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Fog, Fun and Ferocious Racing: Preparing for the Classic Daytona 24 Hours

Submitted by on August 15, 2014

1975 Daytona 24

Image: Louis Galanos thanks to HSR

The HSR’s 2014 Classic 24 Hours at Daytona is set for this November 12 – 16, and we can’t wait. To get in the mood, let’s head back to 1975 with a thick fog blanketing the pre-dawn hours.

There’s something truly magic about 24-hour endurance racing. A brutal test in which drivers and manufacturers pit their endurance, skill, performance and reliability against the unpredictability of time and nature.

The 1973 oil crisis meant that the 1974 24 Hours of Daytona was never run. So when the field returned to Daytona for the 1975 race, nature thumbed through its bag of tricks, and decided to go with a little fog. The result was gripping.

The HSR’s latest tale from Daytona, courtesy of J.J. O’Malley. Daytona 24 Hours. The Definitive History of America’s Great Endurance race, gives you an idea.

Tales from Daytona 1975: BRILLIANCE IN THE FOG

Fog set in during the pre-dawn hours. Some drivers complained about visibility. Haywood, however, was not complaining. During a brilliant 4 hour shift he was gaining 10 – 15 seconds a lap on the leading Holbert/EFR Porsche. 

IMSA was considering red-flagging the race due to the deteriorating conditions, and race official Charlie Rainville asked Brumos if they were having visibility problems.

“Put Charlie on the radio,” Haywood instructed the team. Haywood told Rainville to “Time my next lap,” Haywood then proceeded to run the fastest lap of the race to that point. This ended all conversation of bring out the red flag.

Hurley Haywood and Peter Gregg would go on to win the race, the second of Haywood’s five, and Gregg’s four.

We don’t know what time has in store for the 2014 Classic 24 Hours at Daytona, but with six period-correct race groups running on a rotating schedule throughout the 24 hours, it’s sure to be brilliant.

Head to the official Classic 24 Hours at Daytona website here for more information, and to the HSR website here to buy tickets.

And for a few tips on how to get around Daytona as quickly as possible, hop on board a Porsche 911 IROC with Jochen Mass in the video below, and let 24 Hour of Daytona winner Jim Pace talk you through it.



Image: Louis Galanos

Classic Daytona

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