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The equipment of the Prototype Daytona No.01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Lexus Riley, integrated by the American Scott Pruett, the Mexican Red Memo, the Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya and the Scot Darío Franchitti, was raised with the victory in edition 46 of 24 Rolex AT Daytona, first date of the championship of the Series Grand-A.m. Rolex Sports Car presented by Crown Royal Cask no. 16, disputed east weekend in the mixed circuit of the Daytona International Speedway (3.560 miles).
Scott Pruett, the Mexican Red Memo, the Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya and the Scot Darío Franchitti celebrate the triumph
This with is the third consecutive triumph for the equipment Chip Ganassi Racing Felix Sabates in Rolex 24 AT Daytona, and so it becomes unique escudería that has obtained similar feat in the era of the Daytona Prototypes. For Pruett and Montoya this is his second consecutive victory in the classic race of resistance. Montoya is the unique pilot who has gained Rolex 24 in his two first participation. The last year, Pruett and Montoya, made equipment with the Mexican Salvador Durán in the winning machine. For Rojas and Franchitti, this is the first victory in the 24 hours of Daytona.
Franchitti, that this year will compete in Series Sprint of NASCAR, comes to win less than in a year, Indy 500, the championship of the IndyCar Series, and a triumph in its class in the 12 Hours of Sebring.
“Your last victory always is the best one”, said Pruett that has secured to 15 victories in the Rolex Series and innumerable triumphs in its race in motoring. “This was hard. There were really hard, fast cars; but all did a great work handling the car. You always must handle thoroughly. The conditions were really difficult because it rained, soon was dried, soon there was a little humidity and we had to happen of rims of dunked to dry and that caused that it was a really hard race. In my opinion this is one of the races of 24 hours more difficult of the world and is a true test of men, machines and equipment because you can appreciate all the effort that is put in the factory to put the cars in the track and soon when we arrived … here it is similar challenge and he is simply fantastic”.
The No.01 car crosses the victorious goal in Daytona
“I feel very moved”, added Red, whose father ran three decades ago in the 24 hours of Daytona. “First that nothing wanted to thank for my teammates. And as Scott said, it was part than we had to do, each of us had to act a specific as in this race and was very important to maintain the car in the track; as they could see the difference between good and an evil result could be to maintain the car in the track, and I feel happy that here we are”.
“He was exciting. The past year I felt that we had a car more hard. Car that you thought that without mattering what happened we would be sufficiently fast to win. This year, if it had been thus, had been much more hard. Fodder that everything came out very well. We press much. Each turn that I was in the car, I pressed really hard. It is a good way to begin the season. Have to Darío, Scott and Memo in the car … each made its part. All we worked, we did what we needed to do”.
This it is the third consecutive triumph of the Lexus motor in the prestigious event, and so it happens to head the list like the first manufacturer who raises at the most high of podio in three followed times since she did it to Porsche between 1985 and 1987. This is the fifth race of Lexus in 24 Rolex and its victory 18 in the general of an event of the Daytona Prototypes since it entered to the category in 2004.
The champions of the Daytona Prototypes of 2007 arrived in the second position
In the second position, the equipment No.99 GAINSCO Bob Stalling/Riley-Mathew crossed the goal del that comprised the champions of the Daytona Prototypes of 2007, Alex Gurney and John Fogarty, that they were accompanied by the ex- champion of the Series Champ Car Jimmy Vasser (1996), and by the bichampion of Glass Sprint of NASCAR, Jimmy Johnson. Although they took a good amount of record, triumphs and titles the last season, the 24 hours of Daytona - in which they had obtained pole position- slipped to them of the hands. This is until the moment its better location in the famous race that is run in sense in opposition to the small hands of the clock.
“This is Rolex 24. It is the great race”, said Gurney. “It is very difficult to happen through everything without committing errors. I feel proud of being able to run with these boys. All of them did an excellent work. I amused much. He is a little dissapointing that we have not been able to gain a victory. We were watching the table of positions all along to see the 01 and ours, to know any thing that could go badly and put that us to the front. We waited for it but it did not work; but we are in good form by the championship”
Gorgeous nocturnal postcard of the 24 hours
“We are a little disappointed after our days of test and our effort of classification”, added Fogarty when counting its experience in the race. “All we watched the eyes and we said that a result between the five first would be huge. We were being convinced same. But all we were deceived and wanted to gain this thing. It is good. We are after the championship and certainly we are On guard to obtain it”.
