Jeff Gordon may have left Daytona almost immediately after the Rolex 24 had finished, but the four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion insisted that he would be back if anyone offered him the chance of another shot of Grand-Am competition.
Gordon, who had formed part of the third-placed SunTrust Racing quartet alongside owner-driver Wayne Taylor, Max Angelelli and Jan Magnussen, missed a lot of the post-race celebrations as he had to catch a flight to Las Vegas for Nextel Cup testing Monday and today [Tuesday], but admitted to enjoying the thrill of his first Daytona Prototype experience and wanting more down the road.
"I didn't know what to expect," Gordon said, "but I had a blast out there. I made some mistakes, and I'm going to have to come back because I don't like to make mistakes. I want to come back and fix those mistakes.
"I want to give it another try and be more of an asset to the team, although I felt that there were some times where I ran some good laps and put some good stints together. All in all, it was a really great experience for me, but it's a lot of hard work. Seeing these guys and what they put into it for 24 hours is unbelievable. You never know as a driver when you're going to be in [the car], when you are going to be out. Things can change when the rains come and when it's dry. It's a very challenging race. You've got to have patience, and that's a lot of what it takes to run 500-mile races here as well. It's just another great learning lesson for me in a race car."
Team boss Taylor said that he would welcome the prospect of working with Gordon in the future, having reflected on the seemingly monumental task of assembling a brand new team over the past few months, then seeing it turn in a satisfying performance its first time out.
"I think I told Jeff that, if he has any desire to come back and work with us, the door is open," the South African.
Although the Rolex 24 is the longest race on the Grand-Am schedule, other events offer more than two-driver opportunities, including the Sahlen's Six Hours at Watkins Glen and the season-ending nine-hour Sunchaser event at Miller Motorsport Park.