Group C and IMSA GTP race cars will be featured at the HSR Classic 24 Hour Daytona 2017, scheduled for November 8-12 at Daytona International Speedway in Florida. The powerful prototypes of the GTP/Group C era represented what many considered the last century’s golden era of sports car racing.
From the 1980s through the early 1990s, the GTP/Group C era featured such machines as the Porsche 962, Nissan GTP ZX-T, Jaguar’s XJR prototypes and similar and successful designs from Toyota, Chevrolet, Ford and Mazda, in addition to a variety of private race car manufacturers from the U.S., Europe and Japan. Several of these prototypes return to Daytona this November where Run Group C will have the honor of starting the HSR Classic 24 Hour for the first time at 1 p.m. EST on Saturday, November 11.
Among the top competitors already confirmed for the HSR Classic 24 Hour at Daytona 2017 is the 1987 No. 14 Porsche 962 team of Tommy Dreelan and Aaron Scott. The duo drove their ex-Kremer Racing/Leyton House machine to the Run Group C victory in the inaugural HSR Classic 24 Hour in 2014.
“The opportunity to drive and race at Daytona is an absolute privilege and honor,” Dreelan said. “The circuit is amazing, especially at night, and to be on the top step in victory lane was very special.”
Dreelan and Scott were in contention for the repeat win in 2015 until a Sunday morning mechanical issue knocked them from winning contention. The team rebounded to finish the race after their Porsche was repaired, taking the final checkered flag fourth in Run Group C and second in class to overall winners Christian Zugel and Mark Patterson, who co-drove a 1986 No. 99 Porsche 962 carrying the memorable Rothman’s colors.
“The desire is greater than ever to return this November, have some more fun, and we hope to be in victory lane again,” Dreelan said. “It’s a very friendly and relaxed event with great cars, competitive racing and a circuit with such fantastic history. Plus, there is plenty of track time.”
Run Group C will also field several classes of historic IMSA GTO and GTU race cars, and similar production-based GT race cars that raced in the same era in Europe and around the world. Notable GT machines from the 1980s through the early 1990s eligible for the HSR Classic 24 Hour in Run Group 6 include big-bore Ford Mustangs and Chevy Corvettes, three and four-rotor Mazda RX-7s and the usual lineup of 911-based Porsche race cars.
In addition to the on-track competition, the Classic 24 Hour’s Driver Panel will include some of the drivers and other motorsports notables who were important players in the GTP/Group C era.
The Daytona Classic 24 Hour will feature six period-correct Run Groups racing in succession for a full day and night. Each Group takes to the track four times in total in a non-stop, 24-hour race. For more information, visit HSRRace.com.
[Source: HSR; photo: Michael DiPleco]