riley’s new prototype is arguably even more handsome than the corvette. (BeLOW) Hurley Haywood, the only five-time winner of Daytona’s 24-hour race.
Follow the 2012 Rolex 24 at Daytona
with regular updates throughout, on
problems and Penske’s Porsche retired, so Peter Gregg and I
won by more than 20 laps. I guess people thought it was a
fluke, but we backed it up with a win at the 12 Hours of Sebring
and that sort of propelled me into the international limelight.”
Of the five drivers with four wins, unfortunately, only Scott
Pruett – three times a winner in the last five years – is still living.
The others are Pedro Rodriguez, Bob Wollek, Rolf Stommelen
and Gregg. A quartet of modern day icons has three wins apiece.
Expect Bell, Brian Redman, Andy Wallace and Butch Leitzinger
to all attend Daytona this year, but only the latter two are likely
to strap on a helmet and firesuit for this rendition.
Early race winners read like a proverbial sports car hall of
fame (Dan Gurney, Rodriguez, Phil Hill, Vic Elford,
Stommelen, Donohue, Hans Herrmann,
and the list goes on), while two American
racing icons – Mario Andretti and A.J.
Foyt – have a win apiece at Daytona (1972
and ’83, respectively).
Of the race result upsets, TRG’s 2003
win is perhaps the greatest, yet it followed
other non-prototype wins in 2000 and ’01,
when the GTS-class Dodge Viper and Chevy
Corvette C5.R took advantage of the
Sports Racer Prototypes hitting problems.
second-most by a manufacturer in the
race’s history and the only non-engine
manufacturer to claim the overall spoils
more than once. However, the gap
between Porsche and the second engine
manufacturer is far greater. Ferrari has
five prior wins, most coming in the ’60s
followed by a single triumph for its
venerable and voluptuous 333SP V12
prototype in ’98.
Haywood, with five overall wins, sets
the mark ahead of five drivers with four,
and while all his wins had special
elements, his first in 1973 stood out for
where it took him in his career.
“Our car that first year was entered by
Brumos Porsche, and Roger Penske’s
sister car had Mark Donohue and George
Follmer at the wheel,” he recalls. “With a
bunch of prototypes from Mirage and Matra
heading the field, we never dreamed we
could win overall, but things just worked
out that way. The prototypes all ran into
“In ’ 73, the protoypes all ran into
problems and Penske’s Porsche
retired…So we won by 20 laps!”
GaINScO/Stallings owner Bob Stallings with is trio of heavyweight contenders Jon Fogarty, alex Gurney and Memo Gidley.
RINGERS ’ROUND THE ROVAL
Five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion
Jimmie Johnson won’t be back for the
first time since 2006, but that’s not to say
the field of “ringers” at this year’s Rolex
24 is anything short of soft.
Starworks Motorsport has made the
biggest splash in DP by adding sports car
stars Allan McNish and Lucas Luhr along
with IndyCar’s Tony Kanaan, Ryan
Hunter-Reay and EJ Viso to its two DPs.
Chip Ganassi Racing spreads its
IndyCar stars Scott Dixon, Dario
Franchitti and Graham Rahal, NASCAR’s
Jamie McMurray and Juan Montoya and
ALMS champion Joey Hand across its two
DPs. Naturally, a Penske driver will be
trying to beat them – this time Ryan
Briscoe in Sun Trust’s new Corvette.
Action Express once again brings in
Christian Fittipaldi and Max Papis to
bolster its lineup, while Memo Gidley
returns to DP for the first time since
2010, attempting to help GAINSCO/Bob
Stallings Racing secure its first D24