- Accomplished Designer and Engineer Joins Greg Thornton and Brad Hoyt in Executone 1983 March 83G GTP Newey Designed and Ran at Daytona
- Henrik Lindberg Brings Jochen Dauer Racing 1989 Tic Tac Porsche 962 Back to Daytona for the Classic 24 Hour
- Tina Kok to Make Classic 24 Hour at Daytona Debut in 1968 Chevron B8
- BMW Legend Dieter Quester Returns to the Classic 24 at Daytona with Red Bull BMW M1
Accomplished motorsports designer and engineer Adrian Newey will be reunited with a race car he designed and ran at Daytona International Speedway (DIS) when he makes his North American competition driving debut in the third edition of the Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) Classic 24 Hour at Daytona presented by IMSA, November 8 - 12.
Entered to co-drive a 1983 March 83G in the Classic 24 Hour at Daytona with Greg Thornton and Brad Hoyt, Newey will be competing in one of his earliest projects. The Executone March 83G Chevy the trio will share in the Classic 24 Hour is the same exact race car Newey and his team guided to a near victory in the 1983 24 Hours of Daytona.
Newey is best known for his designs that have won numerous Formula 1 driver and constructor titles and over 150 Grand Prix races. He has been with Red Bull Racing Formula 1 since 2007 as the team's Chief Technical Officer. The four-straight World Championships Red Bull and Newey earned from 2010 through 2013 made him the only designer to F1 win titles with three different constructors.
The earlier championships came with Newey designs for Williams F1 and McLaren, with those accomplishments preceded by success in Indy Car racing in the 1980s and, before that, an unexpected foray into sports car racing.
"My very first job was an aerodynamicist at Fittipaldi F1, followed by moving to March as a design draftsman during the week and a race engineer on Formula 2 weekends," Newey said. "That was 1982, and toward the end of the year I saw the March 82 sports car lying around rather unloved after having performed poorly at Le Mans. So, I approached Robin Herd, the boss of March and said 'could I have a go at modifying it?' He said 'yes, but there was no budget for wind tunnel testing or anything like that, you'll have to do it on your own and get it ready for the GTP championship in America.' So, that's exactly what I did."
Newey worked tirelessly on that first March 83G, right up until he and two March mechanics turned up in Daytona for the 1983 24 Hour race.
"I redesigned it, re-did the aerodynamics by eye, which is always a dangerous thing, and got some weight out of it," Newey said. "Robin sold that first car to an American, Ken Murray, who entered it for the Daytona 24 Hour race. We had one brief shakedown in the UK with Tiff Needell in Donington and off we went. Through practice we weren't very competitive, and the car kept breaking down, it was very new. Going into the race we had been up for about 48 hours, between keeping it running through practice then qualifying. We thought we would run for an hour or two and then break down and we could get to bed."
Sleep would have to wait, however, as Newey's hard work and preparation over the previous months paid off. Co-drivers Marty Hinze, Terry Wolters and Randy Lanier found the March both reliable and quick, moving into the overall race lead in the overnight hours.
"I clearly remember, because the girls who did the timekeeping got lost, so at about two or three o'clock in the morning, I wandered off to the toilet block and looked up to see the scoring tower with the number at the top," Newey said. "Going to the loo and standing there and thinking '88, 88? I know that number - that's us!' And so we led from about the 12th hour through to about two hours from the end when it started raining and the Chevrolet engine got a misfire. We finished second and it was that second place that really launched my career."
Over the last dozen or so years, Newey has added driving to his list of motorsports endeavors.
"I guess my driving has sort of been a bit of a mid-life crisis perhaps," Newey said. "My focus has obviously been on designing and engineering the cars, but then having done a few long-distance historic rallies, I got into racing in about 2004. I have since competed in various races, initially historic races but also the Le Mans 24 hour race in a Ferrari GT2, the Goodwood Revival and other bits and pieces so on and so forth."
The return path to Daytona for Newey started at another premier historic race.
"The opportunity came about when I competed in my Lotus 49 in the Monaco Historique in 2016 when I met a chap there, Greg Thornton, who also has a Lotus," Newey said. "He subsequently mentioned that he was taking the Executone car, which I ran at Daytona in 1983 all those years ago, to the Classic 24 Hour, and if I would I like to co-drive."
Thornton and Hoyt are also linked through historic racing.
"Greg and I are great friends having met in historic Formula 1 racing," Hoyt said. "I was thrilled to hear he had acquired the March 83 and that he remembered attending the Daytona 24 Hour race as a spectator. Watching Adrian Newey drive one of his first creations some 35 years on - even as he remains the greatest mind in F1 today - will be very special. If Lady Luck smiles on us, I will lean hard on Greg and the boys to return for the Classic 12 Hour at Sebring, where we will headquarter the team in our shop."
Newey will be happy to just return to Daytona and reunite with one of his earliest success stories with the March 83G.
