Martin Plowman’s doubled odds at the Rolex 24 at Daytona paid off when he landed himself on the podium for the Prototype Challenge class. Plowman drove two cars for Bar1 Motorsports, the 16 and 61, in an effort to maximize the chances of success for each car.
Plowman qualified in the 61, starting P5 in class after a power steering fail. Teammate Johnny Mowlem qualified the 16 car on pole, so the team knew the cars had the speed needed for the race once the power steering system was replaced. Plowman started the 24-hour race, his first at Daytona, in the 61 car and pulled it up to P2 in class before handing the wheel over to his teammates.
The 61 car had a tough race. Three hours into the race, the cooling belt broke and the team rushed the car back to the garages for repairs. After a grueling two hours and fifteen minutes, the car was back on the track and charging forward. In the early hours of the morning, the 61 once again was rushed back to the garage, this time with a terminal engine failure as a result of earlier damage. It officially retired at 5 a.m.
The team effort in 16 car propelled the car onto the podium. It, too, made the trip back to the garages only 3.5 hours into the race for a hole in the oil filter. It returned to the track 11 laps down. The team effort between all the drivers and quick pit stops by the BAR1 team pulled the car within one lap of the leaders. With Plowman behind the wheel, the 16 charged into second place and on the lead lap on the PC class. At just 2.5 hours to go, Plowman suffered a puncture and the 16 dropped back to P3. Mowlem drove the last two stints, chasing down P2. With 20 minutes to go, the PC class leader was involved in an incident and caught on fire, bringing out the yellow and putting the 16 in P2 and on the podium.
This was Plowman’s second 24-hour race. His first was at the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans where he was the P2 class champion.
Martin Plowman: “The 24-hours at Daytona was a great at race for team. Of course we want the win, but we put up a great fight to come back from 11 laps down and we were so close at the end. The whole team should be proud of their efforts. I enjoyed the pressure of racing for both cars. It was a unique challenge and a good strategy by the team that paid off in the end.”