Daytona 24 Classic ... a packed racing programme between 13th and 17th November


Daytona, 13 – 17 November, 2019

The 2019 running of the 2019 Daytona 24 Classic provided both participants and visitors with a packed racing programme between Wednesday 13 November and Sunday 17 November, with, apart from all the practice and qualifying sessions, a sixteen race programme. This ran surprisingly well, despite a number of full course yellows, and rather chilly and sometimes misty weather conditions over the main 24 race schedule on the Saturday and Sunday. These conditions at least helped to keep drivers cool in the heat of the battle. The main 24 Classic races started from lunchtime on the Saturday running through to lunchtime on the Sunday, comprising of four races, each of 42mins duration, for each of the six race groups over the 24 hour period. Thus all participants had plenty of track time, and a number of competitors also competed in the support races to fully immerse them in, and to maximise the unique Daytona experience.

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Each year since its inception the event has grown in stature with competitors and in popularity with race fans, as witnessed by the large number of motor homes and tents lining the infield section of the circuit this year, despite the inclement weather forecast. They were not disappointed as they had plenty of action spanning a wide variety of classic race categories, together with the finale of the Trans Am season with a pair of one hour races for each of the two groups, one on the Friday and the other on the Saturday preceding the start of the Daytona 24 Classic. Each of these races had 26 entrants, featuring a colourful array of Ford Mustangs, Chevrolet Camaros and Dodge Challengers in the TA2 class race, whilst the TA/SGT/GT class race had a broader span of cars, including examples of the above, along with Porsches, Corvettes, Mercedes-AMG GT4s, and loan examples of an Aston Martin N24, a Dodge Viper and a Cadillac CTSV. Both races were real “Rolling  Thunder” with plenty of close action, a number of incidents, which unfortunately meant that the TA2 race ended under a full course caution, with Thomas Merrill’s Mustang taking the race win from 16 year old Sam Mayer on the road, although the latter’s Camaro was disqualified in post race scrutineering for a non compliance. Victory in the TA/SGT/GT race also went to a Ford Mustang, this being the example driven by Chris Dyson, who finished just ahead of TA class season champion Ernie France Jnr. The season championship title in the TA2 category had already been won by Mark Miller in his Dodge Challenger at the penultimate round of the series at the Circuit of the Americas.

Within the Daytona 24 Classic entry list, which ran to some 180 cars, there was a wide span of models and types, ranging from a 1964 Jaguar E-Type to a 2017 Porsche 911 GT3. Within this broad span of years, there were examples of saloon cars, like a BMW M3 and a Subaru Impreza, GT cars including Ferrari 360 and 458 Challenge cars plus a 458 GT3, a veritable raft of Porsche 911 variants together with 962 sports racing models, one of which Derek and Justin Bell shared the driving with Gunnar Jeanette and Rodrigo Sales to win the Group C/D class. Then there were Daytona Prototypes like the Riley-BMW and Corvette Coyote, and further evocative sports prototypes like the beautiful TOJ SC204 from 1976, to more modern examples like the pair each of 2005 Audi R8s and 2007 Pescarolo 01-Judds, plus the rare chance to see the very attractive blue, black and chrome liveried Peugeot 908 HDi FAP, also from 2007, being driven spiritedly to take the Group E class win driven by David Porter.

Apart from the race activity there were the car corrals for various marques, which also did parade laps, an exotics display courtesy of Festivals of Speed, including a McLaren Senna in black and yellow, and the vendor area. Of the corrals, the most intriguing and interesting was the one for VW Kombi variants, with an amazing selection of restored, distressed, customised and original examples in virtually every form that it must have been supplied in, and then some – imagination knows no boundaries! These also did a parade around the infield portion of the track.

