Acura takes first and second in Rolex 24 at Daytona

DAYTONA Seaside, Fla. — What a yr for Helio Castroneves, the ageless Spiderman of motorsports.

Castroneves climbed the fence for the third time this calendar 12 months Sunday just after earning another crown jewel victory, this time a 2nd consecutive get in the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The Brazilian closed out the race for Meyer Shank Racing, the crew that aided him gain a history-tying fourth Indianapolis 500 previous May.

Castroneves in the No. 60 Acura held off Ricky Taylor in excess of the ultimate hour of the two times-spherical-the-clock race — an ironic near due to the fact Castroneves won his very first profession Rolex look at 365 times ago as Taylor’s teammate in the No. 10 Acura.

Castroneves denied Wayne Taylor Racing a fourth consecutive gain at Daytona International Speedway, in which he of system climbed the fence with his workforce in celebration. Now rival crew owner Taylor went to victory lane to congratulate Castroneves.

The acquire for Michael Shank came on the 10th anniversary of Shank’s 1st victory in North America’s most prestigious sports activities vehicle race. That get in the 50th working of the Rolex with the late Justin Wilson and NASCAR driver AJ Allmendinger gave Shank’s fledgling application reliability, and Castroneves given that May possibly has helped Shank show the workforce is a legit pressure.

 

The 24-hour race was comprehensive of surprises and place the teams through a unique predicament owing to the temperature. Unseasonably chilly temperatures triggered big grip difficulties with the tires. Considering that tire warmers are not authorized, groups experienced to go out with tires that motorists explained to us as “driving on ice.” In buy to turn out to be grippy and helpful, you require temperature in the tires, which intended the first lap on new tires was a sketchy 1 for every driver. We witnessed more than a few frightening moments, skids and crashes that you could attribute to the tremendous-reduced tire temps — racing in sub-freezing weather conditions is not usual.

 

Both the GTD Pro Corvettes and DPi
Cadillacs had challenging days. But even while the DPi Cadillacs concluded third and forth, the race concerning
GM and Acura remained near for the entire 24 hrs. At the conclusion, it was only seconds that stood among Cadillac and victory. A last stint of about 30 minutes in which both equally Acura and Cadillac were being on even footing just proved that Acura experienced far more pace at Daytona this year.

 

As for the admirer turnout, the cold weather didn’t do also a great deal to dampen spirits. Attendees stuffed the grid wander and track walk prior to race begin, signing their names and expressing nicely-needs to their most loved motorists and teams on the commence/complete line. Fortunately for the drivers, they only had the cold to deal with, as rain that had plagued Daytona close to to race never ever threatened the total weekend. It really is a fantastic issue, way too, because precipitation in a specific window overnight would’ve been snow, not rain.

 

Even with the deficiency of rain, Daytona took its share of punches, as comprehensive-training course cautions were being frequent occurrences. The good news is for Acura, the two teams stayed clear all race extensive and experienced no reliability issues that plagued their races.

 

Castroneves will push the complete IndyCar period for Shank this yr in a two-car energy that contains his former Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud. Shank grabbed the two Castroneves and Pagenaud to enable his fulltime IMSA sports activities automobile drivers Olivier Jarvis and Tom Blomqvist acquire the 60th operating of the Rolex.

The 24-hour race remarkably came down to the ultimate minutes in four of the 5 courses at Daytona. And it was a enormous day for the IndyCar Series, which experienced 5 motorists declare Rolex watches.

Colton Herta, Pato O’Ward and IndyCar rookie Devlin DeFrancesco rallied DragonSpeed United states from a number of laps down to earn the LMP2 class, with Herta likely door-to-door in the final minutes with Tower Motorsport. Herta arrived out the victor when the two cars practically touched and Louis Deletraz went off class.

The new GTD Pro course was made a decision by a frantic battle among a pair of Porsches, and Pfaff Motorsports, which enlisted IMSA reigning co-champion Felipe Nasr as its endurance driver, acquired the win. The last hrs of the race saw those two Porsches heading wheel-to-wheel, lap following lap, and their struggle just about ended in past-lap catastrophe for Acura, as the two 911s made get in touch with by way of the bus end chicane.

Riley Motorsports gained the LMP 3 class and Wright Motorsports won the GT Daytona class.

The field showcased 61 cars and trucks, the most since 2014, and was run in report-reduced temperatures, but it was a delicate 53 degrees and sunny when Castroneves climbed yet another fence.

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