DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. — Richard Lietz, sharing the No. 44 Magnus Porsche 911 GT3 Cup with John Potter/Andy Lally/Rene Rast, took over the driving duties with less than two hours left to go at the 50th Rolex 24 at Daytona. He then guided his car through two pit stops and to the GT victory for the Utah-based team owned by Potter and led a sweep of the GT podium by Porsche 911 race cars.
Winning team owner John Potter — a resident of Salt Lake City — could not contain his feelings in the pit box after the checkered flag dropped, as his team was victorious in one of the greatest sports car races in the world after being in existence less than three years.
"This crew works so hard, and we have come so close to the top step of the podium in Grand-Am in the past, but to win for the first time, at this race is something special. Rene and Andy are great guys, and Richard really brought us home strong," said Potter.
Lietz was pleased that Potter chose him to finish the race, and he thought the field of drivers was especially strong.
"I was honored to carry the team flag to the finish line, and we bested a field of world-class GT drivers," said Lietz.
For German Rene Rast, the defending Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup champion, it was his first time at Daytona, but the significance of the victory did not escape him.
"To finish at the top with perhaps the greatest GT field ever is an honor, and I thank Porsche and Magnus Racing for allowing me to be involved," said Rast.
Andy Lally won this GT event last year, but switched teams this year to join Magnus Racing, which is based at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele Valley.
"This was a great victory for John Potter and Magnus, but it is only the first step in our quest for the Rolex Grand-Am GT championship and North American Endurance GT Championship," said Lally, who will run with Potter for the entire Grand-Am season in their Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
Finishing the Porsche sweep of the podium is the second-place TRG Porsche of Steve Bertheau/Marc Goosens/Wolf Henzler/Spencer Pumpelly/Jeroen Bleekemolen, and the No. 59 Brumos Porsche (Leh Keen/Hurley Haywood/Andrew Davis/Marc Lieb) was third. Both teams led for substantial lengths of time during the 24-hour event, but, in the end, both the cars couldn't catch the Magnus Porsche.
As for the overall title, NASCAR driver AJ Allmendinger earned his first major victory in almost six years by closing out the Rolex 24 at Daytona for Michael Shank Racing.
Allmendinger drove the final stint in the No. 60 Ford Riley, spending almost three hours behind the wheel at the end of the twice-around-the-clock endurance race. His team included IndyCar driver Justin Wilson, and Grand-Am regulars Ozz Negri Jr. and John Pew.
Ryan Dalziel was at the wheel for Starworks Motorsports' second-place finish, and Felipe Nasar was driving for Shank when he crossed the line in third. Ford swept the top three spots of the Daytona Prototype class.
The vaunted teams from Chip Ganassi Racing finished fourth and sixth after both cars had mechanical issues.
Here are the complete results:
At Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, Fla.
(Starting position in parentheses)
1. (6) DP, John Pew/Oswaldo Negri Jr./AJ Allmendinger/Justin Wilson, Ford/Riley, 761.
2. (1) DP, Enzo Potolicchio/Ryan Dalziel/Alex Popow/Lucas Luhr/Allan McNish, Ford/Riley, 761.
3. (8) DP, Michael McDowell/Felipe Nasr/Jorge Goncalvez/Gustavo Yacaman, Ford/Riley 761.
4. (3) DP, Scott Dixon/Juan Pablo Montoya/Dario Franchitti/Jamie McMurray, BMW/Riley, 760.
5. (14) DP, Darren Law/David Donohue/Christian Fittipaldi, Corvette DP, 758.
6. (13) DP, Scott Pruett/Memo Rojas/Graham Rahal/Joey Hand, BMW/Riley, 757.
7. (10) DP, Brian Frisselle/Burt Frisselle/Jim Lowe/Paul Tracy/Billy Johnson, Ford/Dallara, 748.
8. (5) DP, Antonio Garcia/Richard Westbrook/Oliver Gavin/Jan Magnussen, Corvette DP, 746.
9. (7) DP, Terry Borcheller/JC France/Joao Barbosa/Max Papis, Corvette DP, 739.
10. (9) DP, Enzo Potolicchio/Marco Andretti/Ryan Hunter-Reay/Michael Valiante/Scott Mayer, Ford/Riley, 736.
11. (3) GT, John Potter/Andy Lally/Richard Lietz/Rene Rast, Porsche GT3, 727.
12. (39) GT, Steven Bertheau/Marc Goossens/Wolf Henzler/Spencer Pumpelly/Jeroen Bleekemolen, Porsche GT3 727.
