The Classic 24 Hour Daytona 2014 was held November 12-16 at the 12-turn, 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway road course in Daytona Beach, Florida. The debut event was organized by Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) and sponsored by BRM, Heacock Insurance and Brumos Porsche.
The Classic 24 was open to cars with a racing history divided into six groups, set by when the car raced. Group A was for cars from the 1960s, Group B from the 1970s, Group C from the eighties, Group D from the nineties and Group E for cars from the 21st century. Group F was for cars that run under HSR rules that did not have the racing pedigree. Each group ran for an hour. After all six groups ran, the cycle was repeated three more times to complete the 24 hours. The races were actually 45 minutes long, and the 15 extra minutes were utilized to get one group off the track and the next group on.
The Classic 24 Hour Daytona 2014 format worked extremely well. Grouping cars by age instead of performance created races more in-line with how the events were back in the their respective time period. The result was Group A fielding Ford GT40s, Lola T70s, Porsche 906, 907 and 910 and a Chevron B16 racing with Chevrolet Camaros, Shelby Mustangs, BMW 2002s, Alfa Romeo GTs, Ginettas, Jaguar E-Types and even an Elva Courier.
Other cars of interest included Porsche 935 variants, a Greenwood Corvette, Porsche 956 and 962s, Ferrari 333SP and 365 GTB/4 Daytonas, Dodge Vipers, modern eye-and-ear candy like the Audi R8, Daytona prototypes and David Porter’s wicked-fast Pescarolo-Judd.
The event drew a stellar group of racing drivers, young and otherwise, Tudor Series regulars like Patrick Long, Cooper McNeil and Leh Keen showed up as did Jochen Mass, Brian Redman, Andy Wallace, Elliott Forbes-Robinson, Arturo Merzario and many more. One would scroll the list of drivers for the race and see a name from the past then see another and another.
The races felt like long sprints with the endurance element thrown in. David Porter had an accident four laps from the end of the first session, finishing close to the bottom of the class, but he was able to make the repairs and clawed his way to 4th overall by the end of the day.
The difference in car performance did not create any undue issues. In fact, most drivers did not seem to mind it. Russell Gee, who drove his 1969 BMW 2002 to 12th overall, loved being on the same track as some of his heroes. He said he had a ball and did not mind being lapped by the well-known racers.
Jochen Mass felt the driving standard was very good. He loves Daytona and the unique challenges the track poses. “It has its own set of demands that one doesn’t know until he/she experiences them,” said Mass. He also likes the weather, which may have contributed to the large number of ‘name’ racers that showed up.
Putting on a 24-hour race is a huge undertaking. Adding regular HSR races, two 60-minute enduros and sharing the track with the Trans-Am series made it even more so. The Classic 24 Hour Daytona 2014 weekend went off without a major hitch. The races were completed on schedule and the operation ran smoothly from race results to credentialing. HSR and all the hard-working staff members need to be commended for the amazing undertaking they so ably pulled off.
Photographer David Ferguson documented the Classic 24 Hour Daytona 2014, offering the following picture gallery that shows the strong field of entrants battling each other over the famous Daytona International Speedway road course. We split up David’s pictures into two galleries. The first gallery starting below features our favorite images, all displayed in the full-width view of Sports Car Digest, while the second gallery and race winners can be found on the last page of the article and gives a comprehensive view of all the photographs.
Classic 24 Hour Daytona 2014 – Featured Photo Gallery
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