Events on February 5th
Interesting and notable events from the history of motor sport.
Malcolm Campbell sets a Land Speed Record of 256.09 MPH in his Bluebird on the beach at Daytona, Florida, USA.
Harold Kite won the 200 mile NASCAR Grand National season opener on the Daytona beach and road course.
Harold Kite won the 200 mile NASCAR Grand National season opener on the Daytona beach and road course in a 1949 Lincoln. Kite, a former tank driver in the Army, took the lead when defending GN champ "Red" Byron pitted on lap 25 to repair gear shift problems. Kite was unchallenged for the remaining 23 laps, taking the checkered flag 53 seconds ahead of Byron's Olds 88. Byron fell to 7th after the pit stop and charged back to take 2nd from Lloyd Moore on the last lap. Kite averaged 89.894 mph on the 4.1 mile beach & road course. Joe Littlejohn's Olds 88 won the pole at a speed of 98.84 mph.
Daytona 24 Hour Race. Won by Danny Chris Amon and Lorenzo Bandini in a Ferrari P4.
Ferraris dominated the 'Daytona 24 Hours' World Sports Car race, leading from the fourth hour with two new P4s and an updated P3 finishing 1-2-3. The team of Chris Amon and Lorenzo Bandini took the win, averaging 105.7 mph over 666 laps in 24 hours. The Ford Mk. 2 entries broke their new transmissions with the lone survivor driven to 7th by Bruce McLaren and Lucien Bianchi. The flipper winged 7 liter Chaparral 2F debuted with Phil Hill and Mike Spence leading the first four hours and Hill setting a new lap record before crashing out.
Daytona 24 Hour Race. Won by Rolf Stommelen, Toine Hezemans and Peter Gregg in a Porsche 935.
Rolf Stommelen, Toine Hezemans and Peter Gregg teamed to win the 'Daytona 24 Hours' Sports Car race, round 1 of the 1978 World Championship for Makes. The winners averaged 108.743 mph in their Porsche 935, finishing 30 laps ahead of the Porsche 935 of Dick Barbour, Johnny Rutherford and Liechtenstein's Manfred Schurti.
Daytona 24 Hour Race. Won by Jurgen Lassig, Christophe Bouchut, Giovanni Lavaggi, and Marco Werner in a Porsche Spyder K8.
Jurgen Lassig, Christophe Bouchut, Giovanni Lavaggi, and Marco Werner drive a Porsche Spyder K8 to victory in the 24-Hours of Daytona. Third overall and first in the GTS-1 class in a Mustang are Tommy Kendall, Michael Brockman, NASCAR star Mark Martin, and actor Paul Newman.
Daytona 24 Hour Race. Won by the ORECA Viper Team. The first time an American-made production car won the event.
In the Rolex 24 at Daytona, a surprise win for the ORECA, French-based Dodge Viper team who started 21st. But the win marked the first time in six years that a production-based car won the event. And, the first time in the 38-year history, an American-made production car brought home the winning trophy. With 13 hours remaining prior to the 1 p.m. finish, the Viper had fallen 11 laps behind the Dyson Racing Riley & Scott Ford. Engine troubles for Dyson over the final half of the race allowed Wendlinger to take the lead shortly after 11 a.m. Wendlinger completed 723 laps and finished just 30.879 seconds ahead of the Corvette driven by Ron Fellows in the closest 24 at Daytona history. Wendlinger led a trio of Team ORECA Vipers that also placed third and fifth. The GTO Corvette of Justin Bell, Ron Fellows and Chris Kneifel, finished 2nd. An amazing performance for production based cars and a rather sad one for the heavily funded prototype teams.