13. (1) GT, Leh Keen/Andrew Davis/Hurley Haywood/Marc Lieb, Porsche GT3, 726.
14. (15) GT, Robin Liddell/John Edwards/Ronnie Bremer, Chevrolet Camaro GT.R, 726.
15. (10) GT, Toni Vilander/Olivier Beretta/Andrea Bertolini, Ferrari 458 Italia Grand Am, 726.
16. (24) GT, James Hinchcliffe/Sylvain Tremblay/Dario Franchitti/Jonathan Bomarito, Mazda RX-8, 722.
17. (17) GT, Dominik Farnbacher/Ben Keating/Patrick Pilet/Allan Simonsen, Porsche GT3, 721.
18. (2) GT, Emil Assentato/Jeff Segal/Nick Longhi/Anthony Lazzaro, Ferrari 458 Italia Grand Am, 716.
19. (12) DP, Tracy Krohn/Nic Jonsson/Ricardo Zonta/Colin Braun, Ford/Lola, 713.
20. (7) GT, Jordan Taylor/Paul Edwards/Matthew Marsh/Tom Milner, Chevrolet Camaro GT.R, 713.
21. (26) GT, Joe Foster/Patrick Dempsey/Tom Long/Charles Espenlaub/Charles Putman, Mazda RX-8, 713.
22. (20) GT, Lance Willsey/Nicolas Armindo/Shane Lewis/Bret Curtis/James Sofronas, Porsche GT3, 713.
23. (5) GT, Dane Cameron/Wayne Nonnamaker/Will Nonnamaker/Joe Nonnamaker, Mazda RX-8, 711.
24. (11) GT, Scott Sharp/Johannes van Overbeek/Ed Brown/Guy Cosmo, Ferrari 458 Italia Grand Am, 707.
25. (23) GT, Michael Avenatti/Bob Faieta/Cort Wagner/Bill Sweedler/Fred Poordad, Porsche GT3, 707.
26. (4) GT, Jorg Bergmeister/Patrick Long/Mike Rockenfeller/Seth Neiman, Porsche GT3, 706.
27. (19) GT, Bill Auberlen/Paul Dalla Lana/Michael Marsal/Dirk Muller/ Dirk Werner, BMW M3, 691.
28. (6) GT, Cooper MacNeil/Butch Leitzinger/Emmanuel Collard/Marco Holzer, Porsche GT3, 689.
29. (13) GT, Carlos Kauffmann/Henrique Cisneros/Sean Edwards/Nick Tandy, Porsche GT3, 688.
30. (34) GT, Gaetano Ardagna/Eduardo Costabal/Emilio DiGuida/Eliseo Salazar/Santiago Orjuela, Porsche GT3, 688.
31. (18) GT, Kevin Roush/Randy Blaylock/Joe White/Darryl O'Young/Brett Van Blankers, Porsche GT3, 681.
32. (11) DP, Byron DeFoor/Brian Johnson/Elliott Forbes-Robinson/Jim Pace/Carlos de Quesada, BMW/Riley, 672 .
33. (4) DP, Jon Fogarty/Alex Gurney/Memo Gidley, Corvette DP, 672.
34. (36) GT, John Fergus/Dick Greer/John Finger/Mark Hotchkis/Owen Trinkler, Porsche GT3, 665.
35. (25) GT, Robert Kauffman/Michael Waltrip/Travis Pastrana/Rui Aguas, Ferrari 458 Italia Grand Am, 645.
36. (38) GT, Spencer Cox/Mike Hedlund/Jack McCarthy Jr./Jim Michaelian/Joe Castellano, Porsche GT3, 643.
37. (44) GT, Chris Cumming/Kevin Estre/Damien Faulkner/Carlos Gomez/Ben Keating, Porsche GT3, 640.
38. (28) GT, Douglas Grunnet/Frank DelVecchio/Scott McKee/Randy Pobst/Tony Kester, Porsche GT3, 626, gearbox.
39. (31) GT, Mark Thomas/Bill Lester/John McCutchen/Davy Jones, Porsche GT3, 609.
40. (35) GT, Don Kitch Jr./Daniel Rogers/Rick Johnson/Scott Maxwell/Ian James, Mazda RX-8, 608.
41. (30) GT, Scott Rettich/Jon Miller/Hal Prewitt/Matt Schneider/Darryl Shoff, Porsche GT3, 604.
42. (42) GT, Derek Whitis/Rhett O'Doski/Ian Nater/Scott Dollahite/Marco Seefried, Porsche GT3, 599.
