Bell’s name will forever be associated with Le Mans, but his record at Daytona during the peak of his sports car career is phenomenal. In eight starts in the 1980s, he claimed three victories and four runner-up spots.
The Indycar legend refound a love for sports car racing late in his career. The Texan became a regular at Daytona in the ’80s and ended up winning twice and finishing second twice in six years.
‘Peter Perfect’ remains the greatest driver-entrant in Daytona history with his Brumos Racing concern. No one else has won three Daytonas on the trot in his own cars, starting in 1973 (see left). A fourth win followed in ’78.
Five wins in a 24 Hours career spanning five decades mean Haywood is rightly regarded as ‘Mr Daytona’. A race without him is unthinkable, so it’s only right he’s entering this year’s 50th anniversary event aged 63.
Al Holbert Jr
Holbert was the ultimate driver-engineer according to just about everyone who raced with him. There would undoubtedly have been more than two victories but for his untimely death in 1988.
Pruett first won at Daytona in 1994, but with Chip Ganassi’s squad his sports car career has blossomed. A further three wins in the Daytona Prototype era mean he can equal Haywood’s record tally this year.
Redman claimed three victories in the Daytona 24 Hours, but it is his 14 hours out of 21 in the shortened 1976 race aboard the winning BMW that makes him one of the true heroes of the event.
Lists of sports car greats inevitably include the elder Rodríguez brother. Four victories in a classic such as Daytona, scored with Ferrari and then Porsche, mean there’s no leaving him out of this one.
The Briton was a trooper of a sports car driver, the man you wanted in the car when the chips were down. He won with Jaguar and twice in Dyson Riley & Scotts, but could and perhaps should have won more.
‘Brilliant Bob’ never won the 24 Hours at Le Mans, but he made a habit of winning its American counterpart. The late Frenchman was one of the top Daytona drivers of the 1980s and early ’90s.