Back in 1999, Andrew Davis was a fan in the pits watching Alex Job Racing’s No. 23 Porsche 993 Carrera RSR win the GT3 class in the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
This weekend, the reigning IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Grand Sport (GS) champion will be behind the wheel of one of Alex Job Racing’s Porsches from that event, driving in the HSR Classic 24 Hour at Daytona presented by IMSA that takes the green flag at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday.
“These cars are awesome,” said Davis, who will co-drive with Pat Womack in the unique event. “I was still club racing at that time – just a fan in the pits for the Rolex 24. Now it’s really cool to be able to drive cars from that era at Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) events.
Davis drove the current No. 22 WeatherTech Porsche 911 GT America with Alex Job Racing in the four Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup events in 2015, joining Cooper MacNeil and Leh Keen. MacNeil is co-driving the 1999 Daytona and Sebring-winning Aerofab Porsche this weekend with his father, David MacNeil, with AJR racing both of its Porsches from that year.
“This is a remarkable car with a lot of history,” Davis said. “This is my first time in the car, and it’s the oldest 911-based Porsche that I have driven. The grip levels are really amazing, and it has the older H-pattern gearbox. This is a real unique situation. While this is a new car for me, I know all the guys on the crew from Alex Job Racing.
“I’m proud to be here. The Classic 24 is an elite event, and it’s only going to continue to grow.”
Among the activities taking place this weekend is a panel discussion featuring the lineup of legendary drivers Jurgen Barth, Gijs van Lennep and Bobby Rahal. Combined, the three-driver panel has three overall 24 Hours of Le Mans wins, one overall Rolex 24 Hour At Daytona victory and an Indianapolis 500 win to its credit, in addition to an honor roll of additional motorsports accomplishments and winning achievements. The panel will meet at 11:30 a.m. on Friday in the Driver Meeting Room in the Daytona International Speedway infield. Admission to the panel is free to anyone at the event with a Classic 24 Hour at Daytona credential or ticket but all are advised to arrive early to get a seat for what will be one of the most popular events of the weekend.
The Classic 24 Hour at Daytona is truly a family affair, with dozens of related family members co-driving in the race and even more working together on the racing teams that are coming from around the world to be part of this weekend’s event.
“I actually got into racing with my brother-in-law Mark Colbert,” said Dean DeSantis, a listed driver on three entries. “He turned me on to racing a couple of years ago and then we got my brother involved, Damon DeSantis, and the three of us will be at the Classic 24 Hour at Daytona. We have some really nice cars we are bringing.”
DeSantis is a listed driver on a 1973 BMW CSL that carries the livery of the famous Alexander Calder “Art Car,” a 1965 FIA “Passport” 289 Mustang and a 1967 Alfa Romeo GT Jr. Colbert is also bringing a CSL to the Classic 24 but his BMW is a 1972 model.
Two of the most memorable Porsche 996 GT3 race cars from the early days of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) are coming to the Classic 24 Hour at Daytona a decade after their contemporary careers.
The Hazardous Porsche team, formerly campaigned by Zip Racing in ALMS from 2001 to 2005 with drivers such as Andy Lally, Spencer Pumpelly and Randy Pobst, will reunite at Daytona this weekend with new owners TylerStewart Motorsports and Theo Ruigh. Driving the 2000 black No. 34 Hazardous Porsche 996 GT3R this weekend will be TylerStewart Motorsports principals Scott Tyler and Danny Stewart who have also enlisted winning HSR and Continental Tire Challenge ST driver Cody Ellsworth. The 2002 orange No. 6 Hazardous Hazardous Porsche 996 GT3RS will be driven by Ruigh and HSR President David Hinton.
Additional Information on the HSR Classic 24 Hour at Daytona presented by IMSA can be found at www.Classic24Hour.com. Event tickets and RV, camping and parking passes can be purchased at the track’s Gate 40 entrance off of Williamson Blvd.