2/2/1973

Daytona 24 Hour Race. Won by Peter Gregg and Hurley Haywood in a Porsche 911 Carrera RS.

Peter Gregg and Hurley Haywood teamed in a Porsche 911 Carrera RS to win the 'Daytona 24 Hours' Sports Car race, the opening round in the 1973 World Championship for Makes. After Bill France refused to pay the appearance fee Ferrari wanted and Alfa-Romeo skipped the event after disappointing tests on it's new V12 motor, a slim field of only five 3 liter prototypes were on hand. The two Wyer Mirage entries were plagued by clutch problems, while the lone Matra shared by Jean-Pierre Beltoise, Francois Cevert and Henri Pescarolo was leading when it's engine failed around 12:30 AM. The Matra's retirement moved Mark Donohue's Penske Porsche Carrera into a lead he would hold until early morning before Gregg displaced him. Donohue pitted and handed over to fellow Penske Can-Am driver George Follmer, only to have the engine swallow a piston just 2 laps later. Gregg and Haywood went on to the win, the duo from Jacksonville, Florida covering 670 laps and averaging 106.274 mph. Porsche was hoping to run the new car in GT category, but homologation had not been finalized, leading to an almost comical series of wires to and from Daytona Beach, Stuttgart and Paris before final denial came through. Finishing second overall, and winning the GT class, was the NART Ferrari 365 GTB4 Daytona of Milt Minter and the Francois Migault Porsche which was 22 laps behind.

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