David Donohue  Photo by MARK WEBER
David Donohue Photo by MARK WEBER

DAVID DONOHUE drove the No.58 Brumos Porsche Riley Daytona Prototype to an overall and class victory Sunday at the 47th Anniversary of the Rolex 24 of Daytona. His co-drivers were ANTONIO GARCIA, DARREN LAW, and BUDDY RICE.
 An emotional Donohue said he was sure the Brumos Racing team owner, the late BOB SNODGRASS, was up there looking down.

The Margin of Victory was 0.167 seconds, the closest in the 47-year history of the race. Other records included the most finishers on the lead lap – 4; the most cautions – 25 for 117 laps; and the most laps in the Daytona Prototype era. Not quite a record, but close was the 53 lead changes among 22 drivers and nine cars – second highest total in the event history.. The time of the race was 24:00:26.465. The fastest race lap was turned by Rice on Lap 180, at 1:41.583. All these states compliments of Grand-Am.

The last hour was riveting, with nose-to-tail racing the entire time between leader Donohue and runner-up JUAN PABLO MONTOYA/No.01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Lexus Riley DP. Montoya said it was fun, even though he griped about not winning. The Ganassi team was denied its fourth consecutive Rolex 24 victory.

Porsche said there was significance in the victory. “The first overall win for Porsche since 2003 (The Racer’s Group Porsche 911 GT3 RS), and the first overall win for Brumos Racing since 1978 (Porsche 935). The first win for a Porsche entered in the overall class since 1995 (Kremer – Porsche K8). First win for the Porsche 911-based 3.99-liter Grand-Am race engine. Brumos Racing’s first Daytona prototype win since 2003 (Mont Tremblant) Porsche prototypes led 500 of the 735 laps.”

A stat provided by the SunTrust team: The top four DP cars on the lead lap were separated by less than 11 seconds after 1,440 minutes of racing which covered 2,616.6 miles.

I retract anything I said about any other kinds of records, as I was misinformed.

The second place DP finishers were interviewed before the winners at the podium conference. They weren’t warm and fuzzy about their finishing position. SCOTT PRUETT hopes Grand-Am does something about it.,,,,It being the difference between the Porsches and the Lexus. He said it was frustrating. “I mean, when guys just drive by you, it just never seems right, no matter what you do. Everything will get evened out.”

MEMO ROJAS said “We didn’t have the power to win. We had to drive 10,10 through most of the race.”

Montoya was less gracious in losing. “It is what it is. I was surprised we were even in contention for the win.” He said he was driving as hard as he could. “I drove like that for two hours and didn’t make any mistakes. That brings pleasure”. JPM hopes Grand-Am does something about that. “I wanted to hold him (Donohue) off.” When asked if he thought there was anything he could do to hold him (Donohue) off – he quickly and firmly said NO. “It was a gun fight and we had knives. Coming in second sucks. You come here to win. And it just sucks.”

Donohue was disappointed in Montoya’s comments. When asked about his emotions after the win, he said “I’m not sure how to begin after all what I just heard. We came up with a real efficient package, if anyone notices. Yes, we got them on the straight. Ever notice how he closed up in the braking and the chicane and so forth. We have two less cylinders. We did our homework and we came here ready. Porsche just built a fine motor.” I’ll leave it at that.”

For the most part Donohue and his team didn’t care to pursue the parity issue on the victory stand.

Donohue spoke to the significance of the win. “I feel more of attachment to the effort my guys have put in to this and to Brumos and to HURLEY (HAYWOOD) and BOB SNODGRASS and BOB CARLSON from Porsche. That’s where my heart is, to be honest.”

Darren Law   Photo by MARK WEBER
Darren Law Photo by MARK WEBER

Donohue said he was not surprised that there were six cars on the lead lap at daybreak.

DARREN LAW said “The car rolled off trailer ready to go. It was spot on its setups.” He said it was sour grapes on their (Ganassi’s) part.

Buddy Rice  Photo by MARK WEBER
Buddy Rice Photo by MARK WEBER

BUDDY RICE said he “was still shocked to have won two prestigious races – the Indy 500 and  the Rolex 24.

Antonio Garcia  Photo by MARK WEBER
Antonio Garcia Photo by MARK WEBER

ANTONIO GARCIA won his class at Le Mans 2008, and now the Rolex 24.

TRG entered five Porsche’s in the GT class and won the category with No.66 Porsche GT3 Cup. The drivers were R.J. VALENTINE, who drove to the checkered flag, JORG BERGMEISTER, ANDY LALLY, and JUSTIN MARKS. Valentine was over the top excited about his first victory in 23 years of running. He admitted to being 64 years old, which could make him the oldest driver in the event.