Dec 07 | Michael Waltrip Learns a New Way Around Daytona

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Two-time Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip familiarized himself with the twist and turns of the 3.56-mile road course on the final day of a two-day December Rolex 24 At Daytona test.

Michael Waltrip

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Two-time Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip knows every inch of the 2.5-mile tri-oval of Daytona International Speedway.

On Wednesday, Waltrip familiarized himself with the twist and turns of the 3.56-mile road course on the final day of a two-day December Rolex 24 At Daytona test.

Waltrip, an owner and driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with Michael Waltrip Racing, tested a Porsche GT3 with TRG as he prepares to compete in his first start in the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 28-29.

He will co-drive a Ferrari 458 GT in the 50th anniversary of the twice-around-the-clock challenge with Rob Kauffman, co-owner at Michael Waltrip Racing, four-time North American rally champion Travis Pastrana and road racing veteran Rui Aguas.

The AF Waltrip Ferrari entry is a joint project between multiple sports car championship winning team AF Corse and Michael Waltrip Racing. With the Ferrari being shipped to United States, Waltrip wanted to get a jump on learning the Daytona road course prior to January’s Roar Before The Rolex 24 testing session by hopping in a TRG Porsche.

“It’s so weird for me,” Waltrip said during the lunch break. “When I hit the banks, I’m like, ‘Cool, I know this part.’ When you get to the end of pit road, instead of entering the track like I’ve done for 25 years, I exit the track. The infield is fun and challenging. I’ve only made one run. I know where the turns are now so we’ll just try to improve our lap times.”

Since cutting back on his NASCAR schedule, Waltrip has been competing in sports car events in Europe such as the 24 Hour of LeMans and Spa in Belgium. But the Rolex 24 has always been on his to-do list, especially after watching his brother Darrell compete in an Aston Martin Prototype with A.J. Foyt in the 1983 Rolex 24.

“I’ve always wanted to do the things my brother did and I’ve always wanted to do this race,” Waltrip said.

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.

Nasr update: British Formula 3 champion Felipe Nasr, the Sunoco Rolex 24 At Daytona Challenge winner, proved he is a quick learner of Daytona International Speedway. The 19-year-old Nasr, a native of Brazil, is turning his first laps at Daytona during this week’s test with Action Express Racing, overall champions from the 2010 Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Nasr posted the top unofficial time on the first day of testing among Daytona Prototype drivers and was fastest again during the morning session on the second day.

“I didn’t expect to be that quick, but I have to thank Ozz Negri because his tips are what helped be that quick,” Nasr said. “I think I did quite well adapting to the different car, but I expect to get better.”

Nasr captured the 2012 Sunoco Daytona Challenge after scoring the top average point score out of 100 racers who signed up to the Challenge from the three eligible series in Europe; the Avon Tyres British GT Championship, Britcar MSA British Endurance Championship and the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series.

Nasr’s prize is a fully funded seat with a to-be-determined team in the 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 28-29.

Next up: This week’s two-day December Rolex 24 At Daytona test featured more than 25 cars including the debut of three new Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Protoypes, three new Ferrari F458 Italia  Grand Ams and the American testing debut of the Audi R8 GRAND-AM.

Teams not testing this week will have the opportunity to shake down their new cars at Daytona on Monday, Dec. 19 prior to the Roar Before The Rolex 24 on Jan. 6-8.

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.

Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter (www.twitter.com/disupdates) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/DaytonaInternationalSpeedway).

Dec 07 | Where in the World are the 1972, 1979 and 1998 Rolex 24 At Daytona Overall Champion Cars?

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The whereabouts of three legendary cars remains elusive and officials at Daytona International Speedway are turning to sports car fans, industry partners and media representatives to help locate these past champions.

Mario Andretti

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The effort to assemble the most unique collection of overall Rolex 24 At Daytona championship cars to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the twice-around-the-clock challenge on Jan. 28-29 is well underway and 25 cars have already been secured.  However, the whereabouts of three legendary cars remains elusive and officials at Daytona International Speedway are turning to sports car fans, industry partners and media representatives to help locate these past champions.

