DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The No. 98 Ford GT Mark II that captured the 1966 Rolex 24 At Daytona is the latest addition to the display of overall Rolex 24 At Daytona championship cars which will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the twice-around-the-clock challenge on January 28-29, 2012.
When the race was first held in 1962, known then as the Daytona Continental, it was a three-hour race before expanding to 2,000 kilometers in 1964. Two years later the prestigious event was lengthened again to become the first accredited 24-hour international sports car race in the U.S.
Driving the No. 98 Fort GT Mark II, Lloyd Ruby and Ken Miles kept to a schedule of double shifts (three hours) and no sleep on their way to their second straight victory. The duo led nearly every lap of the 1966 Rolex 24 and won by a margin of eight laps, completing 679 laps at an average speed of 108.02 mph. The victory was part of a 1-2-3 Ford Mark II finish with Dan Gurney and Jerry Grant in second place and Walt Hansgen and Mark Donohue in third.
The No. 98 Ford GT Mark II joins the growing field of historic championship cars in the display:
• The No. 96 Arciero Racing Lotus-Climax 19B from the inaugural Rolex 24 (then known as the Daytona Continental) in 1962
• The Porsche 907 from the 1968 Rolex 24
• The No. 98 Eagle GTP from the 1993 Rolex 24
• The Preston Henn Porsches from the 1983 and 1985 Rolex 24s
• The No. 6 Lola T70 Chevrolet from the 1969 Rolex 24
• The No. 9 Bob Garretson’s Style Auto Porsche 935 from the 1981 Rolex 24 At Daytona
• The No. 43 Porsche 911 RSR from the 1977 Rolex 24
• The No. 18 JLP Porsche 935 from the 1982 Rolex 24
Additional cars will be announced as they are secured to be part of this one-of-a-kind display.
The Rolex 24 At Daytona, the kick-off event to Speedweeks 2012 as well as the international motorsports calendar, showcases the world’s best drivers competing against each other lap after lap for 24 hours on Daytona International Speedway’s challenging and demanding 3.56-mile road course.
Tickets for the 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona are on sale online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.