Local 11th in 24-hour race
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Part-time Aspen resident Gary Stewart finished 11th Sunday in the GT class in the 44th Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway.
Stewart, who teamed up with nephews Rob and Dave Stewart, and Bob Gilbert, all of York, Pa., and professional driver Tony Ave of Mooresville, N.C., drove the team’s No. 93 Apple Automotive Group/TPC Racing Porsche GT3. The team completed 636 laps around the 3.56-mile road circuit at Daytona, covering 2,264.16 miles during the 24-hour event to finish 23rd overall. After starting the endurance event 17th in class and 47th overall, the team pressed forward early in the race. Stiff competition and fierce traffic dropped the car to 18th overall at the end of the third hour, but the team battled back.
The team experienced a setback early Sunday morning when the engine began to run rough. The crew took the car to the garage to correct the problem, costing Stewart’s team time. Nevertheless, the drivers continued to press on. “It went pretty well,” Rob Stewart said. “We had a little bit of trouble last night. All in all, it was a good race, and we managed a respectable finish. Without the problems with the engine during the night we could have finished in the top 10 very easily. We kept ourselves clean, and we ran a good pace. We didn’t overrun the car.”
The No. 36 TPC Racing Porsche of Michael Levitas of Baltimore, Randy Pobst of Gainesville, Ga., Ian Baas of Noblesville, Ind., and Spencer Pumpelly of Mason Neck, Va., won the GT class, finishing ninth overall in a sister car to Stewart’s team.”We are really, really pleased,” Gary Stewart said. “We figured a top 10 would be great. We lost time with that spark plug at 3 o’clock in the morning when we lost 50 minutes, but otherwise we are really pleased. Except for that one thing, we didn’t miss a beat. We wanted to finish in the top 10 in class, but 11th is still great.”
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Aspen’s Cassidy Jarrell was bumped up to the U.S. freeski A team for this coming winter season, which remains in limbo as coronavirus cases rise across the country.