By Dave Reininger - Motorsport.com Daytona Beach, Fla. (February 3, 2001) - With three hours of the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the record books, the Ferrari 333 SP of Ralf Kelleners, Allan McNish, Eric van de Poole and David Brabham leads by a ...
By Dave Reininger - Motorsport.com
Daytona Beach, Fla. (February 3, 2001) - With three hours of the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the record books, the Ferrari 333 SP of Ralf Kelleners, Allan McNish, Eric van de Poole and David Brabham leads by a slight margin over the pair of Ford-powered Riley and Scott cars entered by Dyson Racing.
The TVR Racing Chevrolet-powered Riley and Scott was an early retirement due to engine failure with Indy Racing driver Jeret Schroeder aboard. "It started losing power," said Schroeder. "There was no warning. I think it was a piston."
"We haven't made the final diagnosis, but it looks terminal" said TVR Racing team owner Tom Volk. "That is the cruelest outcome of this race. We've got a 100-percent finishing record over the past three years,and with this team we've put together, we felt we had a legitimate shot at winning."
Paul Gentilozzi's brand new Saleen S7R was another early retirement. "We're not sure whether we cut a tire or broke a mount in the upper control arm, but the mount is broken. We can repair it, but you can't win Daytona running 22 and a half hours. The only reason to be here is to win the race, we're too old to need practice."
The No. 49 SRP2 Nissan Pilbeam was withdrawn from the race prior to the start. The starting field consisted of 79 cars, three of which were relegated to the rear of the grid for missing the pre-grid deadline. The No. 02 Mosler Racing MT900, No. 06 Jacobs Motorsport Ford Riley and Scott and the No.18 Comer Corvette all started from the rear of the grid.
At the three hour mark, the dense mist turned to rain droplets causing most teams to pit for intermediate tires. Andy Lally, who started in the in the No. 21 Nissan-powered Lola in SRP2 class, stayed in the car for nearly three hours on slicks.
When Lally reported to the pits for the end of his stint, the team changed to intermediate tires. "I wish the rain would have started a little earlier," Lally said. "It would have been nice to start the race on intermediates. It was slick out there."
The young driver from Northport, NY is competing in his first Rolex 24 at Daytona