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Montoya drives Ganassi to Daytona 24 victory

Juan Pablo Montoya was at the wheel of the #01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates BMW-Riley Daytona Prototype when the chequered flag came out at the end of the Daytona 24 Hours.
Chip Ganassi Racing secured its fifth Daytona 24 Hours victory in ten years of competition, this time with former F1 driver and current NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Juan Pablo Montoya at the wheel of the winning car.

Montoya drive the final stint in the #01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates BMW-Riley Daytona Prototype, which emerged as the car to beat from early on in the endurance race held at the weekend at Daytona International Speedway in Florida.

Montoya's team mates for the gruelling 24 hour event were veteran GRAND-AM stars Memo Rojas and Scott Pruett, together with IndyCar's Charlie Kimball making his d├ębut in the Daytona event.

While the #01 always looked to have the measure of the rest of the Daytona Prototype field, the car emerged from pit lane in fourth place during the penultimate full course caution an hour before the scheduled end of the race. Montoya had an edge-of-the-seat battle with AJ Allmendinger in the 2011 winning #60 Michael Shank Racing Ford-Riley in order to regain track position, but once he pulled it off the Ganassi car reeled in the remaining cars and then disappeared into the distance to eventually win the race with ease.

The #60 ultimately lost second place to the #10 VelocityWW Corvette after the Wayne Taylor Racing squad opted not to change tyres on the car before Max Angelelli drove the final stint to the chequered flag, with his co-drivers Jordan Taylor and reigning IndyCar champion Ryan Hunter-Reay watching on and cheering from the pit lane.

Even though the #60 finally came home in third place, team owner Michael Shank said that he was more proud of the drivers - Allmendinger, Justin Wilson, Oswaldo Negri Jr, John Pew and Marcos Ambrose - this year than he had been when the car had won in 2012. The #60 suffered two different mechanical issues that left it seven laps down at one stage, and only a spirited fight back coupled with 16 full course cautions over the 24 hours of racing - including one caution for heavy fog at dawn lasting nearly two hours on Sunday morning - enabled them to get back on an even footing with the leaders before the end.

Mike Rockenfeller was one of the co-drivers of the #9 Action Express Racing Corvette which finished in fourth place a lap off the leading three cars after a costly penalty for causing avoidable contact with Allmendinger at the final restart. The #90 Spirit of Daytona Racing Corvette was a further 11 laps back with Oliver Gavin among the driver line-up, and the #2 Starworks Ford-Riley finished a further lap off the pace. The car's performance had been afflicted with a sticking throttle on Sunday, thwarting the best efforts of drivers Allan McNish, Ryan Dalziel, Sebastien Bourdais and Alex Popow.

GP2 was represented by Felipe Nasr who finished in eighth place overall in the #5 Action Express Racing Corvette, with former F1 driver and current NASCAR Truck Series contender Nelson Piquet Jr. among his team mates,

The GT class was won by Felipe Albuquerque, Oliver Jarvis, Edoardo Mortara and Dion von Moltke helming the #24 Audi R8 which finished in ninth place just 1.5s ahead of their #52 Audi stable mate, whose last-stint driver Rene Rast picked up second spot in the class after Markus Winkelhock in the third Audi tried to do without the late slash-and-dash favoured by the other leaders and ended up running dry in the final minutes of the race as a result. Winkelhock's misfortune left third place in the GT class in the hands of the #69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD Ferrari, followed by the #63 Scuderia Corsa Michelotto Ferrari and the #44 Magnus Racing Porsche.




Related Pictures

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Rolex Series action [Pic credit: Grand-Am]
The #01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates TELMEX/Target Ford BMW Riley driven by Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas, Juan Pablo Montoya, Charlie Kimball and Scott Dixon drives during the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway on January 26, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
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)
Clint Bowyer and Michael Waltrip, drivers of the #56 AF - Waltrip Ferrari 458, sit in pit road prior to the start of the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway on January 26, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
The #56 AF-Waltrip RK Motors Ferrari 458 driven by Robert Kauffman, Rui Aguas, Michael Waltrip and Clint Bowyer races during the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway on January 26, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
An early morning blanket of fog covers the race track the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway on January 27, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
The #56 AF-Waltrip RK Motors Ferrari 458 driven by Robert Kauffman, Rui Aguas, Michael Waltrip and Clint Bowyer drives through the grass during the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway on January 27, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
The #01 Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabetes TELMEX/Target BMW Riley driven by Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas, Juan Pablo Montoya, Charlie Kimball and Scott Dixon drives in the early morning fog at the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway on January 27, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
The #01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates TELMEX/Target Ford BMW Riley driven by Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas, Juan Pablo Montoya and Charlie Kimball, drives during the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway on January 27, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
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)
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]
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]
Scott Pruett/Memo Rojas - TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing Riley-Lexus   [pic credit: Grand-Am]

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