December 5, 2020

Rolex

Photo credit: Matthew Stockman - Getty Images
Photo credit: Matthew Stockman – Getty Images

From Autoweek

  • Jim Pace raced in 18 Rolex 24 at Daytona events, and scored a class victory in his first race there in 1990.

  • Pace (pictured center, above) took overall honors in 1996, driving with Wayne Taylor and Scott Sharp in a Doyle Racing Olds-Riley & Scott Mk III.

  • In the 50th anniversary Rolex 24 in 2012, he co-drove with AC/DC lead singer Brian Johnson to a 12th-place finish.

Veteran sports car racer Jim Race, who raced in the Rolex 24 at Daytona 18 times, died on Nov. 13 in Memphis, Tenn., after contracting the COVID-19 virus. He was 59.

Pace was an 18-time participant in the Rolex 24 at Daytona from 1990-2016. He won in his first Rolex start , taking GTU honors and finishing 12th overall in a Team Highball Mazda RX-7.

Photo credit: Matthew Stockman - Getty ImagesPhoto credit: Matthew Stockman - Getty Images
Photo credit: Matthew Stockman – Getty Images

Pace began his racing career in Barber Saab in 1988, and quickly moved up to sports cars. He finished third in IMSA Camel Lights in 1991, winning at Road America in an Essex Racing Kudzu-Buick. He won the 1994 IMSA Camel GTU championship, winning three races for Leitzinger Racing at Road Atlanta, Indianapolis Raceway Park and Laguna Seca.

Pace (pictured center, above) took overall honors in 1996, driving with Wayne Taylor and Scott Sharp in a Doyle Racing Olds-Riley & Scott Mk III.

He followed up his 1996 Rolex 24 victory by winning the 12 Hours of Sebring in the same car with Taylor and Eric Van de Poele.

Pace took his third victory of the season at Texas World Speedway, co-driving with Taylor. He finished ninth in the championship, scoring five podium finishes. Pace also participated with the team in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, co-driving with Taylor and Sharp.

Pace had a decades-long relationship with the Skip Barber Racing School, including providing coaching and advice to top talents on their way to IndyCar and sports car careers.

Racing through the decades, Pace never lost his touch for competition or feel for a car.

Photo credit: Jerry Markland - Getty ImagesPhoto credit: Jerry Markland - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jerry Markland – Getty Images

“Racer, teacher, and loyal friend. These are three simple words to describe Jim Pace and the loss our sport feels today due to his passing,” said IMSA president John Doobnan. “When it comes to racing and driving, Jim did it all and saw it all. From a beginner to a champion, Jim counseled drivers on the path to the top after he himself rode that same journey. All of us at IMSA are devastated by losing such a great champion and friend.”

In recent years, he was part of 50-Plus Racing/Highway to Help, competing to raise funds for Alzheimer’s awareness. In the 50th anniversary of the event in 2012, he co-drove with AC/DC lead singer Brian Johnson to a 12th-place finish. He finished eighth in the Prototype class in 2015 and 2016.

Pace had grown his role with Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) in recent years, acquiring an

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