A spitting distance separated the winner from second place at the 24 Hours of Daytona.
Only 5.19 seconds separated the first two cars to take the checkered flag at the end 24 hours of racing on the Daytona International Speedway. Both cars were Riley-Fords as well as the third car that was lagging by almost 50 seconds from the winner. In terms of a 24 hour race, that is almost a negligible gap but of course it makes a huge difference to team owners, drivers, and fans alike. And it was colossal change for team owner Michael Shank and their winning car.
For the humble Shank team it was the best result in its ninth attempt at the event. And it was also the team's first ever win in a Rolex Grand Am race. "What a historic moment for all of Ford Motor Company and its fans around the world," said Jamie Allison, the director of Ford Racing. "In the hands of our long-time partners at Michael Shank Racing and our new friends at Starworks Motorsport, we are proud to have captured this special 1-2-3 finish at the 50th running of the iconic Rolex 24 at Daytona." The last time Ford achieved such a dominant result at Daytona was in 1966, where three GT40s finished on the podium in the inaugural event.
The battle in the GT category was as fierce as in the DP but flooded with big names from the world of sports cars. The victory, not surprisingly, fell to the Porsche crew driving a 911 GT3 that finished in 11th place, 34 laps behind the overall winners who completed 761 laps. The Porsche GT3 captured the first three places in the GT category in front of a Chevrolet Corvette and a Ferrari 458 Italia, which took fifth in the category and 15th overall. The first Audi R8 Grand-Am came in 21st place in the GT category and 44th place overall and more than 200 laps behind the winner.