2009 Rolex 24
sportscarpros Off The GridRichard Dole

Back to the Future

The 2009 edition of the Rolex 24 Hours held at the Daytona International Speedway was a fantastic event......well at least for 17 hours of racing that actually took place. But the abundance of Full Course Yellows aside, the racing was as good as it gets.

There were emotional scenes as David Donohue in the Brumos Racing Riley Porsche managed to hold off the Riley Lexus of Chip Ganassi Racing as it was being driven off its wheels by Juan Pablo Montoya. Less than a second separated the two cars at the race end, even those of my colleagues normally indifferent to Grand- Am's charms reckoned this was a brilliant race.

It was a stellar performance by David and his Tres Amigoes, Buddy Rice, Darren Law and Antonio Garcia. Brumos have a proud tradition in the Daytona Enduro with three outright wins back in the 1970's and they have been great supporters of the Grand-Am project since the beginning. The joy that the team felt was tinged with sadness that Bob Snodgrass, the team's founder, was not on hand to witness the return to Victory Lane. Bob passed away just under two years ago. The victory was dedicated to him and his memory.

The win was also dedicated to Bob Carlson, Porsche's former PR Manager in North America and one of the main influences in Porsche's motorsport programmes over the past 25 years. He lost his struggle with cancer just before Christmas and is much missed by the motoring community.

Great events such as the Rolex frequently bring out the best in people and that was certainly true of the Brumos Racing crew who have worked so hard to get ready for the Rolex. Even faced with such strong opposition as the Penske and Ganassi teams there was always a sense that this would be their year.

In a sad contrast Montoya's post race comments did not show in him in a gracious light. He would do well to look at how Felipe Massa handled the crushing disappointment of failing to be crowned F1 World Champion at the last moment during last year's Brazilian Grand Prix.

"I know how to win. I know how to lose. That's racing"

That's also class...............

And speaking of class once again we are fortunate enough to have Rick Dole's pictures......enjoy.

John Brooks, January 2009

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