2015 Rolex 24 Preview: GTD class


We conclude our look at the four classes competing in the 2015 Rolex 24 at Daytona with a look at the GT Daytona class. The 2014 race came down to the last lap, and at least a dozen cars figure to have a realistic shot at the 2015 crown.

2014 RECAP

WINNERS: No. 555 Level 5 Motorsports Ferrari 458 Italia GT3, Scott Tucker, Jeff Segal, Townsend Bell, Bill Sweedler, Alessandro Pier Guidi

PODIUM: No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Audi R8 LMS, Spencer Pumpelly, Nelson Canache Jr., Markus Winkelhock, Tim Pappas, No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT America, Madison Snow, Jan Heylen, Marco Seefried

POLE: No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS, Christopher Haase


ROAR RECAP: The Porsche 911 GT Americas held the edge in the majority of sessions at the Roar, even though the Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper GT3-R driven by Marc Goossens set the outright fastest time during the week. These two, plus the TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3s, were the class of the field, with Ferrari and Audi struggling and BMW unable to set a representative time after arriving late and running only in wet conditions on Sunday.

RACE OUTLOOK: GTD is a hard one to peg because as the tail-end class (in speed terms, not talent terms) so much of the race is determined early. If you get down a lap or lose the pace early in the race, it’s harder to recover. With a 19-car grid, the competition is deeper here than in almost any other category (P is 16 cars and GTLM is 10). The race of course came down to the final lap last year, even beyond before the results order was reversed, and the challengers will be the six or seven cars within the class lead lap by time of sunrise on Sunday morning.

WIN/PODIUM CONTENDERS: In no particular order… the Nos. 22 and 23 Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT Americas, Nos. 33 and 93 Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper GT3-Rs, No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT America, No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS, No. 58 Dempsey/Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT America, No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia, No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT America, No. 81 GB Autosport Porsche 911 GT America, No. 97 Turner Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3 and No. 007 TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3. Yes, I realize that’s 12 of 19 cars entered in class, but all of these lineups feature at least three capable drivers in a four-driver lineup, and that’s the minimum standard for success in the Rolex 24, even with the two Silver/Bronze-rated driver stipulation.

THE REST OF THE RUNNERS: Flying Lizard is doubtful, on paper anyway, to repeat its near-heroics of last year when it almost scored the win. With Markus Winkelhock as lead driver and his three teammates having a combined one prior Rolex 24 start, it will be a challenge for them to match their 2014 effort. This is not to say their effort and preparation won’t be there, but this field is simply too deep. As for the rest, Muehlner’s main goal is always trying to finish, the Konrad, AF Corse and second Scuderia Corsa lineups are stealthy but inexperienced in North American racing, and the second TRG-AMR entry is rarely a factor. It’s still a solid, deep field of 19 cars, with most of the drivers distinguished in some capacity heading into the race.


  • 18 Darryl O’Young, Marc Basseng, Matteo Beretta, Connor De Phillippi, Muehlner Motorsports America Porsche 911 GT America
  • 19 Jim Michaelian, Matteo Beretta, Connor De Phillippi, Muehlner Motorsports America Porsche 911 GT America
  • 22 Leh Keen, Cooper MacNeil, Andrew Davis, Shane van Gisbergen, Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America
  • 23 Ian James, Mario Farnbacher, Alex Riberas, Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America
  • 28 Klaus Bachler, Christian Englehart, Christopher Zoechling, Rolf Ineichen, Lance Willsey, Konrad Motorsport Porsche 911 GT America
  • 33 Jeroen Bleekemolen, Ben Keating, Marc Goossens, Sebastiaan Bleekemolen, Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper GT3-R
  • 44 Andy Lally, John Potter, Marco Seefried, Martin Ragginger, Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT America
  • 45 Markus Winkelhock, Robert Thorne, Tomonobu Fujii, Satoshi Hoshino, Flying Lizard Motorsports Audi R8 LMS
  • 48 Christopher Haase, Dion von Moltke, Bryce Miller, Rene Rast, Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS
  • 49 Matt Griffin, Pasin Lathouras, Michele Rugolo, Rui Aguas, AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia GT3
  • 58 Madison Snow, Jan Heylen, Patrick Dempsey, Phillip Eng, Dempsey/Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT America
  • 63 Townsend Bell, Bill Sweedler, Anthony Lazzaro, Jeff Segal, Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia GT3
  • 64 Daniel Serra, Francisco Longo, Marcos Gomes, Andrea Bertolini, Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia GT3
  • 73 Spencer Pumpelly, Patrick Lindsey, Jim Norman, Kevin Estre, David Ducote, Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT America
  • 81 Damien Faulkner, Mike Skeen, Michael Avenatti, Rory Butcher, Kuba Giermaziak, GB Autosport Porsche 911 GT America
  • 93 Kuno Wittmer, Dominik Farnbacher, Al Carter, Cameron Lawrence, Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper GT3-R
  • 97 Markus Palttala, Michael Marsal, Boris Said, Andy Priaulx, Turner Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3
  • 007 James Davison, Christina Nielsen, Christoffer Nygaard, Brandon Davis, TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3
  • 009 Derek DeBoer, Max Riddle, TBA, TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3

