Accepting Historic Sportscar Racing’s generous invite to see the Daytona Classic 24 first hand meant tearing ourselves away from Britain’s Autumn climate and exchanging it for 28 degree Florida sunshine. It was a tough decision, but never underestimate GRR’s determination to bring you the very best in historic motorsport, even if it requires such a noble sacrifice …
Although the Daytona Classic 24 is in only its second year, there is a selection of cars and drivers present from all over the world. The immense grandstands that hug the start-finish straight (which is, famously, not straight) create an amphitheatre around the paddocks, within which are around 300 cars. Not bad eh?
Today has been about practice and not qualifying or even racing, but still it’s quite a spectacle. Want to see a Rothmans-liveried Porsche 962 screaming around 31 degree banking at over 190mph? This is the place to see it and we can tell you it’s something to behold. Goodwood favourite Jochen Mass told us today: ‘This place is fabulous. There’s a great spirit here and it’s close to the beach, too!’ This, despite claiming that ‘you never relax, even on the banking’. Even a 200mph blowout in an IROC race here once hasn’t dampened his enthusiasm one bit. He’s here driving a Porsche 911, but we’ll tell you more about that as the meeting progresses.
There are so many cars here that it’s taken us a day just to get our bearings and take in the magnificence of machinery like the Matra MS630, Greenwood Corvette, the ex-Rolf Stommelen Porsche 935, a strong line up of LMP cars and of course a bevy of Lola T70s, without which no historic race meeting can be considered complete.
On Saturday, the various classes of racers will be pounding the historic Daytona banking for 24 hours and GRR is going to be here, bringing you the best of it. Oh and did we tell you about the Schuppan 962CR we’ve found parked here with zero miles on it? All that and more to come.
For now, take in the ambience of practice day with a gallery of just a selection of some of the splendid machinery we’ve been spoiled with. Over the nest few days we’ll bring you the rest. It’s going to be spectacular …
Photography: Dave Ferguson and Michael Casey-DiPleco