GB Autosport had a tough initiation to the Rolex 24 at Daytona, fighting through multiple accidents to make it to the chequered flag in its Daytona debut.
Competing in the extremely competitive GT Daytona category, GB Autosport drivers Bob Faieta, Damien Faulkner and Patrick Huisman took to the wheel of the #81 Porsche 911 GT. Faulkner took the opening stint, putting the car into the top ten, eventually moving up to the top spot after two hours of running.
Having dropped back to twelfth after handing over to Faieta, GB Autosport’s charge back through the field was halted due to a lengthy red flag period. Once the race got underway again, Faieta began working his way back through the pack, moving up to eighth before handing the car over to Huisman.
All seemed to be going well for the team until an incident with a fellow GT car forced Faulkner to bring the car back to the garage for repairs overnight. Having made the relevant repairs, and fixing an issue found in the cooling system, the drivers got back to work, clawing their laps back and maintaining their position in class.
More contact with another GT car resulted in further repairs to be made, however this time the work could be done on pit road instead of in the garage. Despite all the work the team had done, the damage had taken its toll, with brake issues causing Huisman to go off at the bus-stop chicane along with a further incident for Faulkner.
Despite the bruises, and minus a splitter, the team rallied together for a strong final hour, eventually crossing the line down in 25th in class.
“As many of these races as I have done they are always challenging and difficult,” said team manager, Cole Scrogham. “You try to pick the good things out of them for sure. This was probably the most difficult race I think I have ever been a part of and I have done about 20 of these. So it is time for the Tully’s machine to go back and regroup a little bit and possibly start over. Having three avoidable contacts in one race, with all them creating damage is difficult. But that is part of it. We are looking forward and Sebring presents its own challenges. It is difficult in a number of other ways, but I think we have a great car and a great core team, so we will be able to go there and compete.”
“We just took a beating really since the crash last night to be honest,” added Faulkner. “I think that was the catalyst that started all of this. To be honest, you either win this race or you lose it. Of course we would have loved to have finished and to have challenged for the win, but honestly there is really no point in even finishing 10th either. I think we have learned a lot throughout this race. This team came together very late and I think we have done a massive amount in a very short space of time. There are some great people here and it’s just a shame for all of the boys and our sponsors. So on to the next one.”