Fabcar entry driven by Hurley Haywood/J.C. France/Tommy Riggins/Scott Sharp ran in the top ten for much of the night before a broke suspension brought the effort to a halt with Sharp at the wheel.
The #58 Brumos Racing Porsche Fabcar of David Donohue/Lucas Luhr/Sascha Maassen/Darren Law suffered electrical problems in hour six and did not finish.
Porsche Daytona 24-hours facts
Overall Wins: 20
Class Wins: 57
Porsche 911 Wins: 32 Overall and Class Victories
Initial Overall Win: 1968
GT Class Wins: 22
SGS Class wins (new for 2004): 1
20 Race Winning Streak (overall or class): 1966-1987
Finished 1-2 overall in 11 Daytona 24-Hours
GT class winner finishing second overall: 2001
From 1977 to 1988, Porsche had compiled 12 consecutive overall wins
GTX Series Winner: 1978-1981
GTP Series Winner: 1982-89, 1991