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Race report
IMSA Daytona 24

Rolex 24: Castroneves drives Meyer Shank Acura to emotional win

Helio Castroneves, Tom Blomqvist, Oliver Jarvis and Simon Pagenaud scored Rolex 24 victory in the Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-05 on the 10th anniversary of MSR’s previous triumph at the famed Daytona track.

A full-course yellow with 1hr55min remaining was caused by Matt Bell’s AWA LMP3 car dying at Turn 7. Just before, in anticipation of the pitlane being closed, both the Acura teams pitted their cars, Wayne Taylor Racing bringing in Ricky Taylor for a splash and dash and Meyer Shank Racing doing the same for Tom Blomqvist.

MSR then also topped off under the caution, too, pitting with the JDC-Miller MotorSports Cadillac which saw Richard Westbrook – who had held a 20sec lead before the caution – hand off to Loic Duval. Right behind them, Action Express Racing pitted the #31 and left Mike Conway onboard.

The restart saw Taylor pull away, and while Duval initially jumped Blomqvist, the Briton returned the MSR to restore an Acura 1-2. He wouldn’t let the WTR car go and with 84mins to go, Blomqvist side-drafted the blue-and-black car to sneak past into the lead, leaving Taylor to fend off Duval and Conway. That didn’t last long, Duval replicating Blomqvist’s move by going low on the banking and moving into second place as they dived into the newly renamed Le Mans (formerly Bus Stop) chicane.

However, two laps later, Duval dropped back behind both Taylor and Conway, some 5sec off the lead. He stopped with 68mins to go, the first of the DPi cars to make its penultimate stop. Next time by, Taylor, who’d fallen over three seconds off the lead of Blomqvist, brought the WTR Acura in, and a lap after that, MSR called Blomqvist in and replaced him with Helio Castroneves. The following lap Conway pitted the AXR car and handed over to Pipo Derani, but the latter was temporarily 15sec down…

Castroneves did hold a 5sec advantage at the front but when the charging Duval passed Taylor for second with 55mins remaining, that gap went down to half a second. Then out came the full course yellow again for a spun and stalled GTD Lamborghini.

Just before the restart with just under 30mins to go, Derani and Duval pitted for an extra splash, leaving Castroneves and Taylor up front in the Acuras.

Castroneves just held onto the lead at the restart, and the two Acuras started stretching away from Derani and Duval who held each other up with some side-by-side battling on that first green flag lap.

Castroneves was under severe pressure from Taylor with 15mins to go as they threaded through the GT traffic, but the four-time Indianapolis 500 winner pulled away with seven minutes remaining. That was more a result of Taylor slowing slightly, which allowed Duval to temporarily close up.

But it also spelt the end of the lead battle and Castroneves came home three seconds in front to clinch victory on the 10th anniversary of MSR’s previous triumph here.

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LMP2: DragonSpeed beats Tower in dramatic finale

That yellow with around two hours to go saw DragonSpeed’s 28sec advantage at the front wiped out, so Colton Herta had to keep his head on the restart, for now he had Louis Deletraz in the Tower Motorsport car breathing down his neck, with Mikkel Jensen only four seconds further down in the #52 PR1/ Mathiasen Motorsports entry.

Herta’s lead was only 0.8sec when he stopped with 63mins to go. Tower and PR1 followed suit the next time by, but on new tires Herta pulled a three second lead over Deletraz until the yellow with 50mins to go.

Following the pitstops under caution, Tower got Deletraz out ahead of Herta, with Jensen in third. Racing Team Nederland were now right back in the fight, thanks to Rinus VeeKay unlapping himself from Herta two stints earlier, and the Dutch #29 car would restart with Giedo van der Garde at the wheel.

At the final restart, Herta initially struggled to hold off Jensen, but with his tires up to temperature he pulled away from the PR1 Mathiasen car to set his sights on the Tower car of Deletraz ahead.

With barely 10mins to go, Herta was right in the Tower car’s slipstream and made a seemingly impossible late-brake maneuver into the Le Mans chicane but it worked, and Deletraz went bouncing over the grass.

Soon after that, van de Garde, who had demoted Jensen for third, also managed to dive past the Tower car to slot the Racing Team Nederland car into second, albeit nine seconds behind Herta’s DragonSpeed machine.

Herta held onto the lead without issue to take victory in the car he shared with Pato O'Ward, Devlin DeFrancesco and Eric Lux.

LMP3 saw Felipe Fraga steer Riley Motorsports to victory by one lap over Sean Creech Motorsports and CORE autosport, which got a drive-through penalty for passing under yellow.

