Grand AM » 1 February 2010
Action Express Racing stun with Rolex 24 win
It also marked the second consecutive and 22nd overall victory for Porsche in the event. David Donohue, Darren Law, Buddy Rice and Antonio Garcia won in 2009 in a Brumos Porsche Riley, using a flat-six Porsche engine. A Cayenne-based V-8 engine - built in Germany but highly modified in America by Lozano Brothers - powered Sunday's winning entry.
It was an emotional day for the defending race winners. Moments after five-time Rolex 24 winner Haywood turned a sizzling time of 1m 42.2s in his final lap in professional competition, Raphael Matos went to the garage and retired the car they shared with Donohue, Law and three-time Rolex 24 winner Butch Leitzinger with two-and-a-half hours remaining.
Ironically, a false alarm gave the Action Express team some breathing room when Justin Wilson, driving the #01 BMW Riley, drove to the paddock as a precaution.
"We just had one hiccup," Wilson said. "I came out of the bus stop and heard a large clunk. I thought I'd blown a tyre and I dove into the pits, but they told me it was all okay. Maybe it was just some debris on the track."
The race featured a record 53 lead changes among 29 drivers. All but two of the Daytona Prototypes led in the event, and all but two of them experienced heart-breaking problems that dropped them out of contention.
Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti, Juan Pablo Montoya and Jamie McMurray combined to lead 139 laps in Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates' #02 TELMEX/Target BMW Riley. Montoya was leading the race at midnight when his car began smoking. Moments later, he went to the garage and the car was retired with engine failure.
The defending Daytona Prototype champion #99 GAINSCO Chevrolet Riley was retired while running fifth. An oil pump failure led to a variety of complications that eventually forced four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson to take the car he shared with Jon Fogarty, Alex Gurney and Jimmy Vasser to the garage.
Michael Shank Racing had both of its cars running at or near the front for most of the race before both broke in the closing hours. Burt Frisselle went out in the team's #60 Crown Royal XR Ford Riley co-driven by Ozz Negri, John Pew and Mark Wilkins, while NASCAR regular A.J. Allmendinger's day in the #6 Ford Riley co-driven by Michael Valiante, John Pew and Mark Patterson went up in smoke with 75 minutes remaining.
The #10 SunTrust Ford Dallara started from the pole by Max Angelelli, but had to recover from an incident early in the race to finish sixth. The car was also driven by team owner Wayne Taylor, his 20-year-old son Ricky Taylor and Pedro Lamy.
A team that experienced problems with cold tyres at the pit exit was the new #7 Starworks BMW Riley driven by Ian James, Mike Forest, Bill Lester and Dion von Moltke.
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