3-HOUR IMSA FINALE AT DAYTONA RESULTS DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 6) -- (top 10 and class winners) (car number in parentheses) 1. (20) Leitzinger/Paul Jr, Ford R&S Mk. 3, 85 laps in 3:03:57, 100.500 mph, margin of victory 29.347 seconds;...
3-HOUR IMSA FINALE AT DAYTONA RESULTS
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 6) -- (top 10 and class winners) (car number in parentheses) 1. (20) Leitzinger/Paul Jr, Ford R&S Mk. 3, 85 laps in 3:03:57, 100.500 mph, margin of victory 29.347 seconds; 2. (66) Theys/Jackson, Ferrari 333 SP, 85; 3. (15) Taylor/Pace, Oldsmobile R&S Mk. 3, 85; 4. (30) Moretti/Papis, Ferrari 333 SP, 84; 5. (3) Hermann/Salazar, Ferrari 333 SP, 84; 6. (16) Dyson/Wallace, Ford R&S Mk. 3, 82; 7. (2) Nelson/O'Connell, Ford R&S Mk. 3, 80; 8. (91 GTS-1) Schramm/Hayner, Chevrolet Camaro, 79; 9. (63) Downing/Mirro, Mazda Kudzu DLM, 78; 10. (1 GTS-1) Hoerr/Gooding, Oldsmobile Aurora, 78; 12. (06 GTS-2) Quiros, BMW M3, 77 (56 cars started).
3-HOUR IMSA FINALE AT DAYTONA RACE NOTES
WAYNE TAYLOR (No. 4 Danka/Konica Oldsmobile R&S Mk. 3) -- I don't know what happened to the car (after pulling off at the pit exit). it was really running well. We had this conservative approach at the beginning running intermediate tires. We lost a bit of ground in the beginning but we knew the downpour wouldn't last forever and as it started drying we were reeling in the the leaders. I had just turned the fastest lap of the race to that point and I figured we'd catch the leaders within three laps. I felt confident there was no question we could've won the race. It's just unfortunate that something shut down, the engine stopped and that was it. It was lucky it happened here rather than somewhere else during the year. It really doesn't appear to be anything major because the engine still turned over -- it just didn't fire up. It could be something in the fuel system or the electrics. (CONGRATULATED ON WINNING HIS SECOND WSC TITLE.) Thanks, but let's wait until it's over and we'll really celebrate! (Taylor then climbed into the No. 15 team car to finish the race.)
KEVIN WHEELER (No. 97 GTS-2 Porsche 911) -- (AFTER BRINGING OUT FULL COURSE CAUTION WITH LITTLE MORE THAN ONE HOUR REMAINING.) One of the lead Oldsmobiles (No. 1, Irv Hoerr, according to his team) took a late entry into the pits and took me out. I was running a low line and he came around the outside, took a late entry into the pits and went sideways in front of me and just took me out. It broke the (right front) lower control arm (car was repaired and rejoined the race) and caused some body damage.
ROB DYSON (Team owner No. 16 & 20 Rain-X Ford R&S Mk. 3) -- (ON ANDY WALLACE'S PIT STOP WITH ONE HOUR TO GO, UNDER CAUTION.) Andy went off the race track and kicked-up enough mud to jam the throttle slides. He came in, the guys cleaned it and oiled it up. We didn't want to lose a lap so we sent him out without the rear cover. He'll come back in and get it on and be ready to go. My stint was difficult. It rained and went dry and rained and went dry. It was tough in one 40 minute period to get adjusted. There was a lot of mud on the track in places and that made it difficult. It was demanding, but I guess I did better than I thought. It's as rough conditions as I've ever seen. The track is fine but you can't get a rhythm. The cars are working fine -- the drivers aren't!
DARIN BRASSFIELD (No. 5 GTS-1 Total Tel Oldsmobile Aurora) -- I ran about an hour and 45 minutes. The start was miserable, really wet! It was surprising everybody kept their noses clean because you really couldn't see when all those cars started. After five or six laps it cleared out and it was just a matter of running laps. Right now we're struggling. We got tangled up with a little red Porsche, they door-slammed us and it knocked our exhaust in. We had to fix it because I couldn't breath inside the car and I was getting sick to my stomach.
