Bob Wollek said his team's blueprint worked perfectly on the way to a victory in the Daytona 24 Hours at Daytona Beach, Fla.
The Frenchman, American road-racing star Hurley Haywood and three other Europeans joined forces Sunday to put a Porsche 962C prototype in Victory Lane at Daytona International Speedway.
Knowing that defending champion Jaguar and three European Group C Nissans were likely to be faster than the Porsches, German owner Reinhold Joest and his team used a rabbit to try and wear the competition out.
The Porsche that Wollek started from the pole position and shared with Bernd Schneider of Germany and Paolo Barilla and Massimo Sigala of Italy, was at or near the front until a broken cylinder head took it out Sunday morning.
That left the other team car to win after the Jaguar, the Nissans and the rest of the Porsches in the 46-car field faltered.
"We had a plan to let the (other) car take them out and to keep the (winning) No. 7 car as a potential winner," Wollek said. "I was allowed to get back in the No. 7 car to help complete the plan."
Haywood won the race for a record fifth time, but for the first time since 1979.
"It was a difficult race," he said. "The rain and mist (Saturday night) were miserable, and the pace of these races has changed so much in recent years, you really can't lay back. It's tough on cars, drivers, everything.
"I knew the pace being what it was, the Nissans and Jaguar were going to break themselves and, considering the reliability of the Porsches, we'd be up here on Sunday morning."
The winning car, co-driven by Germans John Winter and Frank Jelinski and Frenchman Henri Pescarolo, led the final 18 1/2 hours. It beat the second-place Nissan R90C of three-time defending IMSA Camel GTP champion Geoff Brabham of Australia, former IMSA champion and race winner Chip Robinson and Irishman Derek Daly by more than 18 laps.
It was the fourth Daytona 24 Hours victory for Wollek. Pescarolo has won the 24 Hours of LeMans four times and Winter has won the French race once, but this was the first 24-hour victory for Jelinski.
The victory for Porsche gave the German manufacturer its 18th victory in this race in 23 tries, although Jaguars had won two of the past three.
The winning car averaged 106.663 m.p.h., completing 719 laps around the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway circuit, a total of 2,559.64 miles. None of those totals is a record.
The leader's closest competitor earlier Sunday was the Porsche of Mario Andretti and his sons Michael and Jeff. They came from 17 laps down Saturday night to take the lead briefly after daybreak Sunday. But a bolt that sheared through the flywheel and into the starter motor forced a pit stop of more than one hour and ended hopes of a first Andretti 24-hour victory.
They managed to hang onto fifth place, finishing behind the third-place 962C of Jim Adams, Chris Cord and John Hotchkis and the GTO division-winning Ford Mustang of NASCAR star Mark Martin, Robby Gordon, Wally Dallenbach Jr. and defending IMSA GTO champion Dorsey Schroeder. The Mustang gave car owner Jack Roush his seventh consecutive GTO victory in this event.
Two-time world champion Jean-Michel Bayle rode his Honda away from hometown favorite Larry Ward and his Suzuki teammate Guy Cooper halfway through the race to win the Camel Supercross on Saturday at the Seattle Kingdome.
It was Bayle's second victory in four races this season, and he leads the points standings.