FEBRUARY 7, 2005
A great day for Emmanuel Collard
Emmanuel Collard had a miserable Formula 1 career. The 33-year-old Frenchman, who won the World Karting title in his teens, went on to win the French Formula Renault title and was in Formula 3000 by the age of 21. In the years that followed he tested for no fewer than six Formula 1 teams, including thousands of testing miles with Williams, Benetton, Jordan, Ligier and Tyrrell and Prost. On several occasions it looked like he would make his F1 debut but after his longtime sponsor Elf quit F1, he struggled. He raced in and won the Porsche Supercup in 1996 and then switched to sports cars and won the International Sports Racing Series in 1998 and 1999 with JB Racing and raced as a Toyota factory driver at Le Mans. He then enjoyed a career as a Cadillac factory driver in the United States. In recent years he has driven Porsches with Freisinger Yukos Motorsport. Collard's successes never seemed to match his talent and it was not until he won the Spa 24 Hours that he could claim to have won any of the classic races. He has now added the Daytona 24 Hours to his list of triumphs, having shared a Pontiac Crawford to victory over the weekend with Wayne Taylor and Max Angelelli. The race was a great fight between a group of cars and was not decided until the 22nd hour when the last opponent failed. The Pontiac Crawford of NASCAR star Jimmie Johnson, Butch Leitzinger and Elliott Forbes-Robinson was second with Tony Stewart, Jan Lammers and Andy Wallace coming home third in another Pontiac. Fourth place went to the Lexus Riley of former Ferrari and McLaren F1 driver Stefan Johansson, Cort Wagner and NASCAR's Jamie McMurray.
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