3-HOUR IMSA FINALE AT DAYTONA POST-RACE NOTES
JOHN PAUL JR. (No. 20 Rain-X Ford R&S Mk. 3) -- The Dyson team has really got its act together! We were just humming at the end -- the Goodyear tires were fantastic. Butch really put it to 'em at the end and we've got to thank the Lozano Brothers for fantastic engines with lots of torque. It's an absolute blast to drive around here. We changed the car a lot today for the rain. We maximized the downforce to try to get a little more of a rain set-up on it. The track ranged through different degrees of wetness during my stint. It wasn't quite as good on rain tires as in the dry, but the car was super, still. My stint (starting) was pretty good. I got in the clean air at the front and didn't have to worry about the spray. I was able to find my way around and pick out a nice rain line, which was on the outside of the corners. Fortunately I've had a lot of laps here in the rain and I know where you have to place the car. The other guys were scrambling for vision so we had a little bit of an unfair advantage. You're only as good as the car. If you can get the drive off the corner. I've been struggling for any kind of grip. Having all the laps around here.
BUTCH LEITZINGER (No. 20 Rain-X Ford R&S Mk. 3) -- John Paul really got us off to a good start. He had a huge lead and you really can't bet against John in the wet. Somebody made the analogy -- he's the American Hans Stuck in the wet. I just tried to keep it there. I just had a good package. It's been a fantastic year -- the best I've ever had -- and I owe it all to Rob and the team. I can't wait to come back here (for the Rolex 24 Feb. 1-2) and I don't know what I'm going to do for the next four months. I guess I'll sit around and watch these videotapes. ROB DYSON (Team owner No. 20 Rain-X Ford R&S Mk. 3) -- Winning the last race sure makes the winters a little shorter. The cars have been dominant in a lot of races but we got the good breaks the last three races and we scored the hat trick. We've only done that once before. Butch and John did an absolutely superb job today. It was a credit to them. The track changed every lap. I thank the fans for coming out. It's a great show -- I'm just sorry they didn't get sunburnt. (ON ASSEMBLING A QUALITY PROGRAM.) You get good people and you want to keep them. When you've got guys like Butch -- who's done an absolutely superb job for us all year, putting three wins on the board; a guy like John Paul, who came into his own this season; and of course, the crew. Pat Smith (crew chief) has been with me for 20 years this past Memorial Day weekend. I just appreciate that he's stuck around as long as he has and it's been great fun. We appreciate good people and they deliver. It's ironic that when they announced the Finale -- it made me think of the old days, when we came here for the Finale to test for the 24 Hours (Rolex 24 At Daytona). With the conditions today, I hope they're not replicated in the (Rolex) 24!
WAYNE TAYLOR (No. 15 Danka/Konica Oldsmobile R&S Mk. 3) -- It's been a great year for everybody. I'm so happy to win both championships (drivers' and manufacturers'). I sit here and get all the glory today but they're (sponsors and Riley & Scott team) the ones who deserve all the glory. As much as the (drivers') championship was going to be clinched by taking the green flag, there was equally as much pressure to win the manufacturers' title, because I really owed Oldsmobile a lot. It's just fantastic we've been able to pull off the championship for Oldsmobile and myself. There's no question the second (WSC) title was better. That (1994) was a year of reliability. These guys (WSC competitors) don't play games. They're serious about winning. This was the most competitive year I've known in sports cars for years. To beat them (Ferrari) makes it even more satisfying. They're the best there is. And it was special that it was an American package -- chassis and engine, on Italian tires. I'm sorry I didn't stay fishing (referring to slur by Max Papis after Friday's wet qualifying session) today! I think the series needed somebody like Max. I hope he's going to do some more races in IMSA next year.
JIM PACE (No. 15 Danka/Konica Oldsmobile R&S Mk. 3) -- I'm just glad to be here with Wayne and the Danka team. The intermediate Pirelli tires were awesome -- the best part. I was able to keep the car in position and when Wayne got in there he was able to bring it in in a podium position for his championship.
