The ROLEX 24 Hours of Daytona is now one of the World’s most premier endurance motorsports events. With drivers, brands, teams and fans from across the globe, walking through the paddock is like a motorsports “who’s who” that bridges the gap between Formula 1, NASCAR, IndyCar, Le Mans and more…
A little history and some fun facts on the ROLEX 24 Hours:
- The ROLEX 24 Hours of Daytona is run on the 3.56-mile (5.73 km) combined road course / NASCAR speedway of Daytona International Speedway. The advanced racecars taking part this coming weekend will reach speeds of upwards of 200mph on the steep banks of Daytona before they dip into Turn 1 of the road course just past pit exit.
- The race is one leg of the Endurance Racing “Triple Crown” which consists of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 12 Hours of Sebring and the ROLEX 24 Hours of Daytona. The first driver to win this trio of important endurance races was Phil Hill in 1964 while the most recent winner of all three races was Timo Bernhard in 2010. Other notable racers to accomplish this feat include: AJ Foyt, Andy Wallace, Dan Gurney, Stirling Moss, David Hobbs, and Hurley Haywood.
- Phil Hill’s initial run at the Daytona 24 was crippled, incidentally, when he hit a seagull. (The seagull’s day was also reportedly cut short.)
- Since its inception, it has been held on the last weekend of January or first weekend of February as part of Speedweeks, and it is the first major automobile race of the year in the United States. It is also the first race of the season for the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
- The race initially started in 1959 as a 6-hour/1,000km race and later transitioned first to a 2,000km race. Finally, starting in 1966 the Daytona race was extended to match the length of the 24 Heures du Mans.
- All winning drivers in each class of racecar receive especially engraved ROLEX Cosmograph Daytona watches. Since 1991, the watch given out was the stainless steel Daytona with white dial, but in 2017 the watch handed out for the first time became the steel & gold Daytona with white dial. Traditionally, the white dial is reserved for the ROLEX 24 at Daytona while the black dial has been given out to motorcycle winners in years past.
- This winning trophy-watch is one of the most coveted racing trophies on the planet and the watch itself is even named after the famous Speedway itself.
- The ROLEX 24 Hours of Daytona is actually now one of the most attended races in North America – dwarfed only by NASCAR’s & IndyCar’s most attended races – the Daytona 500, Indy 500 and the Winston 500.
For 2019, the #73 Porsche GT3R of Park Place Motorsports / deBoulle features one of the strongest lineups in the GTD field. Here’s a rundown on the trio of driver’s joining our own, Nick Boulle, in the brand new Porsche racecar.
With the impressive feat of winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in his first try in 2018 on his racing resumé, Campbell’s name precedes him. Matt grew up around racing, his Grandfather Bill Campbell ran the local circuit Morgan Park Raceway and both Bill and Matt’s auntie “TC” taught him how to drive and then how to race. Matt’s natural ability soon shone, and he was soon looking for new challenges.
At the age of just 16 was Queensland State Champion for Super Sprints, second in the Queensland Formula Ford Championship and holds the lap record at Sydney Motorsport Park for Historic Group Q Racing in an F2 ASP 330. In 2012 Matt won the Queensland Formula Ford Championship and went on to set more lap records, this time at his home circuit Morgan Park, again in the ASP330 he set the new record at 1:17.172 on the 3km circuit. Having already established a name for himself in Queensland Matt needed to move from State to National events.
Not to be outdone for the QLD Super Sprint State Championships he won again in 2013 and also set another new Lap Record during the year, this time in a Historic Tiga Sports 2000 for Historic Group R Sports. Moving into the National Formula Ford Matt finished 9th overall.
The 2014 year for Matt and his Matt Campbell Racing team was best described as “HUGE”. The decision was made to move from single seater racing into sedans, and Matt’s choice of racing was the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge. Over the course of the year his talent was obvious to everyone, he won the B Class with one round to spare.
