The 57th Rolex 24 at Daytona on the weekend of 26-27 January will kick off IMSA’s 50th anniversary season and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The 2019 Rolex 24 at Daytona is set to thrill spectators and competitors alike, and Porsche will once again be present, this year fielding six cars across five teams in two classes. Porsche at the 2019 Rolex 24 will this year be represented by two works 911 RSRs in the GTLM class, and four 911 GT3 Rs in the GTD class.
The two factory Porsches will be driven by some familiar faces: Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet and Frédéric Makowiecki will share driving duties in the #911 car; while Earl Bamber, Laurens Vanthoor and Mathieu Jaminet will be in the #912 sister car.
The new Porsche 911 GT3 R made a successful debut at the test days earlier in the month and will face stiff competition in the GTD class. The four GTD teams are made up as follows:
Porsche flies the Brumos Racing colours at Daytona and Sebring in 2019
It is interesting to note how popular the two works Porsches boasting heritage liveries proved with the spectators at the 2018 Le Mans 24 Hour race. Ford too, have gotten in on the act with their #66 car displaying the livery of the 1985 Roush Racing Motorcraft Ford Mustang while the #67 GT car will wear a throwback tribute to current race team partner Castrol. Porsche, the manufacturer that started this trend, is continuing their heritage theme by honouring the memory of the great Brumos Porsches of old. There is no question that this trend has piqued interest in the GTLM class, and long may it continue.
In the 1950s and 1960s, the Brumos-Porsche team’s race cars were recognisable in their distinctive yellow and orange themes. The team’s ongoing successes, all of which were claimed after the arrival of sports car driver Peter Gregg and the associated name change to Brumos Racing, were achieved with the cars in the colours of white, red and blue. It is with this now famous livery and the starting number 59, that the Peter Gregg/Hurley Haywood duo and the Brumos Racing Porsches have been written into the motorsport history books.
The Brumos Racing cars amassed 15 titles and 48 race victories in the IMSA series. The squad proved formidable at its Daytona home race with triumphs in 1973 and 1975 (Porsche Carrera RSR) as well as in 1978 (Porsche 935/77) and 2009 (Riley Mk. XI with the Porsche 3.99-litre engine). However, Brumos dominated on many other North American racetracks, as well. The most recent major title was scored by the squad in 2011 with Andrew Davis and Leh Keen claiming the GT championship in the Porsche 911 GT3. Racing operations were halted in 2013, with a brief comeback in the 2015 season after the team was sold. However, after just two races at Daytona and Sebring, the programme finally ended.
The Brumos name originates from the owner of a car dealership in Miami Springs. In 1955, Hubert Brundage was one of the first to field a Porsche vehicle in a racing series outside Europe. In the 1950s, his enterprise Brundage Motors had the telex address BRUMOS – the name has stuck to this day.
Written by: Glen Smale
Images by: Porsche Motorsport