Grand AM »

SpeedSource ends Porsche run at Daytona.


Sylvain Tremblay finished what he started at Daytona on Thursday by taking the pole-winning SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 to the chequered flag to win the GT class at the Rolex 24.

Along with co-drivers Nick Ham, David Haskell and Raphael Matos, Tremblay led the #70 Castrol Syntec-backed car to ninth overall in the race after a frenetic 24 hours spent dicing with the best of the Porsche runners. With the exception of an off-track excursion and a few near misses, the team put together an almost flawless effort, combining to lead 323 of the 664 GT laps covered, including all of the race's final quarter. Each driver led at least 40 laps in Mazda's first victory in any Rolex 24 class since winning in SRP in 2001.

"Our biggest mechanical problem was my ears," Tremblay joked, "I had fluid in my ear yesterday and couldn't hear anything. We also lost the driver's side mirror, which is a problem, especially here, but our spotters did a great job. The car was flawless.”

The victory was the fourth for the SpeedSource operation in just over a year in the Rolex Series, and follows the team's victory in sprint at Daytona in July 2007. The win also broke a 14-year streak of Porsche success in the GT class.

"It is pretty special," Tremblay continued, "I've dreamt of this since I started racing. When I first talked of getting a Mazda running against the Porsches, it seemed like a joke back then. There was so much that had to happen, so many pieces we had to build. Then we had to convince other people to believe in our dream, and pull on from there.

"Today is really the culmination of a lot of work from a lot of different people who all had a dream – to come here and race against the best. I must say, in all the years I've been racing, this GT field was by far the stiffest, strongest field I've ever seen in any GT race anywhere in the world. I'm proud of the accomplishment of my team-mates. It's a dream come true."

Ham felt a win in the series' biggest race was not only rewarding, but would carry over in the season-long points chase.

"It was a reasonably uneventful race," he said, having led nine times for 93 laps, "We all had our moments, but the key thing was that everyone on the team did their job, and did it to the best of their ability. That, in the end, is why we won. This victory is definitely going to give us a good place to start. It's nice having the lead going into Homestead. Hopefully, we can maintain it."

SpeedSource also rounded out the top five with Emil Assentato, Nick Longhi, Jeff Segal and Lonnie Pechnik.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Tremblay/Ham/Haskell/Matos - SpeedSource Castrol Syntec/Mazdaspeed Mazda RX-8   [pic credit: Grand-Am media]
Max Angelelli / Jordan Taylor. GRAND-AM Championship Weekend Presented by BMW at Lime Rock Park. 2013 Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series
Max Angelelli / Jordan Taylor. Continental Tire Sports Car Festival. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. 2013 Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series
Action. VisitFlorida.com Sports Car 250 at Road America. Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series [Pic credit: Grand AM]
Starworks Motorsport BMW/Riley duo Brendon Hartley and Scott Mayer celebrate their first Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series victory at Road America [Pic credit: Grand AM]
Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor drive the #10 Velocity Worldwide Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype to victory Saturday, April 6, 2013 in the third race of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevrolet)
Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor drive the #10 Velocity Worldwide Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype (left) to victory Saturday, April 6, 2013 in the third race of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Alex Gurney and Jo Fogarty, drivers of the #99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Corvette DP (right) finish in second place. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevrolet)
John Edwards and Robin Liddell, drivers of the # 57 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GT.R., race to victory Saturday, April 6, 2013 in the Grand Touring (GT) class of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevrolet)
Juan Pablo Montoya, Memo Rojas, Scott Pruett and Charlie Kimball, co-drivers of the #01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates TELMEX/Target Ford BMW Riley celebrate their win in victory lane at the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway on January 27, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Rolex Series action [Pic credit: Grand-Am]
Alex Popow and Sebastian Bourdais, drivers of the #2 Ford Riley, celebrate in Victory Lane after wininng the Grand-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2012, in Indianapolis, Ind. (Photo Credit: Tyler Barrick/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Alex Popow and Sebastien Bourdais, drivers of the #2 Soloson Ford Riley, celebrate after winning the Grand-AM Rolex Sports Car Series inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2012, in Indianapolis, Ind. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)
The winning #60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Ford Riley car is brought into victory lane after a gruelling 50th anniversary Rolex 24 at Daytona. [Picture Credit: Daytona International Speedway]
Action Express win the Rolex 24 [Pic credit: Grand Am]
Derek Johnston [Pic credit: Grand Am]
Vic Elford, the 2010 Rolex 24 At Daytona Grand Marshal (Photo credit: Motorsports Images and Archives)
The No. 09 Spirit of Daytona Porsche Coyote that will be tested by 2009 Radical European Masters Champion Derek Johnston at Virginia International Raceway
Max Angelelli and Brian Friselle win at Daytona [Pic credit: Grand Am Media]

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.