Dion von Moltke was overjoyed after claiming GT class honours in the Rolex 24 at Daytona with Alex Job Racing, leading a one-two finish for Audi.
Von Moltke and star drivers Oliver Jarvis, Edoardo Mortara and Filipe Albuquerque were in contention for the entirety of the event in the #24 Alex Job Racing R8, and recovered from a penalty late in the race to snatch a thrilling victory in a hugely competitive GT class.
With two and half hours remaining they had found themselves a lap down after a stop-and-hold penalty for avoidable contact with the #61 Ferrari, but clever strategy and a blinding stint by Albuquerque in the final 150 minutes saw them leap up to the lead, the Portuguese driver holding on under pressure to claim the class victory by a mere 1.476s ahead of the #52 Customer Audi of Rene Rast.
A delighted Von Moltke said: “I’m completely speechless. With more than two and half hours to go we got a penalty for avoidable contact and went a lap down.”
“We thought we were down and out but we kept fighting, we kept digging, we kept trying to find any way, and Filipe (Albuquerque) probably put in the best drive I’ve ever seen a race car driver do in my life, and that’s what it really takes to win this race, and to pull it off is really special.”
“It was going to close on fuel and when we had to come in for a splash we thought “oh no” but we came back out in the lead and the whole team just erupted. I’ve never seen an atmosphere like that.”
“To be standing here on the podium as a winner at the Rolex 24 at Daytona is quite surreal.”
The win is the second major endurance success for von Moltke, who also won last year’s Sebring 12 Hours with the same Alex Job Racing squad in the GTC class, and he praised the job his Audi team-mates did behind the wheel on their way to last weekend’s victory.
“To win a Rolex watch at Daytona is incredible. This was only my fifth time doing this race and it is the first attempt for Olly [Jarvis], Edo [Mortara] and Filipe. Until this year I’d never even led a lap here. I managed to do that in my stint and now to come away with a victory is just amazing,” von Moltke said.
“I’ve got a great relationship with Audi and I’m thrilled to be a part of their first win here at the Daytona International Speedway. To get to drive with these three guys was a great experience they have already become some of my best friends in two weeks. They really are some of the best drivers I’ve ever got the honour to work with.”