Maiden Victory at Daytona Classic 24h with the Saleen S7R GT1

Iconic Racing was eager to return to the Daytona 24h Classic three years after its last participation, and did so with success.

Teamed up with 1993 Le Mans winner Eric Hélary, Gérard Lopez entered the Saleen S7R GT1, a former factory Pratt & Miller Corvette « trouble maker » in the 2004/2005 ALMS. Having restored the car in 2018/2019, Iconic went on to win the 2019 GT1 title in Endurance Racing Legends by Peter Auto.
Daytona Classic offered important track time and night practice sessions which enabled the team to make fine adjustments to the car in order to optimize performance of the chassis in the infield, where the Saleen’s downforce and mechanical grip helped the car to perform remarkably. Gerard Lopez qualified the car in a strong fourth place which was the best the S7R could do against the LMP900s and DPs.
Throughout the four races over 24hours, the drivers displayed great pace with Gerard Lopez lapping close to Eric, who handled the traffic remarkably. Unfortunately most of the the efforts were dwarfed by safety cars at the end of the first three races, so all was to be decided in race four between our silver bullet and the Riley & Scott - Chevrolet / Daytona Prototype.
Driven at a strong pace, the Saleen crossed the finish line in Gérard’s hands with a 33 second margin. On top of winning its Group, the team also had the satisfaction of beating the Group C cars led by the twin turbo TWR Jaguar XJR-16, which raced in the same group though under a different classification. This is the second overall win ahead of the prototypes in historic racing for the Saleen after its great win at Le Castellet in 2019. It was a highly emotional moment to see the entire team on the famous Daytona podium.
2022 marked Iconic's return, after an unbelievable 9th place at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and a win at Le Mans Classic with the Playstation Viper. This victory at Daytona closes a short but successful season.
The 2023 program and drivers will be announced in January and it’s going to be a fabulous year both in USA and Europe, celebrating the Le Mans Centenary.
Gérard Lopez :
"After the high of winning Group A in the Lola in 2017, we had to abandon with a huge lead in 2019 and this year, with again a large lead, in the same group A, where we were favorites. 
We knew the Saleen was a dark horse as a GT against the Group C cars, DPIs and the LMPs, but such is the performance of the car, its preparation and our understanding of it as drivers, that we were able to win the overall race. For this amazing result I thank the entire team at Iconic Racing."
Eric Hélary :
"After Le Mans, Spa and the Chamonix 24h, I am extremely proud to add Daytona to my record of achievements. This was not going to be easy and we really had to push the Saleen to its limits with Gérard to clinch the victory. Many thanks to the wonderful work done by Iconic Racing."
Florent MOULIN - Team Manager :
"First I would like to thank Iconic’s staff for the car’s preparation, it was immaculate and ran faultlessly. You know the GT1 cars need a lot of attention and to their credit they have a complete and in depth understanding of the car. I knew before the start we could challenge the prototypes thanks to our pace and reliability but the result was beyond expectations. The strategy was perfect and we didn’t lose a position due to the safety cars. The drivers were perfect, they just kept pushing, a faultless performance. This is a major achievement for Iconic, for sure."

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