Masarati In A Porsche – At Daytona
dailysportscar.comPiers 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.

The team’s 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.

“Chip qualified 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.

“For the 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.

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“When 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.

dailysportscar.comOnce 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 problems.

“The team 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!”

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