Vicki Golden and 805 Beer tell a unique story from an Inverted Perspective


Vicki Golden has earned a career worthy of a thousand stories and 805 Beer tells at least one of them, as “Inverted Perspective” premiered March 30 on the company’s website and YouTube channel.

Golden did more to break the glass ceiling in SuperMotocross than she ever thought possible. She knows this because riders have never felt the need to explain any of her accomplishments with the disclaimer, “for a girl”. 

At this point in Golden’s career, she’s been the first woman to finish top 10 in AMA Arenacross Lites, the first woman to qualify in the Fast 40 in Monster Energy AMA Supercross and the first woman to compete in freestyle Moto X competition, earning a bronze medal by doing so.

Her love for moto came from childhood while she watched her dad and brother ride. By seven she was on her bike and making waves throughout Southern California. 

Golden, 30, is still madly in love with the sport and has no plans on moving away but her career is already one to talk about. 805 Beer’s film series wanted to do exactly that.

“I’m taken aback by it all,” Golden told NBC Sports about the documentary. “It’s just crazy to see your story, it’s one thing to live your life and battle everything that comes about but it’s another to just sit there and talk about it.”

805 approached Golden about the feature by asking, “Do you even realize that what you do, and your story is special?”

Golden took the question as a blank canvas to map out the highs and lows of her career and life. 

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The title “Inverted Perspective” came from a brainstorming session with Dominick Russo and it highlights Golden’s outlook on the sport of SuperMotocross and her life in general. 

“My whole life, my whole career was thinking differently and looking at things that shouldn’t be done and aren’t there, while being able to make a place for myself, where no one thought there should be a place,” Golden said.  “It’s inspiring someone to think in different ways. It sums up my life.”

Vicki Golden is not “fast for a girl”; she’s just fast. – 805 Beer

While Golden is no stranger to the spotlight, this was the first time she’s been fully involved with the storytelling and creation of a feature about herself. 

“It’s not like a full new experience,” Golden said. “Obviously, you get your standard questions about your upbringing and accomplishments, but I’ve never really put into perspective things that happened in my past with my dad and putting that to light. Also, certain other things that maybe got overlooked in previous interviews or films. I wanted to touch on these and Dom wanted to create a story. It’s just cool to see it come to light, it’s a nearly impossible thing to tell somebody’s life story in 40 minutes.”

Golden’s father was left paralyzed after an ATV accident, robbing him the opportunity to ride again. This happened a few months before the father-daughter duo was set to compete in the Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Nationals when Vicki was 12. While she might have been unable to grasp the severity at the time, it’s something she carries with her. Golden continues to ride in his honor.

Years later, an accident in 2018 nearly sidelined the then 25-year-old Vicki when a freestyle accident almost resulted in the amputation of her lower leg. 

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Golden 805 Beer
Vicki Golden has ridden a variety of disciplines in SuperMotocross, which gives her a unique perspective. – 805 Beer

“Inverted Perspective” highlights her father’s diligence in helping Vicki continue with her career and the kindness and strength he carried while fighting his own battle. 

“My dad was the entire reason that I started riding in the first place,” Golden said. “So, to honor his memory and to honor what we went through and how hard he pushed to keep our dream alive and keep everything going – in that sense then, it was really special to be able to honor him and talk about him.”

The 40-minute feature was filmed entirely in black and white, a stark contrast from the oversaturated world of motocross where the brighter the suit the easier it is for fans to find their rider and follow him in the race. By filming in monochrome Russo and Golden had the chance to focus on the race and track from a different perspective. 

“It was cool to be able to film it differently,” Golden said. “It created a challenge in the sense of what was going to be more visually impactful for the film.

“I couldn’t be here without the companies that back me but at the same time, it’s not like the logos or colors disappeared, it’s just different lights shed on different spots. It’s just a cool way to do it and to take color away and still be impactful. When you think of black and white, you think of old school, the OG way of doing things.”