MONDAY 26TH JANUARY 2009
MECHANICAL MISHAPS DULL DAYTONA 24 RESULT
It takes a driver a few days to recover from a 24 hour race.

Long stints through the night with high speed differentials tire a driver enormously, so Allan Simonsen was glad he could return to Denmark for a short break after the Dubai 24 before heading off once again to do battle in Florida atthe Rolex 24 at Daytona.
After the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Rolex 24 is the most prestigious sports car race and certainly the most significant in America.

Drivers get to pit themselves against F1, IRL and NASCAR stars, all vying for the win and the highly sort after Rolex Daytona watch.

Testing had gone well at the beginning of January and the drivers were now familiar with each other. Sharing the duties with Simonsen would be Gabrio Rosa, Georgio Rosa, Giociomo Portobelli and Farnbacher regular Pierre Kaffer.

Kaffer is well known to Allan – the pair had been part of Farnbacher's Le Mans Series Team during 2008, even though they ran a Ferrari and Porsche respectively.

Unfortunately practice didn't go according to plan at all. Various mechanical glitches with the Farnbacher Loles Porsche 997 GT3 Grand Am delayed proceedings and with no less than five Porsches being run at Daytona by Farnbacher Loles (an enormous logistical effort indeed), they had to wait for the mechanics to become available.

And nowwas the time to ensure all drivers got some fresh seat time, however a misfire forced the car back into the pits further ruining pre race plans.

It was just before qualifying that the team elected to change the #89 Porsche engine. Additionally a new setup was put in place – not ideal at all, but qualify they did, in 16th place.
Pierre Kaffer was on starting duties and pushed hard working his way to 9th until the first of the mechanical pains hit. An oil seal had failed throwing fluid all over the clutch. It gave up the ghost with Portobelli at the helm and would take over an hour to rectify.

Once back on track all seemed to be going well.

It's a very long race these 24 hour events so you never give up no matter how big the setback seems. Allan only had to think back to his 2008 Le Mans 24 Hour prototype drive with KSM and how the team rallied together after Hekidi Noda totalled the car in qualifying. One would have thought it was absolutely all over!

Suddenly a drive shaft breaks, but this would be a quick replacement.

A total of 72 laps had been lost over the event in the pits! None the less they still finished 15th (GT) 73 laps down.

Simonsen had put in a solid drive, setting the fastest lap of the team in the early hours of the morning, when the air was coolest. He's done for stints during the race – 3 doubles and a triple! That's says something for fitness.

Had mechanical woes not hampered the car, the team was on track for a podium finish, once again.

"It was a great chance again to drive with Farnbacher Loles so a special thanks must go to Gabrio Rosa for the wonderful chance.

"Also my team mates and Horst who always has a smile on his face, Francis for the help and the mega mechanics who just kept on sorting things out. I'm looking forward to having another go next year to grab that watch, but for now I'm still wearing my Maurice Lacroix which is equally as nice."