Teenage racing sensation Elena Myers became the highest-placing woman in the history of the Daytona 200 in March, riding her Castrol Triumph Daytona 675R to ninth place in the 72nd year of the 200-mile event.
The Californian was taking part alongside Jason DiSalvo, winner of the race in 2011 and runner-up in dramatic circumstances in 2012, and Kenny Riedmann for the Latus Motors/Riedmann Racing team, in a field of 31 riders.
One of those was Honda-mounted Melissa Paris, who finished one place behind Elena in 10th. Denying Melissa the chance to achieve the historic milestone herself, Elena rode her rubber to the limit, using the Daytona-spec front tyre for all 57 laps of America’s most famous race.
“We changed two rears,” she said. “The second pit stop was unscheduled, after I misread the pit-lane board and came in a few laps early. Fortunately, my crew still pulled off a 15-second stop.
“The race was gruelling, but I didn’t get too tired, though my wrist was hurting after so many laps of braking.”
To give you an idea of the kind of pressure, hard riding and team tactics involved in Daytona 200, this video recently released by Triumph North America demonstrates exactly what Elena has immersed herself in.
It tells the story of Jason DiSalvo’s charge through the field in the 2012 Daytona 200, when his fight to the finish produced one of the most exciting climaxes the race has ever seen.
The livery on his Castrol Triumph Daytona 675 was designed in memory of Gary Nixon, who won the Daytona 200 riding a 500cc Triumph Tiger in 1967 and who died in 2011. As you’ll see in the film, the perseverance and bravery of DiSalvo’s ride was the perfect tribute.
Despite the pedigree the bike demonstrates here, the 2013 Daytona 200 was the last race that these riders would use the 2012 Daytona 675. Latus Motors’ engineers finalised their modifications to the thrilling new 2013 model in April.