Race Podiums

24 Classic Group A

1st - #771, T. Seiler,Lola T70 Mk IIIb
2nd - #86, M. Lauber/N. Colyvas, Chevron B16
3rd - #29, G. Bryant/O. Bryant, Chevrolet Camaro Z28

24 Classic Group B

1st - #21, A. Ruede, Chevrolet Camaro IROC
2nd - #8, R. Blain/M. Devis, March 75 S
3rd - #26, G. Gregory/R. Buck, Chevron B26

24 Classic Group C/D

1st - #14, R. Sales/G. Jeanette/D. Bell/J. Bell, Porsche 962
2nd - #54, F. Barber/T. Borcheller, Doran JE4 DP
3rd - #19, R. Howe/R. Cox, Ford Mustang T/A

24 Classic Group E

1st - #7, D. Porter, Peugeot 908 HDi FAP
2nd - #18, J. Gonzales Moreno/B. Leitzinger, Pescarolo 01-Judd
3rd - #16, R. Johnson/R. Bradley, Pescarolo 01-Judd

24 Classic Group F

1st - #9, J.C. France/T. Jernum/J. Barbosa, Corvette Coyote DP
2nd - #20, D. Yount/R. Lewis, Oreca LM09
3rd - #33, J. Reisman/E. Curran, Corvette Coyote DP

24 Classic Group G

1st - #39, T. Napieralski/L. Saunders, Chevrolet Camaro
2nd - #99, D. Russell/R. Adalnahabi/S. Davison, Aston Martin Vantage
3rd - #151, A. Rogers/K. Wheeler, Porsche 911 RSR

BRM Vintage/GTC Enduro

1st - #441, T. Truffet/L. Keen, Porsche 911 IROC
2nd - #151, A. Rogers/K. Wheeler, Porsche 911 RSR
3rd - #82, E. Wilding/J. Wilding, BMW M3

BRM H/P/GT Enduro

1st - #8, M. Kvamme, Oreca FL09
2nd - #333, M. Schultis/P. Simon, Mercedes-AMG SLS GT3
3rd - #27, M. Montour/L. Montour, Aston Martin Vantage GT3

Daytona Historics Groups 2, 3 & 5

1st - #6, B. Hoyt, Chevrolet Corvette
2nd - #441, L. Treffort, Porsche 911 IROC
3rd - #13, M. Banz/K. Blaha, Porsche 911 RSR

Daytona Historics Groups 6, 7 & 11

1st - #9, J.C. France/T. Jernum/J. Barbosa, Corvette Coyote DP
2nd - #5, N. Leutwiller/M. Marateotti, Lola B07/18
3rd - #241, C. & M. DeQueseda/D. Morad/S. Gabel/B. Johnson, Riley-BMW DP

Daytona Historics Groups 8, 9 & 10

1st – #27, M. Montour/L.P. Montour, Aston Martin Vantage GT3
2nd - #333, M. Schultis/P. Simon, Mercedes-AMG SLS GT3
3rd - 28, C. & M. DeQueseda/D. Morad/S. Gabel/B. Johnson, Porsche 911 RSR

Sasco Sports International Cup

1st - #441, T. Treffert, Porsche 911 IROC
2nd - #13, M. Banz/K. Blaha, Porsche 911 RSR
3rd - #59, F. Beck, Porsche 914/6

Global GT

1st - #55, S. Pagliaroli, Porsche 997.2 Cup
2nd - #901, P. Gilsdorf, Porache 996.1 Cup
3rd - #22, S. Davison, Aston Martin N24

Classic RS Cup

1st - #158, B. Johnson, Porsche 911 RSR
2nd - #9, J. Lewis, Porsche 911 RSR
3rd - #28, B. Refenning, Porsche 911 IROC

Trans Am TA2

1st - #99, T. Merrill, Ford Mustang
2nd - #34, T. Buffemante, Ford Mustang
3rd - #77, D. Machavern, Ford Mustang

Trans Am TA/SGT/GT

1st - #20, C. Dyson, Ford Mustang
2nd - #98, E. Francis Jnr, Ford Mustang
3rd - #17, A. Andretti, Chevrolet Corvette


Keith Bluemel