Acura takes first and second in Rolex 24 at Daytona

DAYTONA Beach front, Fla. — What a calendar year for Helio Castroneves, the ageless Spiderman of motorsports.

Castroneves climbed the fence for the 3rd time this calendar year Sunday immediately after earning an additional crown jewel victory, this time a second consecutive win in the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The Brazilian shut out the race for Meyer Shank Racing, the team that served him win a document-tying fourth Indianapolis 500 previous May possibly.

Castroneves in the No. 60 Acura held off Ricky Taylor in excess of the last hour of the two times-round-the-clock race — an ironic shut since Castroneves received his very first occupation Rolex enjoy 365 times in the past as Taylor’s teammate in the No. 10 Acura.

Castroneves denied Wayne Taylor Racing a fourth consecutive earn at Daytona Global Speedway, in which he of class climbed the fence with his staff in celebration. Now rival group proprietor 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 athletics motor vehicle race. That get in the 50th functioning of the Rolex with the late Justin Wilson and NASCAR driver AJ Allmendinger gave Shank’s fledgling plan believability, and Castroneves due to the fact Might has helped Shank clearly show the staff is a genuine force.


The 24-hour race was total of surprises and set the teams by way of a exceptional situation because of to the temperature. Unseasonably cold temperatures caused main grip problems with the tires. Considering the fact that tire heaters are not permitted, groups experienced to go out with tires that drivers described to us as “driving on ice.” In buy to grow to be grippy and beneficial, you require temperature in the tires, which intended the initial lap on new tires was a sketchy one for just about every driver. We witnessed additional than a few terrifying moments, skids and crashes that you could attribute to the super-lower tire temps — racing in sub-freezing weather is not ordinary.


Both of those the GTD Professional Corvettes and DPi
Cadillacs experienced difficult days. But even while the DPi Cadillacs finished third and forth, the race among
GM and Acura remained shut for the overall 24 hours. At the conclusion, it was only seconds that stood concerning Cadillac and victory. A ultimate stint of about 30 minutes in which each Acura and Cadillac have been on even footing just proved that Acura experienced a lot more speed at Daytona this yr.


As for the enthusiast turnout, the chilly weather conditions failed to do way too much to dampen spirits. Attendees filled the grid stroll and track stroll prior to race start out, signing their names and expressing nicely-needs to their preferred drivers and groups on the begin/finish line. Luckily for the drivers, they only had the cold to offer with, as rain that experienced plagued Daytona around to race hardly ever threatened the total weekend. It really is a fantastic issue, also, mainly because precipitation in a selected window overnight would’ve been snow, not rain.


Even with the absence of rain, Daytona took its share of punches, as whole-study course cautions had been recurrent occurrences. The good thing is for Acura, the two teams stayed thoroughly clean all race prolonged and experienced no dependability concerns that plagued their races.


Castroneves will generate the entire IndyCar time for Shank this yr in a two-auto work that consists of his former Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud. Shank grabbed equally Castroneves and Pagenaud to help his fulltime IMSA sporting activities auto drivers Olivier Jarvis and Tom Blomqvist earn the 60th functioning of the Rolex.

The 24-hour race remarkably arrived down to the last minutes in four of the five classes at Daytona. And it was a substantial working day for the IndyCar Collection, which had five motorists claim Rolex watches.

Colton Herta, Pato O’Ward and IndyCar rookie Devlin DeFrancesco rallied DragonSpeed United states of america from quite a few laps down to get the LMP2 course, with Herta heading door-to-doorway in the last minutes with Tower Motorsport. Herta came out the victor when the two cars practically touched and Louis Deletraz went off program.

The new GTD Professional course was decided by a frantic fight in between a pair of Porsches, and Pfaff Motorsports, which enlisted IMSA reigning co-winner Felipe Nasr as its stamina driver, acquired the win. The remaining several hours of the race observed all those two Porsches going wheel-to-wheel, lap after lap, and their fight virtually finished in last-lap catastrophe for Acura, as the two 911s designed get hold of via the bus halt chicane.

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

The industry showcased 61 cars and trucks, the most due to the fact 2014, and was run in record-low temperatures, but it was a mild 53 degrees and sunny when Castroneves climbed nonetheless a different fence.


This tale has material from the Linked Press.