Grand-Am Rolex Series driver Dion von Moltke teamed with a trio of Audi factory drivers to take the German manufacturer to its first victory at the Rolex 24 at Daytona. von Moltke; Brit, Oliver Jarvis; Italian, Edoardo Mortara and Portugal's, Filipe Albuquerque drove the No. 24 Alex Job Racing R8 to victory in the GT class, greeting the checkered flag 1.476 seconds ahead of the No. 52 car of Rene Rast to make it a 1-2 finish for Audi.
After starting fifth, the Alex Job Audi stayed in contention until being assessed a 1-min penalty with about 2.5 hrs remaining for avoidable contact with the No. 61 Ferrari, despite assertions from the Ferrari team that they hadn't been hit.
This put the car in seventh place, one lap behind the leaders. But clever pit strategy over the remaining 150 min put the No. 24 car back on the lead lap, with Albuquerque able to drive into the lead.
The Audi squad faced a nervous final stint, uncertain as to whether it would need one final pit stop for a splash of fuel. Albuquerque's late-race pace, however, let the team to call him in for fuel with a mere 5 min remaining and return to the race with a slim lead.
Albuquerque held off late-race pressure to take the victory.
“I’m completely speechless. With more than two and half hours to go we got a penalty for avoidable contact and went a lap down,” von Moltke said.
“We thought we were down and out but we kept fighting, we kept digging, we kept trying to find any way, and Filipe (Albuquerque) probably put in the best drive I've ever seen a race car driver do in my life, and that's what it really takes to win this race, and to pull it off is really special.
“It was going to be close on fuel and when we had to come in for a splash we thought “oh no” but we came back out in the lead and the whole team just erupted. I’ve never seen an atmosphere like that."
The victory is the second major sports car endurance victory for PR Newswire-sponsored driver von Moltke and Alex Job Racing in less than 12 months. The combination was also victorious in the GTC class in the American Le Mans Series in last year's 12 Hours of Sebring.
This was the second victory for Alex Job Racing at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the previous one coming in 1999.