Chip Ganassi Racing has been accused of 'sour grapes' by Rolex 24 winners Brumos Racing after claims that the Porsche-powered team had been handed an unfair advantage in the Daytona event.
Brumos eventually secured its first win in the event since 1978 after a dramatic round-the-clock event, with David Donohue battling past Juan Pablo Montoya for the lead in the final hour and then holding off the Colombian to take victory by just 0.167secs.
However, despite the close nature of the finish, a clearly disappointed Montoya pulled no punches with his views on the event when quizzed by the media after the chequered flag dropped, claiming the team had been lucky to battle for the win with the Porsche-powered Brumos team having an unfair power advantage.
“I was actually surprised we even fought for the win, to be honest,” he said. “Every stint, the Brumos and the Penske would drive away from us easily. I drove my butt off but I knew if I got any traffic in the backstop I was done. I did, and I was done.
“It didn't matter how many times they made mistakes, they just kept driving off and driving off for me, even when I was in the draft. But it's what it is. They're going to have a fun year.
“Even when they were in traffic and stuck in the backstop, we could get runs on them, beside them; but they would clear us, like we were not even there. So hopefully go out and do something about it and next year we'll have a lot more power.”
Team-mates Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas also agreed with Montoya's view, with Pruett stating that it was 'frustrating when guys just drive past you' and Rojas commenting that while the #01 crew 'had the car to win' they 'didn't have the power' – with the defending champion going so far as to congratulate Brumos on 'winning the season'.
However, those comments then drew an angry response from the winning team when they took the microphone, with both Donohue and Darren Law being scathing in their reply.
“I'm not sure how to begin after all what I just heard,” Donohue said. “We tested for like 3,000 miles here. 'We' being the team. We came up with a real efficient package, if anyone notices. Yes, we got them on the straight. Ever noticed how he closed up in the braking and the chicane and so forth. I'll leave it at that. It's ridiculous at this point.”
“Honestly, it's just sour grapes on their part,” Law added. “We have the smallest motor. Two fewer cylinders than everybody. Porsche just built a good motor. Like David said, we've done our homework. The car was hooked up, trimmed out. And as David mentioned, look, they crossed the line 50 feet behind us. It was a fight the whole way through.
“Maybe people fail to see, but you watch it in NASCAR all the time, when you're coming up, when you're behind another car, you get a draft and you get a pull. As you get that pull you can pop out, get a slingshot around him. It wasn't like we just motored around the outside.”