Porsche Power Succeeds at the Rolex 24 at Daytona as Action Express Racing Porsche Riley Wins Overall; TRG Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Entries Second and Third in GT Mechanical problems, bad luck, and on-track incidents push Porsche 911 GT3 Cup teams...
Porsche Power Succeeds at the Rolex 24 at Daytona as Action Express Racing Porsche Riley Wins Overall; TRG Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Entries Second and Third in GT
Mechanical problems, bad luck, and on-track incidents push Porsche 911 GT3 Cup teams off the top step of the Rolex GT podium; Broken driveshaft, engine ills ruin Brumos Porsche's chance to repeat
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida - January 31 - Using a veteran driver line-up including Ryan Dalziel, Mike Rockenfeller, Joao Barbosa, and Terry Borcheller, and support from a veteran team, Brumos Racing, the Action Express Racing Porsche-powered Riley upset the pre-race favorites to win the 48th running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The engine is a Porsche Cayenne-based V8 built as a independent project and mated to a Riley chassis.
Pre-race favorites BMW Riley, Ford Riley, Ford Dallara, and last year's winner, the Brumos Porsche Riley, all led the race at various times during the day and night, but mechanical gremlins and miscues on the track derailed those efforts, and the Action Express team came away with the win.
In the Rolex GT class, it looked like a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup victory was in the works once the leading Camaro broke overnight, but the leading TRG Porsches lost their advantage in the last four hours of the event.
First, the #71 TRG Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, with NASCAR star Bobby Labonte at the controls, ran out of fuel on the course and had to be towed into the infield, where the TRG crew met the car, gave it a dump-can of fuel, and got it back on the track. However, Labonte had to circle the track again, and then come in for a full fuel stop and driver change under green, and lost the three-lap lead the team had built in the GT class. Only seven minutes later, the new leaders #67 TRG Flying Lizard Porsche 911 GT3 Cup of Seth Neiman/Johannes van Overbeek/Joerg Bergmeister/Patrick Long came into the pits with a broken front shock. The team replaced the shock, but it put them five laps back, and opened the door for the #70 Speedsource Mazda to take the lead - a lead they never relinquished.
The #71 car, with Labonte, Romain Dumas, Timo Bernhard, Spencer Pumpelly and Tim Geroge, Jr., later broke an axle and ended up ninth in class. The #67 car finished second, and third place went to the #66 TRG Porsche Ted Ballou, Kelly Collins, Wolf Henzler, Andy Lally, and Patrick Flanagan.
The #59 Brumos Porsche Riley, although many laps down in eighth place, had an emotional moment at the end of the 19th hour as five-time Rolex 24 winner Hurley Haywood stepped out of the car for the last time as he had announced that he would retire after this race.
"I would have liked to finish this with a win, but we gave it a good effort, and I am proud of our entire Brumos team," said Haywood, who added that he thought about his retirement a little before his last stint, but once he was belted in and out of the pits, it was 100 percent racing.
Other top Porsche 911 GT3 Cup finishers in the Rolex GT class included the Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup team (John Potter, Craig Stanton, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Richard Lietz) - fifth; the Foametix/Battery Tender Alex Job Racing Porsche (Claudio Burtin, Jack Baldwin, Mitch Paggerey, Martin Ragginger, Dominik Farnbacher) - 12th; and the Bullet Racing Canadian Porsche (Kees Nierop, Darryl O'Young, Steve Paquette, Sean McIntosh and Ross Bentley) - 13th.
-source: porsche motorsport