As the Rolex 24 At Daytona commemorates its 59th running on January 30 – 31, it is only appropriate that the most famous car number in the history of the event, 59, is part of the celebration. No car number is more closely aligned with professional sports car racing or the 24 Hours of Daytona than “59”. The white roundel with the black block number became synonymous with the sport so completely that the number, as well as the instantly recognizable red and blue stripes, of Brumos Racing remain iconic to this day. Brumos was a founding stakeholder in the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) with the No. 59 winning its first race in the inaugural IMSA sports car event of 1971. Since, the Brumos banner has gone on to fly over 48 IMSA victories and 15 IMSA Championships.
Over the course of its life and through five owners, Brumos Porsche remained a stalwart in sports car racing. Having moved from the solid orange and lemon yellow of the early 1970s, the mythology of Brumos exploded with the red and blue parallel stripes running up and over the top of the car and down the sides. With this immediately recognizable identity through to its final race, the prime era of Brumos Racing coincided with the growth of IMSA as the two Florida-based organizations matured to full strength hand-in-hand.
When the Bill France Sr. and John Bishop-founded race series held its first GT season in 1971, it was Brumos owner Peter Gregg and young co-driver Hurley Haywood who combined to win the first five races of the six-race season. The Tangerine Orange Porsche 914 commanded the GTU class in that inaugural season with Brumos missing the top step of the podium only at the Daytona-finale when the duo switched to a Porsche 911 T in the season-ender to prepare for 1972. In total, Brumos was a hallmark of IMSA racing for 42 years (1971 to 2013) and in both GT and prototype classes; its win tally is ninth on the all-time entrant list. However, its impact on approach and presentation in the paddock set the standard to all those who have followed.
Gregg, known as “Peter Perfect”, drove the No. 59 to 41 IMSA race wins and 10 titles – first and 11th on the all-time IMSA list in each category. Haywood owns four titles, all earned in No. 59 adorned machines, and 34 career victories – most of which came in Brumos-Porsche entries – placing him 15th in career wins and 16th in driver titles. The final victories and GT championship for Brumos came in 2011 with Andrew Davis and Leh Keen. The pairing took the GRAND AM GT title on the shoulders of two wins. In the interim, the No. 59 won the Rolex 24 four-times (1973, ’75, ’78, 2009) with both GT and prototypes prepared in Jacksonville, Florida. The final Rolex 24 At Daytona victory came with a Porsche-powered Daytona Prototype. The race program closed in 2013. The Brumos Porsche dealership was sold in 2015, changing its name to Porsche Jacksonville in April 2016. The Brumos Collection – one of the premier gatherings of classic automobiles and race cars in the world – has been moved from its private location and opened its doors in January 2020.
The Brumos colors – now artistically recreated with small, interlocking “59s” forming the stripes on the hood, roof and rear of the Porsche works 911 RSR race cars – flew again at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona and Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in 2019. True to form, the driving team of Patrick Pilet, Nick Tandy and Frédéric Makowiecki won the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s GTLM class at Sebring, adding more lore to the Brumos name.
Six legendary Brumos entries have been selected by the Brumos Collection, IMSA and the Daytona International Speedway to celebrate the brand and race in pre-event activities at the Rolex 24 At Daytona on January 30.
1971 – Porsche 914-6 – GT IMSA Champion (Tangerine Orange) – Driver: Ray Shaffer
1975 – Porsche 911 RSR – 1977 24 Hours of Daytona Winner (Hurley Haywood on team “Ecurie Escargot” Livery) – Driver: Hurley Haywood
1979 – Porsche 935 – Peter Gregg’s last race car/ Brumos Livery) – Driver: Andrew Davis
2009 – Porsche-Riley DP – Daytona 24 Winning On loan to the collection/ Brumos Livery #58 ) – Driver: David Donohue
2011 – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Grand-Am Spec – 2011 Grand-Am Championship winner/ Brumos Livery – Driver: Leh Keen
2017 – Porsche 911 RSR (2019 Brumos Tribute Livery) – Driver: Earl Bamber