The final round at Phillip Island Matt was offered the drive of a Class A car and he pretty much trumped the whole field by being fastest in practice, qualifying and winning all of the races, and by at least a 10 second margin! He was the recipient of the Will Power Young Achiever of the year award, holds the Lap Record at Phillip Island for the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge and was also awarded the Pirelli 2014 Performer of the Year Award. And to top it off was again the Queensland Super Sprint State Champion.
In 2015 Matt qualified the Imak Porsche 911 GT3R 12th at Bathurst for the 12 Hour race with an impressive 2:04.6446 and competed in the Australian Porsche Carrera Cup finishing 3rd in the Championship. In 2016 Matt won the Australian Porsche Carrera Cup Championship and as now racing in Europe as a Porsche ‘Junior’ factory driver.
Patrick Long is a two-time Pirelli World Challenge champion, three-time ALMS GT champion, class winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Rolex 24 At Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans, the only North American employed as a factory racing driver by Porsche and a class winner at the 2013 SCORE Baja 1000. With California roots and a European racing pedigree, he is one of the top sportscar racers of this generation, and he continues to races around the globe in support of Porsche’s objectives. For 2019, Patrick’s primary program will be a full-season in IMSA’s GTD class with Park Place Motorsports.
A prodigy, Long began racing karts at eight after driving his first kart at six. He went on to capture several state and national titles and raced in the Belgium Junior Championship where he finished second. In 1997, he became the lead driver for SSC Racing winning the IKF Formula A title and the WKA Constructors’ Cup. He moved to Europe to pursue his career at age 16. Once in Europe, he gained immediate recognition by becoming the first American (in 1998) to win an International European karting event in 20 years. He went on to win 15 WKA Constructor’s Cup series races in a row placing second in the international North American Karting Championship. The success still ranks as the highest finishing position for an American in the series. He moved to France in 1999 to make his debut in automobiles. Long placed third overall in the Elf Campus series and won nine of 11 races in the Skip Barber Formula Dodge Series in the United States that season.
Long is married, and he and his wife welcomed their first child, a boy, into their family in 2015. Likeable and laid back, Long brings a unique style and youth to Porsche as the only factory American driver. Beyond his duties racing for Porsche, Long enjoys maintaining a physical fitness routine. To do so, he focuses on road bicycles, surfing and motocross. When possible, he continues to kart. He speaks English, French, Italian and German.
The other Patrick driving in the #73 Porsche GT3R for 2019 also happens to be team principal of Park Place Motorsports. Many people can say they race to work, but few can say they race for work. Patrick Lindsey is one of those few who add, race-car diver, to the resume. Lindsey’s work abstract reads like a movie script fit for the silver screen. His motorsports career started on the back roads of Bakersfield, California where he first found interest in the sport through drag racing an old pickup truck. Alongside a decade long career in motorsports, Lindsey competed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
He helped grow a financial empire on Wall Street before switching gears to something even faster, aviation. He currently is President of Mira Vista Aviation, a jet management and charter company located in Los Angeles, California. When duty calls and time permits, Lindsey moonlights as a Gulfstream IV pilot. But still, Lindsey finds his adrenaline rush behind the seat of his No. 73 Porsche 911 GT3R.
Splitting time between motorsports and any industry could have most heads spinning but not Lindsey. When the helmet goes on this laid back gentleman known for his big heart and cool demeanor becomes a competitive force to be reckoned with, and he has one goal in mind – a victory for Park Place Motorsports. After making his professional racing debut in 2007 with Horton Autosport in the elite World Challenge series, Lindsey has proven time and time again that his talent can place him on the podium any given day. His talent also lead him to the highest platform in North American endurance racing, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Lindsey’s drive for continued advancement has seen him through drag strips to race school, club racing and eventually professional racing. Armed with fierce determination there is no guessing where it could take him next.
“I’ve never doubted the theory that if you work hard enough, you can do anything. But it’s good to remember you can’t do it alone. If you have a passion for what you do and compassion for the people around you, you will find success. Especially, if you remember those who support your dreams. If you show genuine care and determination people will want to work with you; they’ll want to be in the trenches alongside you. That’s a winning technique.”
A lap around Daytona Speedway with Boulle at the wheel of his previous 2016 LMPC entry – use your phone for a 360* view.