The missing cars are:
• The 1998-winning Ferrari 333SP, driven by Gianpiero Moretti, Arie Luyendyk, Mauro Baldi and Didier Theys.  It was Moretti’s first Rolex 24 win on his 15th attempt.
• The 1972-winning Ferrari 312PB driven by Mario Andretti and Jacky Ickx. Andretti and Ickx were able to win the race despite losing a cylinder.
• The 1979 Interscope Porsche driven by Hurley Haywood, Danny Ongais and Ted Field. The car delivered the fourth of Haywood’s five overall Rolex 24 wins.

An official hotline number (386) 681-5343 and e-mail Rolex24cars@daytonainternationalspeedway.com have been set up and those with information on the location of these cars are encouraged to contact the speedway. 

Thus far, Daytona International Speedway has announced the following championship cars that will be part of this unique, one-of-a-kind display to celebrate the 50th Rolex 24 At Daytona:

• 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 Rolex24-winning No. 6 Lola T70 Chevrolet
• 1970 Rolex 24-winning No. 2 Gulf Porsche 917
• 1977 Rolex 24-winning No. 43 Porsche 911 RSR
• 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

Additional cars will be announced as 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.

Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter (www.twitter.com/disupdates) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/DaytonaInternationalSpeedway).

 

Dec 07 | Corvette, Audis, Ferraris Highlight Day 1 of December Rolex 24 Test

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A trio of new Corvette Daytona Prototypes shared the spotlight with new cars from Ferrari and Audi as a two-day GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series test opened in preparation for the 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- A trio of new Corvette Daytona Prototypes shared the spotlight with new cars from Ferrari and Audi as a two-day GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series test opened at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 28-29, 2012.

Testing concludes Tuesday, with cars on track from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

One of the most eagerly anticipated debuts at the test was the new Ferrari 458 Italia Grand Am, of which there were three at Daytona on Tuesday. Jeff Segal and Emil Assentato, the 2009 Rolex Series GT co-champions, will share a Ferrari 458 Italia for the entire 2012 season with AIM Autosport, and Segal and longtime co-driver Nick Longhi turned the car’s first laps on Tuesday.

Risi Competizione (with drivers Raphael Matos and Toni Vilander) and Extreme Speed Motorsports (Scott Sharp, Ed Brown, Guy Cosmo and Johannes van Overbeek) ran their first Rolex Series test with the Ferrari F458 Italia Grand Am as well. Also making its Daytona debut was the new Audi R8 GRAND-AM, which was being put through its paces by Audi factory driver Frank Stippler.

Stealing the spotlight in DP was Felipe Nasr, who was quickest in the unofficial session driving the No. 58 Action Express Porsche/Riley at 1:41.286. The 2011 British Formula 3 champion, Nasr outpointed drivers from three European series to win the Sunoco Rolex 24 At Daytona Challenge, earning a DP drive and testing for the Rolex 24.

Action Express Motorsports had a pair of new Corvette DPs, the No. 5 for David Donohue and Darren Law, joining the No. 9 of Joao Barbosa, Terry Borcheller and JC France. Max Angelelli and Ricky Taylor debuted the No. 10 SunTrust Corvette DP. Antonio Garcia and Oliver Gavin returned in the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP that was unveiled at Daytona three weeks ago.

Noteworthy
-- Defending Rolex 24 class winner Spencer Pumpelly led the GT class with a lap of 1:49.437 in the No. 67 TRG Porsche GT3. The No. 67 is one of five Porsches being fielded at the test by TRG.

-- In the lone incident of the seven-hour session, Gary St. Amour went off course in the chicane and damaged the front end of the No. 55 Acumen Motorsport Porsche GT3. The car has been repaired and will be ready for Wednesday’s session.

-- Michael Marsal filled in for Paul Dalla Lana in the No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW M3, joining Bill Auberlen and Boris Said. Dalla Lana, who had a business commitment, recently became the first GRAND-AM driver to win the prestigious BMW Sports Trophy as the marquee’s top independent driver. He came out on top in a field of 235 participants to win the award, presented for the 50th time at BMW headquarters in Munich, Germany.

