The historic Daytona 24 hours is one of the highlights in USA historic motorsport in the same was that that the Le Mans Classic is in Europe. Steep walled curves which are driven at full speed make the course in Daytona particularly exciting.
Just as in Le Mans, the historic racing cars don't really complete the 24-hour race but instead they are divided up into groups by year of manufacture and these groups start at 5 hours intervals. Included is a race during the night. This year for the first time, two 300 SL Gullwings were entered in the event. One of HK-ENGINEERING racing 300 SL Gullwing was driven by Hans Kleissl and Jochen Mass. Jochen Mass is a well-known racing driver of the seventies and eighties and is seen as a star in Daytona.
The two Gullwings not only fascinated the spectators but also inspired many other participating drivers. "Thank you for bringing your cars" was heard continuously.
The cars were mentioned repeatedly by the commentators. Finally, on Saturday they received the accolade as the most popular car of the event which was presented in the form of a start and finish flag signed by all of the marshals.
As there was only a low number of older vehicles entered in the race the HK-ENGINEERING team decided to race in Group A for cars built before 1972. In this group there were also pure-bred racing cars such as Shelby GT350s, Lola T70/T165s, Ford GT40s and Porsche 911s entered which meant that the HK-ENGINEERING cars had no real chance of getting among the leaders at the finish. Despite the obvious disadvantages, using a stoppage in the night race at the right time and the clever tactical skills of the “old racing fox” Jochen Mass they actually managed to get under the first ten finishers.