GTD Pro: Pfaff Porsche survives contact to win

In GTD Pro, the caution with under two hours remaining came just after the KCMG and Pfaff Motorsports teams had pitted their Porsche 911 GT3 Rs, which had been dueling superbly for the lead. They emerged with Mathieu Jaminet in the Pfaff car ahead of ahead of Laurens Vanthoor in the KCMG machine, but temporarily behind the Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 of James Calado.

Under caution, Calado pitted and handed over to Alessandro Pier Guidi.

The yellows also allowed the Vasser Sullivan Racing Lexus RC F to close up, and following the restart Jack Hawksworth drove the RCF past the Ferrari into third to try and chase the two Porsches who had resumed their duel. Instead, it was Pier Guidi who got back ahead of the luminous Lexus, albeit now 4sec behind the ferocious Pfaff vs KCMG battle, and left Hawksworth behind.

The two lead Porsches had just stopped when the yellows flew again with 50mins remaining which helped ensure they remained ahead of the pursuing Risi Ferrari and VSR Lexus on the restart. In fact, Vasser Sullivan performed a great final stop to get Hawksworth out ahead of Pier Guidi, and following the restart, Hawksworth actually stretched away from the Ferrari.

However, the 488 driver wouldn’t let go of the RC F and with 13mins to go, the scarlet machine moved into third albeit 7sec behind the increasingly fraught battle for the lead between Jaminet and Vanthoor. The KCMG car moved ahead with four minutes remaining after some panel rubbing, but they remained locked together.

On the final lap, Jaminet got back ahead but the pair remained locked together – and then came together at the Le Mans chicane. That sent the KCMG car spinning, costing it second place to the Risi Ferrari, while the Pfaff car of Jaminet, Matt Campbell and Felipe Nasr escaped to victory.

GTD: Wright gives Porsche double win

In GTD, Zacharie Robichon and Jan Heylen had together built up a near one-minute lead for the Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R before the caution, but of course it dissipated under yellow. However, Heylen maintained his composure on the restart, despite Nicklas Nielsen in the AF Corse Ferrari 488 filling his mirrors, and was able to lock himself into the slipstream of the battling GTD Pro Porsches and ease his margin over the Ferrari to over five seconds.

Behind them, Andy Lally in the Magnus Racing Aston Martin Vantage ran third – on the lead lap but drifting backward.

Heylen had pulled the Wright car in for his final pitstop when the yellows flew at the 50min mark for Giacomo Altoe spinning and stalling his TR3 Lamborghini Huracan. That ensured Heylen was up front for the restart, still chased by Nielsen’s Ferrari, and Lally’s Magnus Aston Martin.

The lead battle was ruined by AF Corse getting a drive-through penalty for making a pass under yellow, which allowed Lally’s Aston Martin and Scott Andrews in the Gilbert Korthoff Mercedes AMG GT3 into second and third respectively.

That pair had nothing for Heylen however, thus the Wright Motorsports car of Heylen, Robichon, Richard Lietz and Ryan Hardwick clinched Rolex 24 victory.

Race results:

