Former Winners and First-Time Classic 24 Leaders Alike Top the Time Sheets Halfway Through Eighth Running of HSR Classic 24 Hour Race
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (November 6, 2022) – The Eighth Running of the Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) Classic Daytona presented by IMSA hit the halfway mark early Sunday morning at Daytona International Speedway (DIS) where some first-time race leaders and former HSR Classic 24 race winners stepped up to take control of their respective Run Groups at mid-race.
Group B had the honor of kicking off the competition for the start of the HSR Classic 24 at 2 p.m. EDT on Saturday and a familiar team of “HSR Classics” dominators quickly stepped up to take the lead. The Phil Reilly and Co. 1974 No. 26 Chevron B26 of Gray Gregory, Ethan Shippert and Randy Buck won both Group B opening rounds and is halfway home to what would be the team’s sixth HSR Classics victory. Gregory and his No. 26 teammates won the 2020 HSR Classic 24 in addition to four-straight HSR Classic Sebring 12 Hour Group wins from 2017 to 2020.
Group A has seen perhaps the biggest surprise of the race so far with the debuting Jack Lewis Enterprises 1971/20 No. 29 Porsche 917/R Bailey recreation of Jack Lewis and Rob Parker building a one-lap lead on the field halfway through the race. Lewis looks for a second-straight HSR Classic Daytona victory after securing the Group B GT-class win last year in his Jack Lewis Enterprises 1974 No. 9 Porsche 911 RSR.
Another repeat Classic 24 win is in the making in Group C, but this one comes with a twist. If the duo of Malcolm Ross and Corey Fergus manages to pull off a repeat of last year’s Group C triumph, the victory will happen at the wheel of a different ex-Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) Jaguar XJR-16 than the big cat they co-drove to the win in 2021. Last year’s winning 1991 No. 3 Jaguar XJR-16 was sidelined after an issue in practice Friday and the team switched to their sister No. 2 Jaguar XJR-16. Ironically, the No. 2 was brought to this year’s HSR Classic to serve as a parts car in support of the No. 3. The No. 2 now carries the team’s title defense and several parts from its sidelined sister cat. After the first two of four Group C sessions, Ross and Fergus have opened up a comfortable lead on the competition.
Group D has produced so far the closest battle in the race and another first-time HSR Classic Daytona race leader at half distance. The Group D leader is the Iconic Racing 2003 No. 163 Saleen S7-R of Gérard Lopez and former Le Mans 24 Hour winner Éric Hélary. The Saleen duo has a seven-second lead over the 2006 No. 39 Riley XX Daytona Prototype of Todd Sloan while the third place 1993 Chevy Camaro R&S of Kenny Bupp and Jordan Bupp runs on the lead lap and only a minute and a half behind the leading Saleen.
The Hudson Historics 2014 No. 33 Corvette Daytona Prototype of John Reisman and Eric Curran has moved off to a comfortable lead in Group E. Reisman and Curran won both opening rounds.
Recently crowned IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar LMP2 Champion John Farano has continued his strong 2022 season with a race-leading performance in Group F at the halfway point. Farano won the opening Group F round in his 2018 No. 81 Oreca 07 4200 and held the lead after a runner-up showing in race two saw him cross the finish line just over five seconds behind the winning 2007 No. 18 Pescarolo 01 Judd of Juan Gonzalez and Butch Leitzinger.
The Group G leader at halfway is the 2006 No. 086 Porsche 997 Carrera C2 of Enrique Munizaga.
The HSR Classic Daytona 24 continues through morning hours and straight to 1 p.m. EST Sunday when the final checkered flag of the weekend will bring the twice-around-the-clock classic to a close.
Tickets are available through Sunday morning at DIS Gate 40 off of Williamson Blvd.
Welcome Back: The Eighth Running of the HSR Classic 24 has seen a welcome return of several top competitors from Europe for the first time in this decade. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, international participation was nearly non-existent in 2020 while last year’s Classic 24 was improved but still lacked an abundance of teams and drivers from overseas. Former Classic 24 winners Iconic Racing return for the first time since 2019 with a Lola T70 and the Group D-leading Saleen S7-R for Lopez and Hélary. First-time HSR Classic 24 competitors from abroad include the English family team of Mike Jordan and his son Andrew Jordan who compete in Group D in the JRT Racing 2003 No. 77 Porsche 996 GT3 Supercup driven in its prime by Wolf Henzler.
Andrew Jordan won the 2013 British Touring Car Championship and carries on a tradition of racing success started by his father Mike, who has also secured his fair share of triumphs in BTCC and other racing series in the UK. Mike Jordan first came to the “World Center of Racing” in 1996 on a trip to the Daytona 500 that was part of his prize package for winning his first of two-consecutive championships in the V8 Eurocar series, which featured European “saloon” or stock cars powered by Roush Ford V8 engines. Jordan stayed in nearby New Smyrna, Florida, for that first trip and that beach city just south of Daytona has remained the “go-to” destination for the Jordans every time they visit.
All-Star Roll Call: In addition to the influx of European competitors, this year’s HSR Classic Daytona 24 has attracted the largest contingent in years of past and current sports car racing stars and recent Rolex 24 At Daytona winners from both the U.S. and abroad. Most are competing in the Classic 24-hour race but others contested only the Daytona Historics races or are on-hand to coach their clients and co-drivers. The list includes the Jordans, Curran, Fergus, Farano, Hélary, Lopez, Leitzinger, Colin Braun, Andy Wallace, John Edwards, Memo Gidley, Eric Foss, Johnny O’Connell, Canaan O’Connell, Warren Hughes, Ryan Dalziel, Matt Bell, Jim Matthews, Gunnar Jeannette, Robby Foley, Dwight Merriman, Eric Lux, Madison Snow, Samantha Tan, James French, Louis-Philippe Dumoulin, Hugh Plumb, Richard Bradley, Michael de Quesada and Darin Brassfield, among others.
Spectator tickets for the HSR Classic Daytona can be purchased at DIS Gate 40, off of Williamson Boulevard through Sunday morning. Learn more at www.HSRTickets.com.
The 2022 HSR Classic Daytona presented by IMSA entry list can be found by clicking here.