Porsche has claimed a richly deserved victory on the maiden event of the 2014 Tudor United Sportscar Championship. Running the 24 Hours of Daytona with a two car works RSR team, Stuttgart combined trademark reliability with masterful pace when it mattered, to bring the lead 911 home just seconds ahead of its closest competitor and take its 76th class win at the high-speed Florida circuit.
I don’t know who called the driver mix of Richard Lietz, Patrick Pilet and Nick Tandy, but the chemistry could not have been better. Running anywhere from P1 to P4 over the course of a hard day’s racing, the trio were supreme against the SRT Viper race cars, which had looked unassailable in qualifying. Not to mention the mighty space-framed GTLM Corvette race car, which seemed to have ultimate speed for much of the race.
Many incredible stories reared their heads across twenty-four hours of racing, but the most exciting came in the final three minutes, when Joey Hand’s BMW Z4 got within touching distance of the number 911. My heart was in my mouth for the last two laps, as TV cameras focused instead on a titanic scrap in the GT Daytona class. When the cameras swung back to the Porsche, it was Pilet crossing the line for the win.
I am in meltdown: that was incredible. If this is a sign of things to come in 2014, we are in for a memorable season. Now we need more factory racing posters!