Cla Class Num Driver Chassis Laps Gap
1 DPi 60 United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis
United Kingdom Tom Blomqvist
Brazil Helio Castroneves
France Simon Pagenaud
Acura DPi 761  
2 DPi 10 United States Ricky Taylor
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
United States Alexander Rossi
United Kingdom Will Stevens
Acura DPi 761 3.028
3 DPi 5 France Tristan Vautier
United Kingdom Richard Westbrook
France Loic Duval
United States Ben Keating
Cadillac DPi 761 4.420
4 DPi 31 Brazil Pipo Derani
United States Tristan Nunez
United Kingdom Mike Conway
Cadillac DPi 761 5.615
5 LMP2 81 United States Eric Lux
Canada Devlin DeFrancesco
Mexico Patricio O'Ward
United States Colton Herta
ORECA LMP2 07 751 10 Laps
6 LMP2 29 Netherlands Frits van Eerd
Netherlands Giedo van der Garde
Murry Dylan
Netherlands Rinus van Kalmthout
ORECA LMP2 07 751 10 Laps
7 LMP2 8 Canada John Farano
Switzerland Louis Deletraz
Rui Pinto
Austria Ferdinand Habsburg
ORECA LMP2 07 751 10 Laps
8 LMP2 52 United States Ben Keating
Denmark Mikkel Jensen
Scott Huffaker
France Nicolas Lapierre
ORECA LMP2 07 751 10 Laps
9 LMP2 68 France François Heriau
Oliver Rasmussen
United Arab Emirates Ed Jones
Germany René Rast
ORECA LMP2 07 744 17 Laps
10 LMP2 22 United States Jim McGuire
United Kingdom Guy Smith
United Kingdom Philip Hanson
United States Will Owen
ORECA LMP2 07 740 21 Laps
11 DPi 48 Germany Mike Rockenfeller
Japan Kamui Kobayashi
United States Jimmie Johnson
Argentina Jose Maria Lopez
Cadillac DPi 739 22 Laps
12 DPi 02 New Zealand Earl Bamber
United Kingdom Alex Lynn
Sweden Marcus Ericsson
Denmark Kevin Magnussen
Cadillac DPi 734 27 Laps
13 LMP3 74 United States Gar Robinson
Brazil Felipe Fraga
Netherlands Kay van Berlo
United States Michael Cooper
Ligier JS P320 723 38 Laps
14 DPi 01 Netherlands Renger van der Zande
France Sébastien Bourdais
New Zealand Scott Dixon
Spain Alex Palou
Cadillac DPi 722 39 Laps
15 LMP3 33 Portugal Joao Barbosa
Malthe Jakobsen
Seb Priaulx
United States Lance Willsey
Ligier JS P320 722 39 Laps
16 LMP3 54 United States Jon Bennett
United States Colin Braun
United States George Kurtz
Sweden Nic Jönsson
Ligier JS P320 721 40 Laps
17 LMP3 36 United States Jarett Andretti
Josh Burdon
Sweden Rasmus Lindh
Colombia Gabby Chaves
Ligier JS P320 719 42 Laps
18 LMP2 18 Dwight Merriman
United Kingdom Kyle Tilley
United Kingdom Ryan Dalziel
France Paul-Loup Chatin
ORECA LMP2 07 718 43 Laps
19 GTD PRO 9 Australia Matt Campbell
France Mathieu Jaminet
Brazil Felipe Nasr
Porsche 911 GT3 R 711 50 Laps
20 GTD PRO 62 Italy Alessandro Pier Guidi
United Kingdom James Calado
Brazil Daniel Serra
Italy Davide Rigon
Ferrari 488 GT3 711 50 Laps
21 GTD PRO 2 Belgium Laurens Vanthoor
France Patrick Pilet
Norway Dennis Olsen
Switzerland Alexandre Imperatori
Porsche 911 GT3 R 711 50 Laps
22 GTD PRO 14 United Kingdom Jack Hawksworth
United Kingdom Ben Barnicoat
United States Kyle Kirkwood
Lexus RC F GT3 711 50 Laps
23 GTD PRO 15 Germany Dirk Muller
Germany Patrick Assenheimer
United States Austin Cindric
Mercedes-AMG GT3 709 52 Laps
24 GTD 16 United States Ryan Hardwick
Canada Zacharie Robichon
Belgium Jan Heylen
Austria Richard Lietz
Porsche 911 GT3 R 707 54 Laps
25 GTD 44 United States John Potter
United States Andy Lally
United States Spencer Pumpelly
United Kingdom Jonathan Adam
Aston Martin Vantage GT3 707 54 Laps
26 GTD 32 United States Mike Skeen
United States Guy Cosmo
United Kingdom Stevan McAleer
Australia Scott Andrews
Mercedes-AMG GT3 707 54 Laps
27 GTD 21 Mann Simon
Argentina Luis Perez Companc
Denmark Nicklas Nielsen
Finland Toni Vilander
Ferrari 488 GT3 707 54 Laps
28 GTD 70 Brendan Iribe
Switzerland Frederik Schandorff
United Kingdom Ollie Millroy
South Africa Jordan Lee Pepper
McLaren 720S GT3 705 56 Laps
29 GTD 57 United States Russell Ward
Switzerland Philip Ellis
Canada Mikael Grenier
Austria Lucas Auer
Mercedes-AMG GT3 699 62 Laps
30 GTD PRO 3 Spain Antonio Garcia
United States Jordan Taylor
Netherlands Nick Catsburg
Corvette C8.R GTD 698 63 Laps
31 GTD PRO 25 United States Connor de Phillippi
