The AMA Pro Racing-sponsored team of Jeff Ward, Scott Russell, and Jason Pridmore completed the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in 11th place. The team suffered a near race-ending pit fire around noon on Sunday, with four hours left to complete.
“Mr. Daytona” Scott Russell had just climbed into the car when he smelled fuel. The crew lifted the deck lid and everything went up in smoke. Russell dived out of the car as a hail of fire extinguishing powder was aimed at the flaming vehicle.
The crew worked to clean up the mess and get the car back on the track, managing to complete 649 laps and cross the finish line in 11th place.
Daytona Prototype, and the equivalent American LeMans LMP1, are probably my favorite kind of four-wheel racing. For me it brings back the glory days of Can-Am McLarens, Jim Hall’s Chaparrals, the incredible Porsche 917, and the killer Ford GT40.
The late 1960s and early 1970s were a golden era orf sportscar racing, when technology and innovation came from iconic mavericks more than big corporations. Wild ideas were routinely tried on the race track, and being different was a badge of honor.
Sadly, that has all fallen away, much as has happened in motorcycling. Technology has come too far. We know the very best ways to do almost everything. And advantage is measured in milliseconds by onboard computers. But I still remember…