Bobby Rahal Latest Star to Enter Classic 24 at Daytona presented by IMSA
1981 24 Hours of Daytona Winner to Co-Drive 1974 Porsche 911 RSR with Jim Farley at the Classic 24
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida – Following the announcement of an already strong entry of legendary cars and drivers for the second annual Classic 24 Hour at Daytona, presented by IMSA, officials from Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) confirmed that American racing legend, Bobby Rahal, has entered the November 12 – 15 race at Daytona International Speedway.
Rahal, best known as an IndyCar Champion and Indianapolis 500-winning driver and team owner, was also victorious in the 24 Hours of Daytona early in his illustrious career. Before he even won his first IndyCar race in 1982, Rahal earned one of his first major victories in Daytona’s day-long sports car race. Rahal co-drove the No. 9 Garretson Racing/Style Auto Porsche 935 K3 (pictured at bottom) with Bob Garretson and Brian Redman to victory at Daytona in 1981, when the race was known that year as the 24 Hr. Pepsi Challenge.
For the Classic 24, Rahal will stay true to his Daytona-winning Porsche roots, co-driving a 1974 Porsche 911 RSR with automobile industry executive, Jim Farley, an experienced historic racing competitor in his own right. The RSR is being prepared and entered by RM Motorsports.
"The Classic 24 at Daytona was a race I wanted to be a part of from the first time I heard about it last year,” Rahal said. “I have had the pleasure of winning the race in my career, and we are still trying to get a Rolex 24 victory with our BMW GTLM team, but being able to couple that with kind of a throwback step in time will be a lot of fun. I always enjoy the opportunity to compete with my friend, Jim Farley, and to be able to drive a 1970's era Porsche 911 RSR seems like the perfect and iconic machine for the Classic 24. We are looking forward to the race and honored to be a part of it."
Rahal’s entry in the Classic 24 comes just days after his IndyCar racing team and son, Graham Rahal, scored a popular victory this past Sunday on their home track, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The younger Rahal’s victory, his second this season on the team his father co-owns, came 30 years after Bobby Rahal drove to the first of two-straight Mid-Ohio IndyCar wins in 1985.
It wasn’t the first time, however, a 30-year span bridged a pair of significant race victories for the Rahal family. Three decades after Bobby Rahal’s 1981 win in the 24Hr. Pepsi Challenge, Graham Rahal broke through for his own overall Daytona 24 hour win. The younger Rahal, co-droving with Scott Pruett, Joey Hand and Memo Rojas, won the 2011 Rolex 24 At Daytona for Chip Ganassi Racing exactly 30 years after his father conquered the twice-around-the-clock Daytona race.
The list of current and legendary drivers confirmed for the Classic 24 now includes Bobby Rahal, Hurley Haywood, Gijs Van Lennep, Patrick Long, Justin Wilson, Scott Sharp, Jeff Zwart, Jim Pace, Shane Lewis, Mike Skeen, Gunnar Jeanette and many more.
The equally impressive racing machines these drivers and other Classic 24 competitors will race in the Daytona event is a rolling collection of top sports cars and prototypes from the past 50 years.
The Classic 24 features six period-correct run groups rotating through a full 24 hours of racing on the 3.56-mile Daytona road course. The run groups, which include various classes of similar-era race cars, each take to the track four times throughout the 24 hours. The competitors in each class covering the most total distance in their group's four sessions will be crowned Classic 24 at Daytona champions.