United States John Edwards
Brazil Augusto Farfus
Finland Jesse Krohn
BMW M4 GT3 698 63 Laps
32 GTD 64 United States Ted Giovanis
United States Hugh Plumb
United States Matt Plumb
United States Owen Trinkler
Porsche 911 GT3 R 697 64 Laps
33 LMP3 13 Canada Orey Fidani
Canada Kuno Wittmer
Germany Lars Kern
United Kingdom Matthew Bell
Duqueine D08 695 66 Laps
34 GTD 71 France Franck Perera
LLarena Mateo
Germany Paul Maximilian
Canada Mikhail Goikhberg
Lamborghini Huracan GT3 692 69 Laps
35 GTD 27 Canada Roman De Angelis
United Kingdom Ian James
United Kingdom Darren Turner
Tom Gamble
Aston Martin Vantage GT3 688 73 Laps
36 LMP3 26 Nolan Siegel
Australia Cameron Shields
Charles Crews
Ugo De
Duqueine D08 681 80 Laps
37 GTD PRO 79 United States Cooper MacNeil
Julien Andlauer
Italy Matteo Cairoli
Belgium Alessio Picariello
Porsche 911 GT3 R 673 88 Laps
38 GTD 99 Rob Ferriol
United Kingdom Katherine Legge
United Kingdom Stefan Wilson
United States Nicholas Boulle
Porsche 911 GT3 R 672 89 Laps
39 GTD 19 United States Bill Sweedler
John Megrue
Italy Giacomo Altoè
United States Jeff Segal
Lamborghini Huracan GT3 669 92 Laps
40 GTD 98 Canada Paul Dalla Lana
David Pittard
Charlie Eastwood
Denmark Nicki Thiim
Aston Martin Vantage GT3 667 94 Laps
41 GTD PRO 24 Austria Philipp Eng
Germany Marco Wittmann
United Kingdom Nick Yelloly
South Africa Sheldon Van Der Linde
BMW M4 GT3 665 96 Laps
42 LMP2 11 Thomas Steven
United States Josh Pierson
United States Jonathan Bomarito
United Kingdom Harry Tincknell
ORECA LMP2 07 663 98 Laps
43 GTD 66 Kyffin Simpson
United States Till Bechtolsheimer
United States Marc Miller
Germany Mario Farnbacher
Acura NSX GT3 659 102 Laps
44 GTD 47 Italy Roberto Lacorte
Italy Giorgio Sernagiotto
Italy Antonio Fuoco
Italy Alessio Rovera
Ferrari 488 GT3 652 109 Laps
45 GTD 12 United States Frankie Montecalvo
United States Aaron Telitz
United States Richard Heistand
United States Townsend Bell
Lexus RC F GT3 634 127 Laps
46 GTD PRO 4 United States Tommy Milner
United Kingdom Nick Tandy
Denmark Marco Sorensen
Corvette C8.R GTD 626 135 Laps
47 LMP3 38 Dan Goldburg
Hikaru Abe
Canada Garett Grist
Nicolas Pino
Ligier JS P320 588 173 Laps
48 LMP2 69 United States John Falb
Australia James Allen
Italy Luca Ghiotto
Tijmen van
ORECA LMP2 07 556 205 Laps
49 GTD 42 United States Don Yount
Benja Hites
United States Jaden Conwright
Finland Markus Palttala
Lamborghini Huracan GT3 524 237 Laps
50 GTD PRO 97 United States Cooper MacNeil
Spain Daniel Juncadella
Germany Maro Engel
France Jules Gounon
Mercedes-AMG GT3 487 274 Laps
51 LMP3 7 United States Mark Kvamme
United States Austin McCusker
United States Trenton Estep
Antoine Doquin
Duqueine D08 425 336 Laps
52 GTD PRO 63 Italy Marco Mapelli
Italy Andrea Caldarelli
Italy Mirko Bortolotti
Switzerland Rolf Ineichen
Lamborghini Huracan GT3 400 361 Laps
53 LMP3 6 Efrin Castro
Germany Moritz Kranz
Ori Ayrton
United States Joel Miller
Duqueine D08 363 398 Laps
54 GTD 39 United States Robert Megennis
United States Corey Lewis
United Kingdom Sandy Mitchell
United States Jeff Westphal
Lamborghini Huracan GT3 349 412 Laps
55 LMP2 20 Denmark Dennis Andersen
Denmark Anders Fjordbach
Switzerland Fabio Scherer
Nico Mueller
ORECA LMP2 07 345 416 Laps
56 GTD 96 United States Robby Foley
United States Bill Auberlen
Michael Dinan
Germany Jens Klingmann
BMW M4 GT3 280 481 Laps
57 GTD 59 Lance Bergstein
Jon Miller
United States Patrick Gallagher
United States Paul Holton
McLaren 720S GT3 263 498 Laps
58 GTD 28 United States Michael de Quesada
Canada Daniel Morad
Linus Lundqvist
Maximillian Goetz
Mercedes-AMG GT3 181 580 Laps
59 GTD PRO 23 United Kingdom Ross Gunn
Spain Alex Riberas
Belgium Maxime Martin
Aston Martin Vantage GT3 103 658 Laps
60 GTD 75 Australia Kenny Habul
Germany Luca Stolz
Italy Raffaele Marciello
Germany Fabian Schiller
Mercedes-AMG GT3 101 660 Laps
61 GTD 34 Kyle Washington
United States James Sofronas
Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen
Austria Klaus Bachler
Porsche 911 GT3 R 88 673 Laps

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