case you missed it, The 1999 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona was won by the Dyson Racing team
for the second time in three years. ln a classic Ford versus Ferrari battle, the Dyson
team endured to become victorious after spending the night switching places with the Doyle
- Risi Ferrari. In the early morning hours, the Dyson Riley & Scott Mark III took over
the lead for good with Butch Leitzinger at the wheel.
The team of Leitzinger, Rob Dyson, Elliot Forbes-Robinson and Andy Wallace kept out of trouble in a race with heavy traffic that had a record 83 entries. As torrential rainfall began to fall and high winds moved in from the ocean on Sunday morning, the high downforce of the R&S and the skillful driving of the talented Dyson driver lineup allowed the Dyson #20 to remain in the lead through the nasty winter storm. The correct selection of tires by Team Manager Pat Smith ensured the victory as the second place Ferrari lost vital time in the closing hours on intermediate wet tires.
But racing luck in the form of an early-Sunday morning brake problem cost the Doyle-Risi Ferrari 333 SP team 3 laps in the pits. The margin between them and the winning Dyson car was two laps.
From the start, the battle for position at the front of the Can-Am field was hotly contested between the Doyle-Risi and Doran-Matthews Ferraris (Papis/Johansson driving). Team Dyson dueled with Doyle-Risi's Wayne Taylor, Allan McNish, Didier de Radigues and Massimillano Angelelli throughout Saturday night and into Sunday, with neither car extending to more than a two-lap lead over the other.
"A brake problem this morning cost us the race", said McNish. "It cost us three laps, and we could never make them up. I'm happy for the team. I'm sorry we didn't win, but it was a good result."
Ferrari 330 SP's had a generally good day, placing 3rd overall (Matthews/Johannson/Papis/Vasser), 4th overall, (Calderari/ Bryner/Zadra/Rosenblad) and 8th overall, (Lienhard/Theys/ Baldi/Luyendyk).