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Era, Winward in elite company after ‘36 Hours of Florida’ victories

The 36 Hours of Florida…the doubleheader…doubling down…. However you want to term it, winning the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Cadillac in the same year is no mean feat. Era Motorsport (LMP2) and Winward Racing (GTD, pictured above) both achieved the double victory in 2024, and it puts them in some pretty impressive company. Looking back at the list of those who have won both races overall back-to-back reveals some pretty noteworthy names.

Ken Miles and Lloyd Ruby were the first to do it in a Shelby American Ford GT40 Mk.II in 1966, the first year of the Daytona 24-hour race. Joe Siffert and Hans Hermann did it two years later in a Porsche 907. That little team from up the road in Jacksonville, Brumos, got the double with Peter Gregg and Hurley Haywood in a Porsche Carrera RSR. Another Floridian, Preston Henn, fielded a 962 for A.J. Foyt and Bob Wollek, who took the 36 Hours in 1985.

While Wayne Taylor may not be a native of Florida, he now calls the state home, and joined with Jim Pace to win both Florida races in a Doyle Racing Riley & Scott MkIII Oldsmobile. And before the races were run under two different series with different rules, Mauro Baldi, Gianpiero Moretti and Didier Theys drove a Doran-Moretti Ferrari 333SP to the double victory.

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Since reunification in 2014, the 36 Hours of Florida had been won by seven teams before 2024, and in three years there have been winners in two different classes. Colin Braun, Jon Bennett and James Gue were the first in 2014, winning Prototype Challenge in a CORE Autosport ORECA FLM-09. In 2015, Prototype Challenge winners Mike Guasch, Andrew Palmer and Tom Kimber-Smith were joined by GTLM winners for Corvette Racing, Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia and Ryan Briscoe in a C7.R.

Pipo Derani was part of the team that won both in DPi in the first of his four Sebring victories, joining Scott Sharp and Johannes van Overbeek in the Tequila Patron ESM Ligier JS P2-Honda in 2016. Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Marcel Fassler also doubled up that year in GTLM for Corvette Racing. Finally, the last time the 36 Hours of Florida was achieved was in 2017, again a double — Wayne Taylor Racing in DPi with Ricky and Jordan Taylor in a Cadillac; and James French, Pato O’Ward and Kyle Masson for Performance Tech Motorsport in Prototype Challenge.

Now Era Motorsports’ Dwight Merriman, Ryan Dalziel and Connor Zilisch join them, along with Winward’s Russell Ward, Philip Ellis and Indy Dontje. Both teams had won Daytona before, but this was the first Sebring victory for each.

Adding a Sebring 12 Hours trophy to its Rolex 24 triumph in LMP2 was a rare feat for Era Motorsport’s Dwight Merriman, Ryan Dalziel and Connor Zilisch. Jake Galstad/Motorsport Images