The Classic 24 Hour Daytona 2015 was not a vintage event. It was a historical recreation. Presented by Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) on November 11-15, the race weekend recreated the history of endurance racing at Florida’s Daytona International Speedway.
In the span of 24 hours, those in attendance got to see cars from five decades, divided by age, not performance, race against their peers on the same venue they competed in period. From the Lola T70 and Matra MS 630 of the 1960s, through the Greenwood Corvette, BMW CSL and Porsche 935 of the 1970s, the Porsche 962 and Jaguar XJR of the 1980s to the 21st century’s Audi R8, Pescarolo LMP and today’s Daytona Prototypes, it was all there.
Some of these cars were driven by the drivers that originally raced them. Jochen Mass, Brian Redman, Bobby Rahal, Jim Pace and Shane Lewis were among the many drivers from different eras that competed at HSR’s 2015 Classic 24 Hour at Daytona. They signed autographs and participated in a symposium recounting races past. There was also a John Greenwood tribute to honor the late builder and driver of the awesome Greenwood Corvettes that raced in the 24 Hours of Daytona in the 1970s.
Along with seeing cars recreate history, there was the experience of living through 24 hours of racing. Participants — drivers, crew or spectators — felt the pageantry and excitement of the start. They saw day turn to night, and the cars morph from gaily painted to brightly lit. They sat, watching the cars go by, lap after lap, perhaps allowing the hypnotizing effect of this to overcome them.
Dawn brought its energizing quality. It was also when one checked to see who was still out there racing, and who did not survive the night. And though it felt like the end is in sight, there were still six hours of racing to go. Then the finish, the celebration of success (just making it to the end was success to many) and exhaustion overtaking body and mind.
One of the entries to this year’s event was a tribute 1969 Lola T-70 built by Broadley Automotive (think Eric Broadley, founder of Lola cars). It was painted the same Sunoco blue as the Roger Penske owned Lola that won in 1969 with Mark Donohue and Chuck Parsons driving. The car at this year’s race suffered front end damage, and completed the race with duct tape keeping the damaged bodywork in place, just like the 1969 winner did.
That’s one hell of a historical recreation.
Similar to 2014, photographer David Ferguson also documented the Classic 24 Hour Daytona 2015. We split up David’s pictures into two galleries. The first gallery starting below features our favorite images, all displayed in the full-width view of SCD, while the second gallery can be found on the last page of the article and gives a comprehensive view of all the photographs.
Classic 24 Hour Daytona 2015 – Featured Picture Gallery
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