FOUR HOURS REMAIN UNTIL CHAMPIONS ARE CROWNED
JANUARY 26, 2014
As the 52nd edition of the Rolex 24 At Daytona hit the 20-hour mark, drivers found themselves navigating the track under the 13th yellow flag of the race, the caution flag that signals drivers to slow down due to debris or other hazard on the track.
This iconic timed endurance race is a test of both man and machine; with the cooler temperatures and no early morning fog as has been customary in previous years, conditions have been ideal for racing. Teams have been running on slicks and the pace of the race has been very fast. Of the 67 entries, roughly a dozen are no longer on the circuit, and, realistically, roughly 10 are really in contention for a place on the podium. For the remainder of the cars still running, the goal is to finish the twice-around-the clock challenge – no small feat in itself.
As the Rolex 24 At Daytona approaches its final hours, two Prototype teams look well-positioned to become the first family of racing. The #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP driven by Ricky Taylor, his father Wayne and brother Jordan, along with long-time teammate Max Angelelli, are battling brothers Brian and Burt Frisselle who are driving the #9 Action Express Corvette DP with co-drivers John Martin and Fabien Giroix.
“The Rolex 24 At Daytona is a huge race that everyone wants to win,” said Christian Fittipaldi who is part of the four-man driving team handling the #5 Action Express Corvette DP which is also in striking distance of the podium at this point in the race. “Obviously our first concern is finishing the race, but as long as you are running consistently in the top two or three positions you have a 90% chance of winning. This year the regulations have changed for all of the classes and a lot of things are completely new to everyone and on top of that this year we are racing with 67 cars in the field which is at least 10 more than we are used to and are comfortable with. Believe it or not those last 10 or 15 cars make a big difference.”
“Even though I may be known for my racing in Formula 1, Indy cars and NASCAR, I have been doing endurance racing for a long time and have learned that you have to adapt to every situation. So what I try to do is use all my past experience in other forms of racing in order to improve myself while identifying the car’s characteristics and help develop the team for the future.”
Wearing the Rolex timepiece he won at the 2004 Rolex 24 At Daytona, Fittipaldi added: “I am hoping I get to win another one.”
The 52nd Rolex 24 At Daytona started at 1410 EST on Saturday, 25 January 2014. The winners will be presented with the coveted Rolex timepiece at the conclusion of racing on Sunday, 26 January 2014.
A partner of track racing in Daytona Beach from its beginnings in the late 1950s, Rolex has been Title Sponsor of this motor-sport legend since 1992. The Rolex 24 At Daytona celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012 – just one year ahead of the Cosmograph Daytona, the Rolex chronograph dedicated to racing drivers. On its launch in 1963, the watch brand baptized its new model “Cosmograph Daytona” to mark the connection with the Daytona International Speedway, the fastest American track of its era.