-- Two-time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip is expected to test a TRG Porsche GT3 on Wednesday. AF Waltrip, being run in collaboration with Italy’s AF Corse team, has already entered a Ferrari F458 Italia Grand Am in the Rolex 24.

-- The new Racers Edge Motorsports Dodge Viper did not participate in Tuesday’s session as the team worked at its DeLand, Fla. shop on the car’s new paddle shift system. The bright red Viper arrived at the track late Tuesday afternoon, and is expected to test on Wednesday.

The Quotes:
-- “Wow! I didn’t expect these cars to be so quick. Obviously this is a big difference from F3 with the weight, the power and the brakes, but I found this car awesome to drive. This is such a great series and I absolutely can’t wait to race here. The Action Express team did a great getting the car ready and I absolutely have to thank Ozz Negri for all of his help. I had such a great day today.”  Felipe Nasr, No. 58 Action Express Racing Porsche/Riley

-- “This has been a thrash, because we only got the new Ferrari three days ago. But we felt it was important for us to be here and learn more about the car. That will make the January test more productive and have us better prepared for the Rolex 24. This is a big step for Extreme Speed Motorsports, and it’s nice to have all four drivers in one car. Winning the Rolex 24 (in 1996) was one of my highest accolades. The depth of drivers here is unbelievable, and it’s very prestigious to be part of it.” Scott Sharp, No. 03 Extreme Speed Motorsports Ferrari 458 Italia Grand Am.

-- “We still have to sort some things out because this is the first time the car’s been out here with the new specifications regarding the aero and downforce. I really would like to drive the Rolex 24 and I would love if everything works out, but nothing has been finalized yet. There are a lot of interesting manufacturers in GRAND-AM like Ferrari, BMW and Porsche and it’s great that Audi is going to compete with them.” Frank Stippler, No. 51 Audi R8 GRAND-AM

-- "It’s good to be back in the Rolex Series, and I’m happy to be here with Magnus Racing. They’re one of the youngest teams in the paddock that wants to win the most. It’s been a productive day. John Potter, who will be my co-driver for the season, was fast right out of the box this morning, and that’s extremely encouraging for a team looking to contend for the championship.” Andy Lally, No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche GT3.

-- “This is Ferrari from the factory making a statement, saying, ‘We care about the Rolex 24. We want to win this race. We’ve designed a car for this series. Let’s go do it.’ You’re only going to see four teams here at the Rolex 24 representing Ferrari. To be driving one of those four cars is amazing. It’s the experience of a lifetime.”  Jeff Segal, No. 69 AIM Autosport Ferrari F458 Italia Grand Am

-- “There’s a long way to go between now and the Rolex 24, but we’re certainly going to take a shot at repeating our GT victory. Spencer (Pumpelly) and I are going to race the full season in the Rolex Series, and TRG is an incredible team. This is a brand new car, and it’s been quick right out of the box. It’s great to see all the new cars out there – the new Ferraris are going to be tough.” Steve Bertheau, No. 67 TRG Porsche GT3

-- “The last time I drove here was in 2007 and I have to tell you, I have done some PA announcing here, but being in the car is a lot cooler. You get here at Daytona and the first lap you’re just feeling out the changes; the second lap you go a little faster; the third lap you start to grin; and about the seventh or eighth lap I was like – I love this place! Depending on how we do and some sponsorship we may be able to run the whole season. This whole team came together about 14 months ago. We have a car, we have a team, we have the bits and pieces. We had a little excursion today, but those things happen. We’ll be back out tomorrow.” Frank DelVecchio, No. 55 Acumen Motorsport Porsche GT3

Coming Up:

The next official activity for the Rolex Series will be the Roar Before the Rolex 24 test at Daytona International Speedway on Jan. 6-8. The 2012 Rolex Series opens with the Jan 28-29 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Dec 06 | 1994 Rolex 24 Overall Champion No. 76 Nissan 300ZX-Turbo Joins the 50th Anniversary Display

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The No. 76 Nissan 300ZX-Turbo that was driven to the overall win in the 1994 Rolex 24 At Daytona by Paul Gentilozzi, Scott Pruett, Butch Leitzinger and Steve Millen is the latest addition to the display of overall Rolex 24 championship cars to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the twice-around-the-clock challenge on January 28-29.

