Masarati In A Porsche – At Daytona
Masarati was delighted to take up the opportunity to race the #57
Stevenson Motorsports / Auto Assets Porsche in the Rolex 24 at Daytona,
with Chip Vance, John Buttermore and John Stevenson.
adventures in the 42nd Rolex 24 sum up what draws entrants and drivers
back to try again at what is still a great endurance challenge.
It’s the 24 hour race drug, isn’t it?
“One problem would
have been nice – but we had several! The team was very good
to me by giving me 25 laps or so on Thursday and Friday: the other
three drivers had all done the Test Days, but I was the Daytona
newcomer, so I appreciated the chance to get that many laps in.
the car with a 1:55.7, but I was happy to set a 1:56.5 on old tyres,
with a full fuel load. The car was very good: they’d spent
a lot of money on it, and it was extremely well prepared. It was
just what you wanted – just like a new car throughout.
first 11 hours, we were having a great race. Chip qualified and
started, and typically we were running fifth or sixth. I did a triple
stint, and had a great race with Patrick Long in the Racers Group
car, swapping places all the time. We were in the mix with the Seikel
Porsche, the Racers Group cars and the Jack Lewis 911.
it rained, I sought some advice: I asked Johnny Mowlem to give me
an honest answer to the question – is the banking flat out
in the wet? He assured me that it was, but it took me five laps
to get my head round it.
I had a Porsche come past me on the banking, that was it. I was
flat out. It was a bit scary to be honst, but there were some highlights,
such as passing the Flying Lizard car. At one point in the rain,
I was the third quickest car (of any class) out there. I love the
wet, but Daytona is different from anywhere else.
“Then the Doncaster
SGS car locked up and hit me, breaking the steering rack. Then we
lost the clutch.
“We had further
delays when one of the guys had the gear stick break off in his
hand – the whole thing! Finally, two hours from the end, the
alternator pump belt broke, so I suppose we had four significant
seemed happy with the job I’d done for them, and I hope I
get some more chances to race with them. What an eventful 24 hours
this was though, in every respect, not just for us. My most significant
memory will be doing 180 on the banking, in the wet. I really want
to do it again!”