From the Motor Sport Archive
Chip Ganassi’s team scored a record sixth win in January’s Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona. All Ganassi’s wins have been recorded with Riley Daytona Prototype chassis, but this was the first with Ford’s new EcoBoost V6 turbo. The engine’s performance and reliability looked good and cast Ganassi’s team as a strong favourite to win this year’s Tudor United SportsCar Championship.
But it was Ganassi’s ‘second’ car that won, in the hands of Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson. Driven by Scott Pruett, Joey Hand, Charlie Kimball and Sage Karam, its regular title-chasing car dropped out barely 90 minutes from the end with clutch failure. Both cars ran at the front for most of the distance, until Pruett hit trouble, and it will be tough for anyone to stop Ganassi winning a sixth American sports car championship.
Last year’s Daytona winners João Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi and Sébastien Bourdais were a close second aboard one of Action Express’s two Coyote-Chevrolet Daytona Prototypes. Barbosa and Fittipaldi also won last year’s inaugural TUSC title and are likely to be Pruett and Ganassi’s most serious challengers. The Action Express team is run by NASCAR veteran Gary Nelson and highly experienced Scot Iain Watt. The team showed its strength by recovering a three-lap deficit after fuel pressure problems struck during the night. The car managed to get back on the lead lap and finished only 1.3sec in arrears after 24 hours.