• Daytona 24-Hour

Brundle and Blundell reunite at Daytona

ESPNF1 Staff
January 28, 2011 « Heidfeld unlikely to return to Mercedes | »
Former Formula One driver turned BBC commentator Martin Brundle looks pensive before returning to the track © Getty Images
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Former Formula One team-mates Martin Brundle and Mark Blundell are reuniting for a 24-hour race at Daytona over the weekend of January 29-30. The pair line up with two Americans - Mark Patterson and team co-owner Zak Brown.

Brundle is now better known as the lead commentator on Formula One at the BBC, but in 13 seasons in F1 he set a rather unwanted record of having the longest career (158 grand prix starts) without a race victory, a pole position or a fastest lap.

"I did wonder about going back to do something like this in my fifties, but after a couple of laps of testing I knew I'd be all right," he told the Daily Telegraph." It's like swimming or riding a bicycle. You don't forget how to do it."

His last competitive drive was a decade ago at the Le Mans 24 Hours, but he has raced at Daytona before, winning in 1988 and coming second two years later and was aware of the task ahead of him.

"Cockpit temperatures are ferociously high, it remains dark for 12 hours, much longer than it does at Le Mans, and the speed differentials are enormous. If you're driving one of the quicker sports prototypes, as I am this year, you have to cope with 30 or so slower GTs, so it's not unusual to pass half a dozen cars per lap. It's as tough mentally as it is physically. I'm doing this for fun, but it is a very, very serious event. If we can come away with a top-five finish I'll be satisfied."

Brundell told the newspaper he and Blundell are good friends who used to travel to races together even when they were not team-mates. "Once, when I was driving for Ligier and he was in a McLaren, I ran him off the road at about 150mph. That led to a fairly quiet journey home."