Daytona24: Riley Technologies race report

Riley Makes History at Daytona Once Again

Daytona Beach, FL (1 February 2011)--A thrilling finish completed a record-setting race weekend at Daytona International Speedway for Riley Technologies as the No. 01 Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates BMW-Riley won the 2011 Rolex 24 At Daytona. Scott Pruett drove under the checkered flag just 2.4 seconds ahead the sister Ganassi team entry driven by Scott Dixon at the finish.

The top four cars finished the race separated by just under four seconds after 24 hours of racing, with all four utilizing the Riley Technologies Daytona Prototype mated to three different engine manufacturers. The weekend opened with the No. 45 Flying LIzards Porsche-Riley setting a new track record for the category in qualifying.

The victory is the seventh Rolex 24 race win in a row for Riley, a remarkable feat in the grueling event, which will celebrate its 50th running in 2012. The victory also marked the tenth Rolex 24 At Daytona overall race victory for a Riley-designed machine in the last 16 years.

Leading 231 of 721 laps, the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates BMW-powered Riley dominated the event after starting third on the nearly fifty-car GT and Daytona Prototype grid. The win is Ganassi's fourth in the event, all achieved with Riley equipment.

"It is truly awesome," Pruett said. "To have a 1-2 finish is just incredible. Our No. 01 car has finished every lap here the last five years and won it three times. That in itself is a true testament to what the Ganassi organization does and the preparation on getting this car on the track. They've been busting their butts getting our cars ready for this race since October."

The Riley machines were once again the class of the field, leading 667 of the 721 laps run as a total of 27 different drivers lead the race.

Riley Technologies also had a presence on the GT Class podium at Daytona after Dempsey Racing took its strongest-ever finish in the event as Patrick Dempsey, Charles Espenlaub, Tom Long, and Joe Foster combined to score third with the SpeedSource Engineering-built Mazda RX-8.

"Congratulations to then Ganassi organization on the 1-2 finish," offered Riley Technologies VP Bill Riley. "It is an incredible achievement just to finish this race, but to take a 1-2 team finish is amazing. Having four of our cars fighting it out on the last lap for the win was exciting, to put it lightly! We are fortunate to have such competitive and hard working teams racing our designs and achieving this kind of success.

"It was also great to see the Dempsey Racing guys on the Daytona podium after they picked up their first GRAND-AM last season. We could not have been more pleased with how this weekend went, and we are already looking forward to racing again at Homestead."

The firm will look to add to the trophy collection in Daytona Prototype, Rolex GT, and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge competition March 4-5 at Homestead Miami Speedway.

-source: riley technologies

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Scott Pruett , Charles Espenlaub , Tom Long , Chip Ganassi , Joe Foster , Patrick Dempsey , Felix Sabates
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , SpeedSource