Scott Pruett

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The No. 76 Nissan 300ZX-Turbo that was driven to the overall win in the 1994 Rolex 24 At Daytona by Paul Gentilozzi, Scott Pruett, Butch Leitzinger and Steve Millen is the latest addition to the display of overall Rolex 24 championship cars to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the twice-around-the-clock challenge on January 28-29.

The No. 76 Nissan 300ZX-Turbo was steady throughout the 1994 Rolex 24 covering 707 laps, 2,516.92 miles and averaging 104.80 mph. Leading for all but 111 laps, including the final 427, the team’s margin of victory was a dominating 24 laps.

Entered as a partnership between Gentilozzi and Clayton Cunningham, the Nissan 300ZX-Turbo scored the first overall win in the Rolex 24 for a GT car since 1983 and the first win for a front-engine car since 1976.

“The biggest thing for me was the fact that we ran that race virtually problem free,” Pruett said of the 1994 victory, the first of his four – to date – triumphs in the prestigious sports car race. “We didn’t have an issue. That was probably the first time I ran that race that something didn’t happen to the car that we had to take care of.”

The No. 76 Nissan 300ZX-Turbo joins the 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
• 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
• 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

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 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.

Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter (www.twitter.com/disupdates) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/DaytonaInternationalSpeedway).

Dec 05 | Sunoco Rolex 24 At Daytona Challenge Winner Felipe Nasr Ready For His First Laps Around Daytona

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British Formula 3 champion Felipe Nasr, the Sunoco Rolex 24 At Daytona Challenge winner, got his first look at the historic high banks of Daytona International Speedway.

Felipe Nasr

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – British Formula 3 champion Felipe Nasr, the Sunoco Rolex 24 At Daytona Challenge winner, got his first look at the historic high banks of Daytona International Speedway on Monday afternoon.

Nasr, a native of Brazil, took a tour of the legendary racing facility, met with Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III and rode in a passenger car with Rolex Sports Car Series veteran Oswaldo Negri.

“I have no words to describe,” said the 19-year-old Nasr. “It’s amazing. It’s something completely different that you can’t find in Europe or Brazil.”

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Nasr will hit the track and participate in the 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona December test session with Action Express Racing, overall champions from the 2010 Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Nasr captured the 2012 Sunoco Daytona Challenge after scoring the top average point score out of 100 racers who signed up to the Challenge from the three eligible series in Europe; the Avon Tyres British GT Championship, Britcar MSA British Endurance Championship and the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series.

Nasr’s prize is a fully funded seat with a to-be-determined team in the 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 28-29.

“When I was a kid, I was always playing video games on this track and now I’m here,” Nasr said. “It’s a big change. Tomorrow will be my first experience here and I’m really looking forward to it.

“I know the circuit is such a famous one. If you look around, you can see it’s definitely got some history and I’m pretty sure I’m going to enjoy (this test).”

During the upcoming two-day test, Negri will serve as a driving coach to Nasr. Much like Nasr, Negri began racing in British Formula 3 before moving onto Indy Lights and GRAND-AM, where he currently competes for Michael Shank Racing.

“Felipe is probably one of the most talented up-and-coming Brazilian drivers,” Negri said. “To win the British Formula 3 championship, not just anyone can do that. He’s proved to be special by winning the championship. He’s going to have a great time here. It’s one of the best places to be. The DP (Daytona Prototype) car is great fun to drive. I’ll help him as much as I can so he will have the best experience here at Daytona.”

Rolex 24 testing scheduled 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday. A section of the Oldfield Grandstands will be open free to the public with access available through the lobby of the Daytona International Speedway ticket office.

For more information on the Sunoco Rolex 24 At Daytona Challenge, visit www.sunocodaytonachallenge.com

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.

Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter (www.twitter.com/disupdates) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/DaytonaInternationalSpeedway).

Dec 02 | Rolex 24 Flashback: 1976: Redman's Feat of Endurance

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Ask Brian Redman how many times he's won the 24 Hours of Daytona, and he isn't entirely sure.

