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Christopher Bruce2013-01-28 13:20:39

Audi Nearly Takes Top 3 in GT Class at 24 Hours of Daytona

Chip Ganasi Racing Wins Daytona Prototype Class

Alex Job Racing gave Audi its first ever 24-Hour GT win in the US

AudiAudiAudiGermany, 1909 > present83 models
8300 photos
27 videos
brought its top men the 24 Hours of Daytona and was nearly awarded with the top three positions in the GT Class. The Audi Customer Racing Teams, which were driven by Audi factory drivers for this race, finished first and second. A third Audi Customer Racing Team was in third up to the final lap of the 24-hour race but lack of fuel had the car crawling though the last lap. 

The winning team was the Audi Sport Customer Racing/ Alex Job Racing Audi R8R8 Grand AmAudi R8 Grand AmGermany, 2012 > present13 photos
driven by Filipe Albuquerque, Oliver Jarvis, Edoardo Mortara and Dion von Moltke. Behind them by 1.4 seconds was the Audi Sport Customer Racing/APR Motorsport LTD.UK R8 driven by Ian Baas, Marc Basseng, Rene Rast and Frank Stippler. Fifteen seconds behind the leader was AIM Autosport Team Ferrari 458458 Italia Grand-AmFerrari 458 Italia Grand-AmItaly, 2012 > present3 photos
driven by Emil Assentato, Nick Longhi, Anthony Lazzaro and Mark Wilkin.

The Audi Sport Customer Racing/Rum Bum Racing Audi R8 driven by Frank Biela, Christopher Haase, Matt Plumb and Markus Winkelhock ran out of fuel on the final lap after briefly leading the race earlier. Late in the night, the team was given a time penalty for overtaking during a safety car period. Later, it hit a Daytona Prototype, which took three laps to repair. It had climbed back up to third in class by the end of the race but fell to seventh due to lack of fuel on the final lap. 

A fourth Audi campaigned by APR Motorsport but without Audi factory backing finished 12th in class. 

Porsche CaymansCayman Gen.2 [981]Porsche Cayman Gen.2 [981]Germany, 2012 > present9 versions
37 photos
took the top three spots in the Grand-Am Series’ first every GX-Class race. There were only six cars in the class for this race - three Caymans and three Mazda 66 Gen.3Mazda 6 Gen.3Japan, 2012 > present77 versions
110 photos
GX diesels. 

The Daytona Prototype Class was won by Chip Ganasi Racing with its BMWBMWBMWGermany, 1918 > present87 models
8652 photos
43 videos
-Riley driven by Scott Dixon, Charlie Kimball, Juan Pablo Montoya, Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas. It is the fifth time that the team has won the race in the last ten years. The drivers did not cruise to victory, though. The lead changed six times in the last 90 minutes of the race. 

The 24 Hours of Daytona has been on a slow march back to legitimacy over the last decade. In the late 60s and 70s, it was a major world endurance race, but as racing series changed, it became much more regionalized. By the 90s, it had lost most of its importance on the international scene.

The Grand-Am Series positioned the 24 Hours of Daytona as its opening race and one of the major races on its calendar. Last year, the series shifted its GT class to use slightly modified GT3 rules, which has brought it more international importance.

Audi having such a large factory presence this year will do even more to raise its acclaim. 

Next year, the Grand-Am Series and American Le Mans Series will merge into a yet-unnamed racing series that has promised to keep the 24 Hours of Daytona as a major race. 

If you missed the race, the Grand-Am Series released a highlights video that you can watch below:

R8 Grand AmR8 Grand Am




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