43. (12) GT, Al Carter/Hugh Plumb/Matt Bell/Eric Curran, Chevrolet Camaro GT.R, 577.
44. (21) GT, Ian Baas/Dion von Moltke/Jim Norman/Nelson Canache/Emanuele Pirro, Audi R8 GRAND-AM, 447.
45. (14) GT, Humaid Masaood/Steven Kane/Saeed Al Mehairi, Audi R8 GRAND-AM, 432.
46. (8) GT, Martin Ragginger/Jack Baldwin/Claudio Burtin/Bryan Sellers/Sebastian Asch, Porsche GT3, 424.
47. (33) GT, Gunter Schaldach/Franz Engstler/David Murry/Jade Buford, Porsche GT3 Cup, 416.
48. (40) GT, Michael DeFontes/Miro Konopka/Phil Fogg/Jan Vonka/Ronald van de Laar, Porsche GT3, 383, transmission.
49. (16) GT, Ron Yarab Jr./Daniel Graeff/Ryan Eversley/Justin Bell, Porsche GT3 Cup, 310.
50. (37) GT, Jarrett Andretti/John Andretti/Taylor Hacquard/Anders Krohn, Mazda RX-8, 270.
51. (22) GT, Jeffrey Earnhardt/Chris Cook/Doug Harrington/Timmy Hill/ John Ware Jr., Ford Mustang GT, 256, rear end.
52. (9) GT, Bryce Miller/Sascha Maassen/Rob Bell/Mark Wilkins, Porsche GT3, 224, gearbox.
53. (41) GT, Ray Mason/Michael Baughman/Jeff Nowicki/Armand Fumal/Ivo Breukers, Chevrolet Corvette, 172.
54. (45) GT, Gianmaria Bruni/Raphael Matos/Giancarlo Fisichella, Ferrari 458 Italia Grand Am, 154, engine.
55. (27) GT, Maxime Soulet/Emilio Valverde/Jan Heylen/Doug Peterson/Tony Ave, Dodge Viper, 101.
56. (29) GT, Bill Auberlen/Paul Dalla Lana/Boris Said/Billy Johnson/Jorg Muller, BMW M3, 86.
57. (32) GT, Wayne Nonnamaker/Joe Nonnamaker/Will Nonnamaker, Mazda RX-8, 21.
58. (2) DP, Max Angelelli/Ricky Taylor/Ryan Briscoe, Corvette DP, 14.
59. (43) GT, Joe Sahlen/Wayne Nonnamaker/Joe Nonnamaker /Will Nonnamaker, Mazda RX-8, 0.
Winners' average speed: 112.830 mph
Time of race: 24:00:36.793
Margin of victory: 5.198 seconds
Cautions: 13 for 64 laps
Lead changes: 53 among 22 drivers/10 cars
Lap leaders: Dalziel, 1-25; Pruett, 26-27; E. Potolicchio, 28-30; Gurney, 31-38; Negri, 39-51; Pruett, 52-55; Dixon, 56; Pruett, 57-66; Valiante, 67-73; Gidley, 74-83; Wilson, 94; Luhr, 95-103; McNish, 104-131; Hunter-Reay, 132-141; Allmendinger, 142-146; Hunter-Reay, 147; McNish, 148-161; D. Franchitti, 162; Fogarty, 163; Allmendinger, 164-174; Gavin, 191-203; Dalziel, 233-269; Pruett, 270; Montoya, 271-294; Pruett, 295-297; Rahal, 298-301; Dixon, 302-321; Rahal, 322-325; Dixon, 326-331; McNish, 332-349; Allmendinger, 350-351; McNish, 352-415; Dalziel, 416-490; Wilson, 491-574; Hand, 575-579; Pruett, 580-634; Negri, 635-669; Rahal, 670-671; Allmendinger, 672-673; McNish, 674-686; Allmendinger, 687; Pruett, 688-690; Allmendinger, 691-716; Pruett, 717; Allmendinger, 718-736; Nasr, 737; Allmendinger, 738-761.
Point standings (Top 10, DP): Pew 35, Negri 35, Allmendinger 35, Wilson 35, E. Potolicchio 32, Dalziel 32, Popow 32, Luhr 32, McNish 32, McDowell 30, Nasr 30, Goncalvez 30, Yacaman 30.
Point standings (Top 10, GT): Potter 35, Lally 35, Lietz 35, Rast 35, Bertheau 32, Goossens 32, Henzler 32, Pumpelly 32, Bleekemolen 32, Keen 30, Davis 30, Haywood 30, Lieb 30.