1976 Rolex 24

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Ask Brian Redman how many times he's won the 24 Hours of Daytona, and he isn't entirely sure. He used to settle on two – 1976 and '81 – but these days he's more likely to take credit for the 36 laps he did in the winning Porsche 917 in 1970 and call it three. Yet ask him which of his victories he counts as his favorite, and there are no doubts. It has to be 1976 and his triumph with the factory BMW team.

And for good reason, too. Not only did BMW dominate with its 3.5-liter CSL, but the car driven by Redman, the late Peter Gregg and John Fitzpatrick led for most of the way. What's more, former grand prix driver Redman did the lion's share of the driving in the winning car. The British driver spent 14 hours behind the wheel, which turned out to be pretty much two thirds of the actual race, because that was the year that contamination of the official fuel supply resulted in the event being halted for three hours on Sunday morning.

"At the end I was absolutely exhausted," recalls Redman. "There is a photograph somewhere of the podium with Peter, with his arms around the two race queens, looking immaculate because he'd barely been in the car. I am standing at one side looking like his grandfather. I got back to the hotel, fell asleep in the bath and woke up at 2 a.m."

The IMSA-spec CSL, already an overall winner at the previous season's Sebring 12 Hours with Redman on the driving roster, was the car to have at Daytona that year. There were no prototypes as part of the organizers' drive to realign the race for Grand Tourers and American stockers, and the straight-six machine was more than a match for the Porsche 911 Carrera RSR that had won Daytona 12 months before.

Redman claimed pole position by a shade under a second from teammate David Hobbs, and the BMW squad sat atop the leaderboard from early in the race after a brief challenge from John Greenwood's "SuperCorvette." The Porsche RSR driven by Al Holbert and Claude Ballot-Lena kept the "Bimmers" in sight until the early evening, after which the three CSLs – two factory and a single semi-works entry all entered under the BMW North America banner – had things pretty much their own way.

Redman and Gregg built up a clear lead during the night when the car Hobbs shared with visiting NASCAR star Benny Parsons ran into gearbox problems and the British-run, Hermetite-backed machine was delayed by a broken distributor.

It wasn't all plain sailing for Redman and Gregg. First, Gregg became ill, placing a heavy burden on his teammate and eventually resulting in John Fitzpatrick being drafted into the lineup from the Hermetite entry.

Even more worrying for BMW was an engine problem ¬– and quite a major one at that.

"The remarkable thing about that car is that at something like four in the morning it went onto five cylinders after losing part of a valve," explains Redman. "I continued driving flat out, using 9000rpm, and was still faster than the best of the Porsche RSRs.

"Sometimes those six-cylinder engines would break after an hour. They had a problem with the damping of the crankshaft. Other times they would run forever."

Redman and his teammates had a lead of more than 50 miles when water in the official fuel supply caused havoc for approximately 10 of the cars left running shortly after nine in the evening. The leading BMW was one of the first to be affected, and Redman remembers the car grinding to halt three times during a lap that he was convinced was going to deprive him of a first true victory in the 24 Hours.

"It stopped almost immediately after refueling and I had to bleed the system to get going again," he says. "It stopped on the infield and again on the banking. The final time I had to borrow some jump leads to restart the car.

"Just as I got back to the pits, they stopped the race. Fortunately the results were put back, which meant we were leading again when they restarted the race."

With the BMW's fuel system bled and the rogue gasoline taken out of circulation, the BMW resumed its relentless progress for the final three-hour run to the flag. The final margin of victory over the Holbert Porsche was 14 laps.

Redman was the hero of Daytona '76, but local boy Gregg, now a three-time winner of the race, took the plaudits from the local media.

"I got taken apart by him on the public relations front," remembers Redman, who was already firmly established in the U.S. courtesy of two Formula 5000 titles. "The headline in the Daytona Beach paper on Saturday morning was 'Gregg wins pole.' Well, actually, Gregg's car won pole."

Redman's post-race exhaustion meant he missed BMW's victory celebrations on Sunday evening.

"When I apologized to BMW Motorsport boss Jochen Neerpasch the next morning, he said, 'Oh well, it doesn't matter. Peter Gregg gave a fantastic speech and thanked all the mechanics personally by name in German.' I thought, 'Wonderful!'"

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