Every now and then, I come across a really compelling piece of racing history that I absolutely must share. From now on, I'll post them here under the category "Vintage Vibes".
It seems fitting, as we close out our Rolex 24 at Daytona coverage, that I share these two videos posted by Marshall Pruett back in 1999 on his Grand Touring Prototype website. They cover the 1993 broadcast of the 24 Hours of Daytona and are only about an hour each. Aside from the first-hand view of an amazing era in North American racing, there's also a treasure-trove of period TV commercials (remember the Sure deodorant "Sure/Unsure" ad campaign?). 1993 marked the last year of the GTP (Group C) era in IMSA, and it's a treat to see old favorites such as the Jaguar XJR-12, Porsche 962, and the Eagle Mk. III. When the cameras aren't following the prototypes, they're on the crazy GTS/GTO tube-frame silhouette cars, including the Oldsmobile Cutlass, Nissan 240SX, and Ford Mustang.
Part II has my favorite bit of footage, showing a young Scott Pruett hopping out of his XJR-12 to fix a shifter issue with nothing but verbal instruction and tools from his crew. Back then, if a driver couldn't limp a broken car back to the pits, he or she had to fix the problem without physical help from the team mechanics or wait for a tow. By the way, Hurley Haywood was also racing that year, and he had already won the race a record-setting five times by then. The next year, Scott Pruett got his first Daytona win, and tied Hurley's record in 2013. He competed this past weekend to try and secure a sixth win, but fell short.
About GrandTouringPrototype.com: The site is dedicated to the fiery GTP days at IMSA. We hope that Marshall goes back to updating it one day, as it seems the latest bit of content on the site was posted way back in 2010.