The third position was of podio was occupied by the No.9 Penske-Taylor Racing Pontiac Riley, whose pilots they were the twice winning one of the 500 miles of Indianapolis, the Brazilian Castroneves Helium, the runner of Glass Sprint of NASCAR, Kart Busch and the Australian of the IndyCar Series, Ryan Briscoe.
“A rim at the beginning of the race was deflated to me and I could take the car (to pits) without much damage. Unfortunately that left a return down us. This type of race is not putting in many problems. As they can see, the winner did not have problem some. To have realized east project in six weeks with Wayne Taylor, it is an incredible result and we are extremely happy for finishing third parties”.
Both cars of Krohn Racing journey the track of Daytona
The Brazilian Ricardo Zonta, ex- pilot of F1 for that this was not only his first race in the Daytona Prototypes, but his first competition long play, finished in the fourth position of the competition. Zonta made equipment with the experienced pilot of sport cars, the Swedish NIC Jönsson, and with the Briton Darren Turner to the controls of the car No.76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley.
The equipment that had done pole position of the race with the No.60 car Michael Shank Racing Ford Riley in which the Brazilian Oswaldo Negri, the South African Mark Patterson, the Justin Briton Wilson and the American Graham Rahal competed, finished in the sixth square to 15 returns of the winner, after a competition of low stops and that was dominated among others to things by the constant climatic changes that defied runners and escuderías thanks to a rain that went and came.
“This is part of the race of 24 hours, was above, was down, but we faced up and we finished to him in sixth place”, commented Negri. “The equipment never surrendered, the mechanics did a good work with a fantastic motor that gave Ford us, with the aid of the boys of Yachts. Pole of was pretty yesterday, it would have changed but it today by a Rolex clock”.
Lamentably the equipment of Milka Duno retired by a mechanical failure
The car with number 11 of the equipment SAMAX Pontiac Riley in which Venezuelan pilot Milka Duno had to run, retired by motor problems before the Venezuelan runner could sit down to the steering wheel of her machine. Duno - that the past year raised the second place of podio next to the members of its square in this occasion made equipment with Ryan Dalziel, Takings Enge and Harold Primat.
“It is a very great disappointment”, commented resigned Milka Duno. “As much preparation and effort that did not have reward by a mechanical failure. The problems in the motor went aggravating from the first hour of the race and to the few minutes of the turn of Takings (Enge), it stopped working. They brought it to the car to pits, but the damage was irreversible”.
The second car of the equipment Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates of which they comprised the Mexican Salvador Durán, the British Gives Wheldon and Alex Lloyd, and the New Zealand Scott Dixon, did not finish the race. Its car, that took no. 02 retired in return 515.
Mazda RX8 course to the victory against numerous Porsche GT3 Cup
In the category of the GT, the winner was the car No.70 SpeedSource Mazda RX8 handled by Sylvain Tremblay, David Haskell, Nick Ham and Raphael Matos.
The second place of the GT was occupied by the pilots of escudería No.66 TRG Porsche GT3 Cup de Andy Lally, Bryce Miller, Ted Ballou and Richard Westbrook.
The third step of podio of the GT occupied the runners of the car No.67 TRG Porsche GT3 Cup lead by Spencer Pumpelly, Tim George Jr, Bryan Sellers, Romaní Dumas and Emmanuel Collard.
TRG that registered several cars occupied three of the first four positions in their category.
The race had a total of 24 flags of precaution for a total of 95 turns. The event counted on 695 returns of race.
The next appointment of the Series Rolex Sports Car will be Saturday 29 of March in the circuit of the Homestead Miami Speedway in Florida, the United States.

Source: Average Racing
Photos:, - Copyright © 2008 - All rights reserved

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