In this Initially of a Series, Hurley Haywood Describes the Genesis of the Iconic No. 59 in Sports activities Car Racing
By Holly Cain
DAYTONA Seaside, Fla. – The story behind one particular of the most legendary auto figures in IMSA history completely life up to the efficiency of the really auto it selected for decades.
The famed No. 59 Brumos Racing Porsche, very long driven by Motorsports Hall of Famer Hurley Haywood and the late racing legend Peter Gregg, received IMSA’s inaugural race in 1971 at VIRginia International Raceway – the 50th anniversary going on earlier this thirty day period.
The duo would build them selves as the unique sporting activities car or truck greats and the vehicle No. 59 would set up alone as a memorable and sizeable designation in all of racing. It is a numerical ambassador of sorts.
Gregg attained 41 race victories driving the No. 59 and his co-driver Haywood completed with four championships and 34 profession wins. In all, the No. 59 Brumos Racing Porsche collected 5 Rolex 24 At Daytona crowns, a pair of Mobil 1 Twelve Several hours of Sebring Introduced by Advance Auto Sections wins and 3 24 Hours of Le Mans trophies.
Still, for all the grand connotation, “59” became “the number” in a rather random and own method in the mid-1960s.
“Peter was a naval intelligence officer dependent in this article in Jacksonville (Florida),” Haywood stated of his late mate. “One working day he was traveling – as a passenger – in a fastened-wing aircraft and landing on an plane carrier. As they were circling the plane carrier, he appeared down and he observed the amount ’59’ on the stern and the bow.
“He liked the font of the 59 and he mentioned, ‘I’m heading to have that as my racing selection.’ And so that is how the 59 came about.”
Haywood remembers that Gregg specially chose equally the range and the font utilised on the carrier to replicate on his racing car and made the decision to transform his racing Porsches’ shade from the initial orange.
“Someone pointed out to Peter that orange cars and trucks really do not photograph effectively in black-and-white pictures, so which is when we developed the white and purple-and-blue stripes and that was on our ’73 vehicle,” Haywood claimed. “That’s how our how our whole range and paint scheme arrived about.
“Peter was not the sort of dude that looked at a range as currently being excellent luck. It was just a range he favored, and we stored that selection. That number and that purple-white-blue color plan are a little something that everybody realizes whose vehicle it is.”
The new glance was an fast hit, earning acclaim from its initially race with Gregg and Haywood. The staff celebrated the car’s clean patriotic paint scheme in Daytona Global Speedway’s victory lane with a earn in the 1973 Rolex 24 – the very first of Haywood’s document five all round wins – a top rated mark of excellence he shares only with Scott Pruett.
After Gregg’s passing in 1980, the range was basically retired. But the Brumos staff introduced it back with Haywood driving yet again and teaming with a selection of other motorists. J.C. France co-drove the No. 59 Porsche for six a long time (2003-09). Joao Barbosa drove the automobile in 28 races from 2006-09.
“It was a minor bit unanticipated and then a unique chance to carry on that heritage with Hurley and that I received to race with him and share the vehicle and continue on the Brumos tradition with the 59 vehicle and the Brumos colors, of class,” Barbosa mentioned.
“I would believe (it is most iconic) simply because the 59 has a lengthy tradition and legacy of 50 years. It is a number that carries a big tradition for many several years.
“You just don’t see an legendary variety that’s this sort of a aspect of a profitable staff and tied to one crew,” Barbosa continued. “It’s a thing that bought dropped a minimal little bit with the present times. So of course, I feel the 59 is the most iconic number with IMSA.”
In a most proper way, Haywood closed his IMSA job by winning his last race in the No. 59 Brumos Porsche, competing in the 2009 Homestead-Miami Speedway period finale. It was the satisfied ending to a a long time-extensive tale of sustained excellence. Haywood in victory lane, alongside that No. 59.
“All above the earth men and women know the range and that paint plan,” Haywood reported. “To me as a driver, 59 is quite significant.”