WHAT All-time winners at the Daytona 24 Hours WHERE Daytona International Speedway WHEN A lot of years, and in a lot of different ways
1 Four-timer Pedro
917 to victory in
1970 and ’ 71, after
in NART Ferraris.
eight-hour stint in
this Porsche 911 in
1977 (he changed
helmets to fool the
the way to his
third of five wins.
3 While happy to
blend into Chip
cast, Scott Pruett’s
steady hand was
key to his fifth win
and another set of
Rolexes for the
team this January.
R. D. Ethan/LAT
cott Pruett’s latest Rolex 24 at Daytona
triumph was a landmark addition to his
career, tying him with Hurley Haywood
for the all-time record of five wins at the
Florida enduro and moving him clear of an
illustrious quartet of four-time winners.
Winning in endurance racing needs
teammates who can consistently deliver,
too. Yet the remaining drivers in Daytona’s
four-timer club played a role in just
three of the 10 victories accumulated
by Pruett and Haywood.
Peter Gregg partnered with Haywood
to win in 1973 and ’ 75 in Porsche 911s,
part of a remarkable stretch by ”Peter
Perfect” that saw him in Victory Lane
four times in six years. He and Haywood
alternated as winners through much of
the ’70s. Haywood also scored in the
prototype era, sharing the winning
Porsche 962 in 1991 with another of the
four-time winners, Bob Wollek.
Fittingly, Haywood was on hand as
grand marshal of this year’s race to see
his all-time winner’s mark equaled.
Pedro Rodriguez, meanwhile,
accounted for a good portion of his
international racing fame at Daytona with
a pair of back-to-back triumphs, the first
two in its pre-24-hour days. Driving solo
in a NART Ferrari 250 GTO, the Mexican
ace won in 1963 when the event was
limited to three hours and scored again in
the same car the following year teamed
with Phil Hill, when it was expanded to
2000 kilometers. Then, after joining the
Gulf Porsche squad in 1970, he helped
John Wyer’s team score crushing
victories with its World Championship of
Makes-winning 917K two years running.
It’s reasonable to assume he would have
pushed further up the all-time rankings at
Daytona had fate not intruded: Rodriguez
died in a Ferrari 512M at Germany’s
Norisring street track later in ’ 71.
The other three four-time winners
were also struck down in their prime –
Gregg, tragically, by his own hand in
1980; Rolf Stommelen in a crash of his
Porsche 935 at Riverside a year after
his final Daytona victory in 1982; and
Wollek, perhaps the most cruelly of all, in
a bicycle accident while riding out of
Sebring International Raceway in 2001.
If five Rolex 24
wins are a mighty
what to make of
tally of eight 24
Hours of Le Mans
beneficiary of a
with Le Mans titan
Audi, returns for a
shot at a ninth win
with the German
marque at the
Sarthe this June.
CLAIM TO FAME
118 SPRING 2013