Justin Wilson made a glorious comeback from injury with a share of victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona and, in the process, ended a four-month slide down the Castrol EDGE Rankings.
The Briton had not raced since suffering a compression fracture of his fifth vertebrae when he ran wide and over off-field bumps during an IndyCar practice session at Mid-Ohio last August. His injury resulted in a four month lay-off, half of which he spent wearing a back brace and being banned from exercise.
Having taken a season-best fifth-place finish at Edmonton in the previous race, Wilson had lain 82nd in the Rankings before his injury, but suffered a fall due to his subsequent inactivity – slipping as low as 169th. The fall was arrested at Daytona, however, as Wilson marked his comeback with a share of victory in the No. 60 MSR Riley Ford, rising nine spots to 160th as a result.
His teammates AJ Allmendinger, Ozz Negri and John Pew also rose. Allmendinger, the best-ranked of the quartet, rose three spots to 40th, while Pew and Negri both gained 52 places to sit a joint 284th.
There were even greater gains in the second-place Starworks Riley-Ford, which had qualified on pole in the hands of Ryan Dalziel, who won the race in 2010.
Lucas Luhr, the 2011 FIA GT1 champion and highest ranked of the team's quintet of drivers, rose eight spots to move into 55th position, an all-time high in the Rankings.
Allan McNish gained 33 places and now sits 143rd, while fellow Scot Dalziel rose 146 places to move to 185th.
Enzo Popow and Alex Potolicchio meanwhile both made triple figure gains – Popow jumping a massive 101 spots to 357th, and Potolicchio 110 places to move into 372nd.
Moving in the opposite direction were last year's victors Joey Hand, Scott Pruett, Graham Rahal and Memo Rojas, who all suffered falls down the Rankings.
The quartet, returning in the Ganassi-run BMW, lost ground in the final hours with gearbox issues. They eventually finished sixth, four laps down on the lead.
Hand suffered the largest fall, slipping 21 places to 219th. In comparison, both Pruett and Rojas (tied in 127th position) fell 11 spots, while Rahal slipped eight spots to 59th.
To see the full Rankings, visit www.castroledgerankings.com.