The first appearance of Porsches in a race at Daytona was at the 1962 Daytona Continental sports car race. Since then Porsche has become the most successful manufacturer on the road course at Daytona International Speedway. That legacy continues from the first 24 Hours of Daytona in 1966 to the present day with a fabulous record of 22 overall and 76 class victories. Porsche’s first overall victory was the legendary 1-2-3 finish in 1968. For the last win, we have to look back at 2010.
In 1968 a change in the world-championship regulations allowed sport cars with engines up to 5000cc and prototypes with engines up to 3000cc. Ferdinand Piëch and his chief engineer Hans Mezger decided to use the Porsche 907 LH in highspeed races like Le Mans and the oval race track of Daytona. That turned out to be a successful move. At the 1968 Daytona 24H, Porsche achieved a 1-2-3 victory. The first of a long list of victories at the oval.
The 1970 and 1971 races were highlighted by great battles between the Porsche 917 and the Ferrari 512, both races being won by the Gulf Porsche 917. In 1972 the FIA changed the rules dramatically. They limited the Sportscar World Championship to 3.0-liter cars. In practice, that meant they banned cars with 5.0-liter displacements so that the almighty Porsche 917 was no longer allowed. Porsche only had the outdated 3.0 liter Porsche 908. On top of that, FIA raised the minimum weight which caused an extra handicap for the Porsche 908, and Porsche decided to quit the series and leave it up to private race teams.
Due to reliability concerns with the smaller engines, the FIA limited endurance races to six hours, except for Le Mans. Hurley Haywood and Peter Gregg won their class in an almost stock Porsche 911S that year. In 1973, the race returned to its normal 24H format. Hurley Haywood and Peter Gregg took the checkered flag in a Porsche 911 Carrera RSR. In 1974, the race was canceled because of the international oil crisis. One year later, in 1975, Haywood and Gregg repeated their exploit and won the race, again in a Porsche 911 Carrera RSR. Both Peter Gregg and Hurley Haywood climbed the podium again in 1976. However, this time Peter Gregg took the highest step with a BMW. Haywood was faithful to Porsche, and achieved a 3rd overall, teaming up with Jim Busby.
11 consecutive victories
From 1977 to 1987, Porsche took an unprecedented series of victories at the Daytona 24 hours. 11 years in a row, Porsche took overall victory Most likely, a record that no manufacturer will ever equal, let alone break. The majority of these consecutive wins can be written on the account of the Porsche 935 or a variant.
From 1985 to 1987, the Porsche customer teams went home with the trophy driving a Porsche 962. The series of victories could have been even more impressive if it wasn’t interrupted in 1988 when Jaguar beat Mauro Haldi / Bob Wollek and Brian Redman. In 1989 and 1991, Porsche takes top honors again, in the Porsche 962C.
4 more victories can be written on Porsche’s account after 1991 of which the victory of 2003 is probably the most remarkable since the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of The Racer’s Group is a non-prototype entry.
The overall victories of Porsche at the Daytona 24 Hours
Click on the year (if applicable) to read the full report of the race.
|1968||Vic Elford / Jochen Neerpasch / Rolf stommelen / Jo Siffert / Hans Herrmann||Porsche 907 LH||Porsche|
|1970||Pedro Rodriguez – Leo Kinnunen – Brian Redman||Porsche 917 K||JW Automotive Engineering|
|1971||Pedro Rodriguez – Jacky Oliver||Porsche 917 K||JW Automotive Engineering|
|1973||Hurley Haywood – Peter Gregg||Porsche 911 Carrera RSR||Brumos|
|1975||Hurley Haywood – Peter Gregg||Porsche 911 Carrera RSR||Brumos|
|1977||Hurley Haywood – John Graves – Dave Helmick||Porsche 911 Carrera RSR||Ecurie Escargot|
|1978||Peter Gregg – Rolf Stommelen – Toine Hezemans||Porsche 935/77||Brumos|
|1979||Hurley Haywood – Ted Field – Danny Ongais||Porsche 935/78||Brumos|
|1980||Rolf Stommelen – Volkert Merl – Reinhold Joest||Porsche 935J||Joest Racing|
|1981||Brian Redman – Bob Garretson – Bobby Rahal||Porsche 935 K3||Garretson Racing / Style Auto|
|1982||John Paul Sr. – John Paul Jr. – Rolf Stommelen||Porsche 935 JLP||JLP Racing|
|1983||AJ Foyt – Preston Hen – Bob Wollek – Claude Ballot-Lena||Porsche 935 L||Henn’s Swap Shop Racing|
|1984||Sarel van der Merwe – Tony Martin – Graham Duxbury||March83G – Porsche||Kreepy Krauly Racing|
|1985||AJ Foyt – Bob Wollek – Al Unser – Thierry Boutsen||Porsche 962||Henn’s Swap Shop Racing|
|1986||Al Holbert – Derek Bell – Thierry Boutsen||Porsche 962||Löwenbrau Holbert Racing|
|1987||Al Holbert – Derek Bell – Chip Robinson – Al Holbert Jr.||Porsche 962||Löwenbrau Holbert Racing|
|1989||John Andretti – Derek Bell – Bob Wollek||Porsche 962||Miller BF Goodrich Busby Racing|
|1991||Hurley Haywood – John Winter – Frank Jelinski – Henri Pescarolo – Bob Wollek||Porsche 962C||Joest Racing|
|1995||Jürgen Lässig – Christophe Bouchut – Giovanni Lavaggi – Marco Werner||Kremer K8 Spyder Porsche||Kremer Racing|
|2003||Kevin Buckler – Michael Schrom – Timo Bernhard – Joerg Bergmeister||Porsche 911 GT3 RSR||The Racer’s Group|
|2009||David Donohue – Antonio Garcia – Darren Law – Buddy Rice||Riley MxKI Porsche||Brumos|
|2010||Joao Barbosa – Terry Borcheler – Ryan Dalziel – Mike Rockefeller||Riley MxKI Porsche||Action Express Racing|
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Pictures courtesy Porsche AG, as mentioned in captions and unknown