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26 January 2014

Daytona pacesetter Sam shows his endurance

Sam at the wheel at DaytonaHaving already turned heads at the Roar Before The 24 test three weeks ago, by setting a new Daytona Speedway track record on his sports car debut, Sam Bird was back at the wheel of the #8 Starworks Motorsport Prototype Challenge car for his first ever endurance race this weekend in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

The Briton was once again the quickest man in class, setting the fastest lap of the race in a 1:43.016, but he was keen to underplay this accomplishment and point out that his achievement lay elsewhere:

"Of course it's important to be able to outpace the opposition - as we saw in the Prototype class, the win can go down to the very last lap," said Bird.

"But success in endurance racing is about the ability to set consistently fast laps, while staying out of trouble. My approach was measured aggression and focused decision-making and I'm pleased with how I performed.

"The team as a whole did well. Unfortunately, the car suffered a severe steering issue during Eric's first stint and he had to bring it in. It took around forty minutes to resolve and we rejoined twenty laps adrift. We did make up good ground during the rest of the race but it was too big a handicap to overhaul in such a competitive field."

The #8 Starworks car finished 5th in class and top finisher of the team's three cars.

Sam said: "I want to thank Peter Baron and the whole of the Starworks team who worked extremely hard throughout the weekend. I also want to say how much I enjoyed sharing my first Rolex 24 at Daytona experience with my team mates Mirco Schultis, Eric Lux and Renger van der Zande."