Team Sahlen GT Porsches Persistent for 24 Hours, Finish with Top Ten The Team Sahlen GT3 Cup Porsches, drivers, and crew entered into one of the most prestigious races throughout North America. The Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona was a festivity like...
Team Sahlen GT Porsches Persistent for 24 Hours, Finish with Top Ten
The Team Sahlen GT3 Cup Porsches, drivers, and crew entered into one of the most prestigious races throughout North America. The Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona was a festivity like none other, opening the 2006 season for the Grand American Rolex series. Drivers flocked from all corners of the globe to get a seat in this twice around the clock race. Among those competitors were eight Team Sahlen drivers and two black, red and yellow Team Sahlen Porsches.
Team Sahlen composed a driver line-up of passionate sports car racing drivers. Among them were Jim Michaelian of Long Beach, California, Dr. Manuel Matos of Puerto Rico, and Eddie Hennessy of DeLand, Florida. Returning to the team from the 2005 Rolex 24 were Wes Allen, of Lexington, Kentucky; Victor Gonzalez, Jr. of Puerto Rico, and of course Joe, Wayne, and Will Nonnamaker. The Nonnamaker's are the owner of this eight car Porsche team that competes not only in the Grand American Rolex Series but also the Grand-Am Cup.
Spending time behind the wheel of the Team Sahlen No. 41 Porsche was Victor Gonzalez, Jr., Joe Nonnamaker, Wayne Nonnamaker, and Will Nonnamaker. All four drivers competed as teammates in 2005 but not in the same car. The Team Sahlen No. 41 Porsche finished the race in 9th place in the Grand Touring (GT) class despite a harrowing incident just short of the 24th hour. This is the second year in a row Team Sahlen took a 9th place finish.
"We had a problem with about two laps to go in the race and had to pit. The white flag went out and everyone knew we had to finish. The team, our drivers, and cars made it so far. So we fixed what was necessary and were able to get out of the pits just before the first Daytona Prototype crossed the finish line. It was a scary last few moments but we made it. We made that last lap at 35 mph but we finished the race. Our crew worked especially hard to make sure that both cars finished the race," stated Wayne Nonnamaker who crossed the finish line in the Team Sahlen No. 43 car
The Team Sahlen No. 43 with drivers Michaelian, Matos, Allen, and Hennessy was sidelined early with clutch problems shortly after an on track spin at the beginning of Hennessy's stint. The crew immediately went to work and returned the car to the Daytona track. The car and drivers finished out the race in 21st place in the GT class.