Toad Hall Motor Racing Home Page
Jim Oppenheimer's Home Page
Peter Kitchak's Home Page
Toad Hall Mast
Sponsored by

Real Estate Advisors to Business
Visit the Keewaydin Web Site

Rolex

The 24 Hours of Daytona
 Janurary 30-February 2, 2003
Kitchak and Oppenheimer 3rd OA in Historic GTP race driving Oppenheimer's Porsche 962

Race Report
Victory Lane Magazine Article
 The Cars
Results Rolex 24
Results HSR Historic GTP
 The Drivers for the 24 Hour Race
 Schedule

Entry List

 Photos 
Track Map

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Race Report -

Final Race Results:

Kevin Buckler's Racer's Group #66 Porsche GT3 RS wins overall.  I am so pleased for Kevin who started Porsche Club Racing at about the same time I did, 10 years ago. After taking the GT title at the Rolex 24 one year ago,  Kevin, together with Michael Schrom, Timo Bernhard and Jorg Bergmeister reunited to take the overall crown. The Risi Competizione #35 Ferrari took second place honors, while the Rennwerks Motorsports #83 Porsche GT3 RS rounded out the overall podium. The Multimatic #88 Ford Focus Daytona Prototype captured the first-ever honors in the new premier class. The Perspective Racing #24 Mosler MT900R won the GTS class, while the Team Seattle/Essex Racing #5 Nissan Lola took the SportsRacing Prototype II class.

The 24 Hours of Daytona
24 Minutes and Out for the Gunnar GT1 Porsche

This was indeed a frustrating weekend.  We started the race with a "back-up" motor.  It didn't really make good power and we did not expect it to last. It didn't. Gunnar Jeanette started the race after the crew worked diligently to get the "new" motor in the car.  We only lasted 8 laps and the car was not up to the task from the start.  It was very reminiscent of my 1998 Le Mans effort with Konrad where we lasted only 12 minutes of the race on a "new" motor.  Kevin Jeanette, the owner of Gunnar Racing, was a true gentleman, was very appologetic and made asincere effort. And, the crew did work very hard.  I guess it was not to be.  However, I spend the rest of the afternoon and much of the evening crusins around the track.  My good frined, Kevin Buckler and his team Racer's Group spent most of the night in the lead and I was very happy indeed for Kevin.  I had a nice long chat in one of the track suites with Duncan Dayton and Bobby  Rahal where we talked as much about skiing as we did about car racing. As I sit on an early morning flight back to Minneapolis and write this Kevin Buckler is busy defending his lead that was only a lap when I left this morning.  The race will end about the time I get off the plane.  

I have already been asked many times if I am disappointed.  Of course.  But that IS racing.  We had a great season last year with my RSR where we started 18 races and finished every one of them.  A great credit to our crew chief, chief engineer and chief mechanic, David Moore.  Perhaps things might have been different if he would have helped prepare the car.   The car "looked good on paper" as Bobby Rahal said, and perhaps it would have gone well if we would have had a bit more time to test.  I am afraid to say that even if we would have had a great motor, the car wouldn't have been a winner, because we were just too far behind.  The set up and the suspension needed more time also.  Our shock and spring combination was less than perfect and the car would have been a handful to drive all through the night.  So...on to our next adventure and back to vintage racing.  We will be at Moroso for a vintage race in a couple of weeks, with more driving, less cost and more fun.  See you there.

Friday Historic GTP Race

A podium Finish!  We finish 3rd Overall.  Jim Oppenheimer, Peter Kitchak and Craig Bennett share the driving. Each driver drives one stint. Impossible to beat the much more powerful Nissan GTP GTP cars.  We started 3rd and we finished third after a consistant drive by each of our drivers.  The Porsche 962 is a spectacular car to drive and almost all of the laps of each of our drivers was at or below the best times for the best cars in the 24 hour field.

Friday 24 Hour Practice 

No real news.  The car still did not work well.  Apparently there is a broken cylinder in the engine and water is leaking out of one of the headers.  So, a new engine is going into the car but we have not decided whether or not we will be do the race.  I am 50/50 at the moment and will make the decision of whether I will race or not on Saturday Morning.

Thursday 24 Hour Practice  

Unfortunately, this is not turning out the way I expected. The car was finished just before the first practice and we are SLOOOW! We will be lucky to end up in the top half of the field and tonight during night practice we were one of the slowest cars.  We don't have the right suspension set-up and we are way down on power. Imagine what is is like to be driving such a beautiful, fast looking car and get passed  by a GT3R Porsche.  We can't get a good program for the engine from Porsche and we just don't seem to be able to make the horsepower we need.  I was faster here with my 1973 Normally Aspirated Porsche RSR in 1999. Cest La Vie.

All of the drivers have now had time in the car, we had a water leak during the first practice and we keep changing things.  Friday morning we will have new shocks, new springs and perhaps a new program from Porsche for the motor.  But...they just aren't willing to give us the motor we need to make the car go.  Politics.

But, the good news... Jim and I are third on the grid for the Historic Race with the Porsche 962. And, we are much faster than the fastest of the Daytona 24 hours cars. So, for the Friday race in that car we expect to be very quick. And, we could win.  It is very close.