DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The No. 59 BMW 3.5 CSL that overcame a bizarre twist of events to capture the overall win in the 1976 Rolex 24 At Daytona is the latest addition to the exhibit of overall Rolex 24 At Daytona championship cars that will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the twice-around-the-clock challenge on Jan. 28-29.
After witnessing the speed of the BMW when winning with Haywood in 1975, Peter Gregg entered the No. 59 BMW 3.5 CSL with Brian Redman. Gregg started the pole-winning BMW and the car ran into the night with the lead. During his night shift, Gregg became ill and co-driver Brian Redman pulled a double stint. John Fitzpatrick, driving the team’s sister No. 2 BMW, was brought over to fill-in for the ailing Gregg.
A mysterious issue of water in the fuel developed for many of the cars, including the No. 59 BMW. The race was stopped for almost three hours as the problem was solved. Once the race was restarted, the No. 59 BMW drove to victory and Gregg became the first driver to win three consecutive runnings of the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
The. No. 59 BMW 3.5 CSL joins the growing field of prestigious championship cars previously announced in the exhibit:
• The No. 96 Arciero Racing Lotus-Climax 19B from the inaugural Rolex 24 (then known as the Daytona Continental) in 1962
• 1966 Rolex 24-winning No. 98 Ford GT Mark II
• 1968 Rolex 24-winning Porsche 907
• 1969 Rolex 24-winning No. 6 Lola T70 Chevrolet
• 1970 Rolex 24-winning No. 2 Gulf Porsche 917
• 1977 Rolex 24-winning No. 43 Porsche 911 RSR
• 1978 Rolex 24-winning No. 99 Porsche 935
• 1981 Rolex 24-winning No. 9 Bob Garretson’s Style Auto Porsche 935
• 1982 Rolex 24-winning No. 18 JLP Porsche 935
• The Preston Henn Porsches from the 1983 and 1985 Rolex 24s
• 1984 Rolex 24-winning No. 00 Kreepy Krauly Porsche-March
• 1993 Rolex 24-winning No. 98 Eagle GTP
• 1994 Rolex 24-winning No. 76 Nissan 300ZX-Turbo
• 1995 Rolex 24-winning No. 10 Kremer Porsche K8 Spyder
• 1996 Rolex 24-winning No. 4 Oldsmobile Riley & Scott Mk III
• 1997 Rolex 24-winning No. 20 Ford Riley & Scott Mk III
• 1999 Rolex 24-winning No. 20 Ford Riley & Scott Mk III
• 2000 Rolex 24-winning No. 91 Dodge Viper GTS-R
• 2001 Rolex 24-winning No. 2 Chevrolet Corvette
• 2002 Rolex 24-winning No. 27 Dallara Judd
• 2003 Rolex 24-winning No. 67 Porsche GT3RS
• 2004 Rolex 24-winning No. 54 Pontiac Doran
• 2005 Rolex 24-winning No. 10 Pontiac Riley
• 2009 Rolex 24-winning No. 58 Porsche Riley
• 2010 Rolex 24-winning No. 9 Porsche Riley
• 2007, 2008 and 2011 Rolex 24-winning No. 01 BMW Riley
To view the complete list online, visit http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/Vanity-Pages/50th-Rolex-24/50-Years-of-Champions-Display.aspx. Additional cars will be announced as they are secured to be part of this one-of-a-kind exhibit.
In addition to the 50th anniversary exhibit during the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the championship cars will also be on display at the Rolex 50 Years of Champions, a charity gala on Thursday night, January 26th at the Ocean Center. Daytona International Speedway has partnered with the Halifax Health Foundation to host the event with the admissions proceeds benefiting the Halifax Health Foundation, which includes the area’s only Level II Trauma Center. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Halifax Health Foundation office at (386) 254-4111.
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.