"I've heard very good things about the Classic 24 Hour at Daytona," Newey said. "For me to go back there, well, many years later, having been there for the first time as a very young engineer, and to be reunited with that car at Daytona will be very special."
- Henrik Linberg has entered the Classic 24 Hour with a GTP/Group C era race car that should be just as popular with race fans today as it was in its Classic 24 Hour at Daytona debut in 2014. Prepared by Xtec Engineering, Lindberg owns and drives the 1989 Jochen Dauer Racing Porsche 962 that carries the timeless Tic Tac livery. The 962 was raced by the Dauer team in the 1990 Daytona 24 Hour by Raul Boesel and the cousin pairing of Al Unser Jr. and Robby Unser, but the car sported a white livery with yellow, green and black side stripes. It wasn't until Lindberg brought the 962 to the inaugural Classic 24 in 2014 that Daytona fans got a look at the car in its striking Tic Tac colors.
Back in Europe, and always in Tic Tac trim, the 962 was campaigned in its professional prime in the 1990 World Sports Prototype Championship and in the German ADAC Sports Car series. Those schedules brought it to other legendary circuits such as the Nurburgring, Spa Francorchamps, Silverstone and Dijon where the 962 was driven by other top drivers such as Bob Wollek, Hans Stuck, Kenny Acheson and Henri Pescarolo.
Lindberg has been racing for the last 25 years in both contemporary and vintage and historic racing competition. He also owns an ex-Bob Akin Coca-Cola 1980 Porsche 935 K3 and a 2002 Ferrari Formula 1 car, originally campaigned by Rubens Barrichello. Lindberg most recently appeared at Daytona in the F1 car, participating in the Le Grand Ferrari Finale at the World Center of Racing in 2016.
- Xtec Engineering is also fielding a 1968 Chevron B8 for Danish driver Tina Kok, one of the few female drivers competing on the international vintage and historic racing circuit. Kok is making her Daytona debut in the mint-colored B8 coupe, an original model that was completely restored by Xtec a few years ago after being raced in its prime mostly in hill-climb competition in the United Kingdom, Germany and France. Kok is also a regular competitor in the European Ferrari Challenge series, competing in a new Ferrari 488 Challenge car.
- Ageless BMW racing icon Dieter Quester returns to the Classic 24 Hour at Daytona this year with another magnificent example of BMW's rich racing heritage. After running a BMW-based Alpina B6 GT3 in 2015's most recent running of the Classic 24 Hour, Quester's race car of choice for this November's race is a BMW M1 "Procar" adorned in Red Bull colors in a livery similar to the one the Alpina carried.
Quester raced M1's in the prime of his career in Group 4 and Group 5 competition, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and in the original BMW M1 Procar Championship from 1979 - 1982. He was also instrumental in the test program to develop the car, which gives the M1 "special status" among the generations of high-performance BMW machines he has had the privilege to drive and race.
Quester is no stranger to Daytona and has participated in roughly 15 Daytona 24 Hour races, in addition to the 2015 Classic 24 Hour. Daytona is reportedly Quester's favorite 24-hour race for the special experience of driving through the banking in the night and when the morning sun is rising.
Luca Riccitelli will co-drive the M1 with Quester at the Classic 24 Hour. They previously drove together in the 2000 Rolex 24 At Daytona where they joined three other drivers in giving Red Bull a second-place GTU-class finish. Riccitelli also co-drove to a GT class victory in the 1999 24 Hours of Le Mans.
In addition to Red Bull, Quester's Classic 24 Hour effort is being supported by Wagner M1, Drexler Automotive, Goodyear Germany and TIBOR.
The HSR Classic 24 Hour at Daytona debuted in 2014 as a tribute race to the internationally famous Rolex 24 At Daytona, which has been run on the 3.56-mile road course at the World Center of Racing for more than half-a-century.
The HSR Classic 24 Hour gives the magnificent racing machines that were driven to glory at Daytona in the last few decades another chance to shine on the high banks. At the same time, HSR's competition class structure also gives some race cars that never had a chance to race at Daytona in their prime a chance to make their own history in the Classic 24 Hour.
A true endurance race in its own right, the Classic 24 Hour features six period-correct Run Groups racing in succession for a full day and night. Each Group takes to the track four times in total in a non-stop, 24-hour spectacle that is as close to the real thing as you can get.
The grand prizes at the end are custom-made and HSR Classic 24 Hour at Daytona-specific B.R.M. Chronographes watches that are presented to the overall winner of each Group.
Learn more about the HSR Classic 24 Hour at Daytona presented by IMSA at the Official Event Page at http://hsrrace.com/events/. Competitors interested in participating in the event can apply at http://classic24hour.com/entryforms.html. Spectator tickets for the 2017 Classic 24 Hour at Daytona presented by IMSA are available at http://www.hsrtickets.com/. The HSR office can be reached at (727) 573-1340.
Next up on the 2017 HSR race event schedule is the Atlanta Fall Historics at Road Atlanta, September 14 - 17.