A.J. Foyt, Al Unser, Bob Wollek and Thierry Boutsen took advantage of a stunning turn of events in the final two hours of the Daytona SunBank 24-Hours endurance race to gain a victory yesterday.
The exotic Porsche 962 prototype that the quartet shared had trailed the 962 of Al Unser Jr., Al Holbert and Derek Bell by as much as 13 laps late Saturday night.
But, with Bell at the wheel, that car, which led from the middle of the fourth hour until just 43 minutes to the end -- a total of 574 laps -- wound up sitting helplessly at the bottom of the banked portion of the 3.56-mile, seven-turn Daytona International Speedway road circuit as Wollek sped past to take the lead and go on to the victory.
The winners, who took the lead for good on lap 681, completed 703 laps, covering 2,502.68 miles at an average speed of 104.162 mph.
The Holbert-Bell-Unser Jr. entry apparently was hampered by fuel flow and ignition problems. Bell was leading by three laps when the car stalled on the high banking with 46 minutes remaining. He restarted the Porsche after the lead was cut to less than two laps, but it stalled again moments later. This time, it took 13 minutes to restart the engine.
The 962s that swept the top four spots are the latest in a series of Porsche models that have dominated this race.