BAR1 Motorsports finishes their first Rolex 24 at Daytona

BAR1 Motorsports completed the 52nd Rolex 24 at Daytona on January 25th and 26th with a 7th place finish.

After having a strong Roar Before the 24 test and coming from three-straight wins in 2013, Brian Alder, Team Owner, was looking for a better result at the Rolex 24 at Daytona but is happy with the finish.

“To finish a 24 hour race in itself is a victory,” said Alder. “The crew has worked non-stop for the last month, preparing for this race, with the goal of finishing, and hopefully a 4th victory in a row. Although luck wasn’t on our side this race, we gave 100%, and pushed till the checkered flag fell and that’s something to be proud of. The team could have easily called it a day after our crash at the halfway mark of the race, but they kept their heads up and continued to work, getting the car back on track after over four hours of repairs to complete the final third of the race without any issues. Our heads are held high as we now prepare for the 12 hours of Sebring, looking to improve from our 2nd place finish in 2013.”

Pit stop for #87 BAR1 Motorsports ORECA FLM09: Sean Rayhall, James Kovacic, Doug Bielefeld, Gaston Kearby, Tonis Kasemets
Pit stop for #87 BAR1 Motorsports ORECA FLM09: Sean Rayhall, James Kovacic, Doug Bielefeld, Gaston Kearby, Tonis Kasemets

Photo by: Trevor Horn

American driver, Sean Rayhall, qualified the #87 Snowball Express PC car 6th for the Rolex 24 at Daytona and put the car in the lead during the 24 hour endurance race.

“Things may not have gone as planned,” said Rayhall, “but there were many positives about the Rolex 24. The BAR1 Motorsports Snowball Express machine led at one point during the prestige endurance race and was quick all week. I am proud of my crew and co drivers for working so hard under the circumstances we dealt with in the night. I am looking forward to getting back in the car for Sebring!”

Australian driver, James Kovacic, competed with BAR1 Motorsports for his first Rolex 24 at Daytona and had strong stints in the car throughout the entire race.

“It was great to be back with BAR1 Motorsports again. This was my first Rolex 24 at Daytona and it provided me with a lot of learning experiences. The crew did a great job of repairing the car after my incident with a GT car in Turn 1 and we were able to get the car back in the race. Although it wasn’t the result we were looking for, I am happy with our finish and looking forward to the rest of the season with BAR1 Motorsports.”

Doug Bielefeld, of Dallas, Texas, joined BAR1 Motorsports completed his first Rolex 24 at Daytona and brought the Snowball Express car over the finish at the end of the 24 hour race.

“It was the skill and perseverance of the BAR1 Motorsports team that propelled us to finish my first Rolex 24 at Daytona,” said Bielefeld. “After a couple of unlucky incidents which led to lengthy downtimes the team was able to repair the damage and get us back into the race! I'm very proud to have been associated with BAR1 Motorsports and I wish them success in the near future!” American Driver, Gaston Kearby, made his debut with BAR1 Motorsports at the 2014 Rolex 24 at Daytona and moved the #87 up to 4th during the endurance race.

“I had a fantastic time with BAR1 Motorsports driving in my first Rolex 24 at Daytona. The team and my co-drivers did a first-rate job the entire week. We had some setbacks during the race that cost us position, but we gritted our teeth, put in the work and saw it through to the end. Thanks to everyone who went 36 hours straight, some doing it for no pay, to get us to the checkered flag. I'm lucky to have passionate people like them in my life. I'll be looking forward to getting behind the wheel of a BAR1 Motorsports PC car again soon! ”

Estonian and American driver, Tonis Kasemets, adds another Rolex 24 at Daytona to his resume, but this time with BAR1 Motorsports in the Snowball Express car.

“The Rolex 24 at Daytona is one of the most wanted but also most difficult races in a sports car calendar and it was all that for us this year,” said Kasemets. “BAR1 Motorsports put together a good driver line up and we were running well. The first incident we had with the car was a result of Memo Gidley’s accident and our car was there right after the crash, which caused debris that made our car overheat. We had to pit under red flag and repair under yellow and that resulted in a penalty. We made it back to 3rd by midnight with good clean driving and just 2 or 3 laps down from the leader. Then around 1:00 am we were involved in a big crash with Ferrari and our car was a mess. Everyone at BAR1 and some close friends took the next 4 hours and put the #87 back on track. It was great to see what Rolex 24 at Daytona meant to us and you are there to get the checker flag driving. Our car looked like "Frankenstein" by the end, but everybody was in great spirits and happy that we finished. Thank you BAR1 Motorsports, "One Hand Wonder,” Kris, and Augie, who helped make this a wonderful memory.”

BAR1 Motorsports

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About this article
Series IMSA
Drivers Memo Gidley , Tonis Kasemets , James Kovacic , Sean Rayhall , Brian Alder , Gaston Kearby , Doug Bielefeld
Teams BAR1 Motorsports
Article type Race report
Tags bar1 motorsports, brian alder, daytona, doug bielefeld, james kovacic, rolex 24, sean rayhall, tonis kasemets