|Scott Pruett||Rob Dyson||Hurley Haywood||Andy Pilgrim|
Reigning Rolex 24 at Daytona 24 champion Scott Pruett is a Daytona veteran with four overall and three class wins to his credit. A multiple IMSA GT, SCCA Trans-Am and Rolex Sport Car Series champion, he is also a former CART and NASCAR competitor.
A 1997 Daytona 24 Hours winner as a driver and the 2002 Daytona enduro as a team owner, Rob Dyson is one of the founders of Grand-Am Road Racing. Dyson Racing's LMP-1 entry won the 2011 ALMS championship.
Competing in his 40th Daytona 24 Hours, Porsche legend Hurley Haywood is a five-time Daytona, three-time Le Mans and two-time Sebring winner as well as an IMSA and Trans-Am champion. Haywood has more road racing victories at Daytona (13) than any other driver.
Successful in both Daytona Prototype and production car racing with one overall and two GT class victories at Daytona, Andy Pilgrim is the 2005 Speed World Challenge champion and a three-time IMSA champ. He curently competes in the SCCA Pirelli World Challenge.
A Video Lap with Pruett
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Scott Pruett on Driving Daytona
You're running 200 mph approaching Turn 1, and it's one of the toughest braking zones. The brakes on all the cars glow cherry red. It's really cool, especially at night.
Turn 3 is very straightforward. You need to get the car where it's got a reasonable balance. It's not a big aero turn because it's so slow—about 60 mph—but it's also a pretty big passing zone.
The Dogleg is typically flat. But even if you lift only a little, it's just as fast as flat because you may force the car into
a bit of an understeer situation.
Turn 5 is also straightforward. If you've got a good balance in the first horseshoe, you'll have a pretty good balance here. You'll brake fairly hard getting into it and then it's just a quick squirt, 2nd, 3rd gear and then back down to 2nd as you head up onto the banking.
At the Banking
Coming up onto the bank, you absolutely have got to get off that turn fast because now you're talking about speed down the straightaway. With the transition, the car continually wants to get loose.
The Bus Stop
It's fast, it's ballsy. You gotta be brave, but you gotta be smart. You cannot get up on top of the curbs. If you do that during a 24-hour race, you'll end up tearing up a splitter pretty bad. The Bus Stop determines your straight-line speed as you go past start-finish. It's critical to do a fast lap.
The Front Straight
Everything on the front straight is flat, easy. You don't even think about it. Once you go through the Bus Stop, you're just flat, up through the gears until you reach terminal speed at around 200 mph.
"Everybody's jacked up at the start of the race. And that's typically when you see guys doing some really stupid things.''—Scott Pruett
"Just try not to rush it too much. Conservatively, we can do a driver change in 18 seconds. It takes close to 30 sec. to put a full load of fuel on board, so don't rush it. You've got plenty of time, so take your time. The biggest thing is giving the driver going in a heads-up on how the car is. You tell him how the car's handling, what to be careful of, if there's some oil on the track.''—Scott Pruett
The Final Hour
"If you're in a fight with somebody, it's go time. This is what you've spent the last 23 hours doing—getting yourself in position to win this sucker. Now's the time to step up and start taking chances. You start being more aggressive with the moves you make. Now instead of just putting in the miles, it's time to put yourself in position to win.''—Scott Pruett
"Slower cars are part of the discipline of multi-class racing. It's like my daughter says, `Just deal, Dad.' So you just have to deal with it, and the clear idea is not to put your car at risk. The Hours race is the easiest race to lose. It takes one mistake, and you will absolutely not have a chance at winning.''—Rob Dyson
When Dawn Breaks
"Dawn is like a resurrection. You feel like everything is coming out of the shadows. The light against the buildings changes every lap, you smell the campfires, people are starting to wake up and you can smell the bacon being cooked. It's a time when you think, `Good, this is a real milestone. We made it this far, we gotta keep going.''—Rob Dyson
One More Pitstop
"The last pitstop is when you sit back and hope that you don't have another one.''—Rob Dyson
Setting the Pace
"In the old days we used to run 24-hour races with two guys, so you had to really kind of pace yourself, and not only did you pace yourself physically but you also had to pace the car. But in the last 10 years, cars have gotten so reliable that the race has become a 24-hour sprint race. Guys are driving these cars just as hard as they will go.''—Hurley Haywood
"I just never had a problem staying awake in a race car. Your adrenaline, your emotions are at a fine edge. Getting tired and falling asleep just are not part of the equation. However, the only time that you do get kind of tired is when you have long yellows like we had last year. We ran three hours- under a yellow, and that can make you sleepy because you're not doing anything, you're going 40 mph in the fog. That can make you go to sleep in a heartbeat."—Hurley Haywood
A Few Hours to Go
"The guys who get in for that last stint are tired and they've been up for well over 24 hours, but they act like they're fresh out of bed. It's just the way you have to get your mind-set to wrap around getting through 24 hours of racing.''—Hurley Haywood
"It's a really emotional thing. You've gotten through it, and you're so relieved that you've finished a 24-hour race that the emotions build up. Tears come down. Guys are crying like babies on the victory lap. When you think about all of the thousands of things that can go wrong in a 24-hour race, it's just monumental.''—Hurley Haywood
The First Pitstop
"There are always nerves on the first pitstop just to make sure you get it right. The worst part is when you've got like 75 cars out there, and it's a yellow. Then it's mayhem. If you're not prepared and everybody's coming in together, it's easy to miss your pit. Guys do it all the time. You've got guys coming out, coming in, following you in side by side. You've got to make sure you hit your marks.''—Andy Pilgrim
After the Sun Goes Down
"It usually gets bloody cold at Daytona. I remember years ago there was one race where the guys got pneumonia after the race because the yellows were so long and it was so freezing cold. It was raining, it was in the 30s, you got soaking wet in the car and you were freezing.''—Andy Pilgrim