DIDIER THEYS (No. 66 Landshark/Lista Ferrari) -- We had the car working well. Today the conditions were not very nice but actually eveything went OK and the car handled pretty well. (ON HIS LATE RUN TRYING TO CATCH LEITZINGER.) I lost all hope when I had to make a splash one more time (gas stop). I don't know -- we had a problem with the fuel rig. When we splashed for the first time, maybe 15 or 20 minutes before the end, we didn't put in a full tank. They put about half and maybe even less, because my fuel light came on five minutes before the end and I had to stop one more time. That was where I lost all hope, because I was catching Butch by maybe two seconds a lap at that time. But my rain tires were starting to go away a little bit. By then maybe I could catch one second a lap but no more than that so I don't think I could make up the 18 or 20 seconds I was behind him. When everything was working well, with a decent balance on the car, it was fine. Our engine was a bit down on horsepower compared to Max's and Eliseo's cars. That engine already had 12 hours on it. Even in these conditions that is not better because on the straightaway I was behind Eliseo for about 10 laps -- I was all over him in the infield but on the straightaway couldn't catch him. That was very frustrating for a time.
GERRY JACKSON (No. 66 Landshark/Lista Ferrari 333 SP) -- Didier did a great job, the car was terrific. The conditions were a challenge for everybody.
ROGER SCHRAMM (No. 91 GTS-1 Rock Valley Oil & Chemical Chevrolet Camaro) -- He (Hayner) let me drive a little bit today. We worked really hard this season. We had one of the best crews in the series. Today's been a lot like the season. It's been tough all day -- a long, hard-fought day and we finally made it to the top of the podium.
STU HAYNER (No. 91 GTS-1 Rock Valley Oil & Chemical Chevrolet Camaro) -- We've worked very hard for two years and I thought it might take the rain to do it -- it's the equalizer. The car was just wonderful in the beginning, it dried out and got even better and then it started raining again and it was still really good. Then it was just bringing it home without going off the track. It was pretty slick out there towards the end. We actually made quite a few changes overnight. We had a pretty good car but not what we wanted. The changes would be better in the wet, so the first hour I was in I had a huge smile on my face. Biggest problem was on the straightaways where you can't see what's in front of you.
HANS STUCK (No. 74 GTS-1 Champion/HH Brown/STP Porsche 911 Turbo) -- I must say that I am really disappointed because we really had the race in hand (Stuck reportedly ran up to third place early in the race). It was a one dollar piece -- it was a piece of the taillight that didn't work, so they called us in to fix it. It was a pity because I saw other cars with no taillights, too. That's a thing I don't understand. I'm a bit disappointed but third place is better than nothing. Thanks to Champion Porsche and my partner, Bill Adam.
BILL ADAM (No. 74 GTS-1 Champion/HH Brown/STP Porsche 911 Turbo) -- We did have a very good season, and it was kind of a dream season for me to run with Hans. He's always been so much fun and so delightful. He's one of the top drivers that IMSA will ever see -- past or future. To run with him has been such an honor I can't thank him enough.
IRV HOERR (No. 1 GTS-1 GTE Mobilnet Oldsmobile Aurora) -- We had a great year -- a bad day but a great year. At least we salvaged something out of it. The crew did a great job. We had a throttle linkage break in half out there. They managed to fix it and I was really proud of them. They had to go get rods and heim joints and everything else, so it was pretty miraculous we were able to salvage second place.
JAVIER QUIROS (No. 06 GTS-2 Valvoline/First Union BMW M3) -- We set the car for dry conditions and it was pretty good. We were thinking on changing the car but we kept it the way it was yesterday. It behaved very nice in the wet conditions. The car was like a jet ski in the wet conditions. It just kept going and going and going. The chicane was kind of muddy sometimes. Sometimes the car was aquaplaning. (ON HIS RUN TO THE FINISH.) I knew I had to get Schumacher's Porsche. The last two laps I caught the 99. I made an overbrake in the infield coming into the horseshoe. I braked too late but it was the only chance I had to pass him. I made a late braking and we had a little hit -- but it was not on purpose. Then I caught Schumacher and he was very gentle in letting me pass and we won the manufacturers' championship. (WHEN TEAMMATE PETE HALSMER DROPPED OUT.) I knew that Schumacher was in the front and we had to catch him. The people didn't put much pressure on me, but I knew they were putting it on without saying it on the radio. The idea was not to make any mistakes -- because if I did there was no time to recuperate. I knew I was catching him about four seconds a lap. With all the rain and the pressure, we finally got him and it was great.
LARRY SCHUMACHER (No. 98 GTS-2 American Signature Porsche 911) -- The BMWs were better in the wet but we were a little better in the dry. (ON WINNING THE GTS-2 CHAMPIONSHIP.) We're an independent team who won against a big factory team effort -- and they said all year it couldn't be done. But I always believed we could do it.