2018 is a memorable year for Porsche as it marks the 50th anniversary of the German brand’s first overall 24-hour race victory at Daytona International Speedway. The 1968 win came at the hands of Vic Elford, from Great Britain but today living in Florida, Jochen Neerpasch (Germany), Rolf Stommelen (Germany), Jo Siffert (Switzerland) and Hans Hermann (Germany) in the No. 54 Porsche 907LM. Since, Porsche has won a total of 22 times overall at Daytona, a manufacturer record for the race.
The German marque also holds the all-time class win record at Daytona with 78 wins. The inaugural title came in the first Daytona Continental in 1966. The most recent came in 2017 when Alegra Motorsports took GTD honors in the No. 28 Porsche 911 GT3 R.
The 1968 race was the first time that Porsche had attempted Daytona in a car capable of racing for an overall victory. The prototype prepared by Porsche System Engineering, the “works” program of the time, covered 2,564.130 miles in pursuit of that historic first overall victory.
The Daytona win was part of a milestone year for Elford. At the time the Brit was an expert rally driver who had just recorded a victory at the Rally Monte Carlo in a Porsche 911 just the week before. After Daytona, he padded his yearly tally with a come from behind win at the famous Targa Florio. He charged back from an 18-minute deficit that was the result of a tire failure on the opening lap of the legendary Italian road rally.
Porsche has earned 63 overall 24-hour race wins in the world’s most famous endurance events at Daytona, Le Mans, Nürburgring, Spa-Francorchamps and Dubai. The 19 victories at Le Mans and five at Dubai are also manufacturer records. Porsche’s first overall 24-hour win came at Spa in 1967, only months before the Daytona title.