Five-time overall Rolex 24 At Daytona winner Hurley Haywood will be racing in North America's premier endurance race after all in 2011.
Haywood will come out of retirement to race for the 39th time in the Rolex 24 next month, co-driving the No. 59 Brumos Porsche 911 GT3 Rolex Cup entry. While Haywood announced his retirement following the 2010 Rolex 24, the return of Brumos Racing to the GT class prompted his return to competition.
"It wouldn't be right for a Brumos Porsche 911 not to have the name 'Haywood' over the door," said Haywood, who will join Leh Keen and Andrew Davis in the No. 59. This car is an evolution of the Porsche 911 he raced for Brumos to a GT class victory in the 1972 Rolex 24. Four of Haywood's five overall Rolex 24 victories have been in 911-based Porsches.
Haywood was the first Grand-Am competitor to try out the repaved Daytona International Speedway for the first time in testing on Friday (ABOVE). Haywood was joined by Davis in the No. 59 Brumos Porsche GT3, while Paul Edwards drove the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Chevrolet Coyote Daytona Prototype for the three-hour session. Haywood said the new surface will be a major benefit for the Grand-Am teams.
"The banking was very smooth, with no bumps, and it's got tons of grip, so you can run anywhere you want up there no matter what kind of car you are in," said Haywood. "The transition from the infield up onto the banking was really nice, with no big transition between the two pavements. I think the repaved speedway will be a huge benefit."