Photo courtesy of IMSA

IMSA: Sunday’s Roar Before the 24 final day results

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The third and final day of the Roar Before the 24 saw two more practice sessions as well as a qualifying session for all three classes of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. However, the qualifying was not to decide the starting grids, but rather pit stall and garage selection, with the fastest cars in each class earning the chance to have the first picks.

In that qualifying, the manufacturers and teams who have been strongest all weekend continued to flex their muscle. Below are reports about the day’s happenings from all three classes:

PROTOTYPE: FELIPE NASR QUALIFIES FIRST ACTION EXPRESS, CADILLAC

The No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R from Action Express went fastest in qualifying, with Felipe Nasr turning a blistering time of 1:35.806, the fastest lap of any driver all weekend.

Second went to Tristan Vautier in the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Racing Cadillac, with Felipe Albuquerque making it an Action Express 1-3 by putting his No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac in third. Renger Van Der Zande put the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac in fourth, making it a Cadillac 1-2-3-4 in the first qualifying session of the year.

Fifth went to Acura Team Penske, which has seen steady improvement all weekend from their Acura ARX-05 machines. Dane Cameron ended up in fifth in the No. 6 entry, with the sister No. 7, in the hands of Ricky Taylor, qualifying sixth.

Of note: the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona entry led the Sunday morning practice (Practice 6 of the weekend), while the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing entry led the final practice of the weekend (Practice 7) on Sunday afternoon.

JOEY HAND PUTS FORD, CHIP GANASSI ON TOP IN GTLM

Ford Chip Ganassi Racing, which dominated Saturday’s running of the Roar, went fastest in qualifying, with Joey Hand putting the No. 66 Ford GT on top. Second went to Oliver Gavin in the No. 4 Corvette Racing C7.R, the team’s best result of the weekend.

Ryan Briscoe was third in the sister No. 67 Chip Ganassi Ford, with Earl Bamber fourth in the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR for Porsche GT Team. Fifth went to Antonio Garcia in the No. 3 entry from Corvette Racing.

Of note: the No. 66 Ford GT from Ford Chip Ganassi Racing was also fastest during Practice 6 of the weekend on Sunday morning, while the No. 912 Porsche went to the top of the time sheets in Practice 7 that afternoon.

GRT GRASSER RACING TEAM TOPS GT DAYTONA QUALIFYING

Mirko Bortolotti put the No. 11 GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 on top of GT Daytona qualifying and continued a strong weekend for the GRT Grasser team, which had held the fastest lap of the GT Daytona field entering Sunday.

Andy Lally put the Magnus Racing No. 44 Audi R8 LMS GT3 in second, followed by Patrick Long in the No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche GT3 R. Fourth went to the No. 86 Acura NSX GT3 from Michael Shank Racing, with the No. 69 HART Racing Acura NSX GT3 in fifth.

Of note: Paul Miller Racing took a brief stint at the top of the GTD leaderboard in Practice 6 with their No. 48 Lamborghini Huracan GT3, while GRT Grasser’s second entry, the No. 19 Lamborghini, went quickest in Practice 7.

Results from Sunday are linked below:

Practice 6
Practice 7
Qualifying
Combined Results

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GoDaddy to sponsor Patrick in ‘Danica Double’ at Daytona, Indy — now all she needs are rides

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By The Associated Press

Danica Patrick is going back to green.

GoDaddy Green, to be exact – a fitting color for her farewell tour.

The company will sponsor Patrick in the upcoming “Danica Double” that will close out her racing career, The Associated Press has learned. Patrick has no ride yet for next month’s Daytona 500 or the Indianapolis 500 in May, but she now has the financial backing to pull it off.

This time around, the original GoDaddy Girl will symbolize the new core mission of the company that helped make her one of the world’s most recognizable athletes.

“There’s this great story: I left IndyCar with GoDaddy on my car, I started NASCAR with GoDaddy on my car, I’m most recognized as the GoDaddy green car and driver, and so to finish up my career that way feels appropriate,” Patrick told the AP from Scottsdale, Arizona.

Her final race will be the Indy 500, an appropriate choice because it was “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” that rocketed Patrick and GoDaddy into pop culture notoriety.

GoDaddy and Patrick grew up together. The company switched series with her and marketed her as a strong, sexy woman in 13 Super Bowl commercials – a record appearance for celebrities. Now, the company is most interested in Patrick the budding businesswoman who is firmly closing the door on her racing career and rebranding herself as an entrepreneur . She has a book out, an apparel line, a wine label and confirmed to AP this week that she’s dating Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

“Our goals are so well-aligned,” Barb Rechterman, the chief marketing officer of GoDaddy, told AP. “She’s passionate, tenacious and creative just like so many of our customers who are also looking to leverage the power of the internet and turn their `side hustle’ into a full-time business. Danica absolutely epitomizes the heart of our GoDaddy customers.”

Prepare to hear a lot about the “side hustle” as GoDaddy climbs aboard the so-far fledgling “Danica Double.”

Patrick announced in November she would end her driving career with the Daytona 500 and Indy 500, but didn’t have a deal completed for either race. Still doesn’t. Yet somehow, Patrick always figures a way to get what she wants. Talks ended with Chip Ganassi Racing about a possible ride, and late last month, Patrick said, she called former GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons and asked about a reunion.

GoDaddy has rebranded since it last teamed with Patrick. The company now touts itself as “the world’s largest cloud platform dedicated to small, independent ventures,” and there’s no better spokeswoman than Patrick, who is in the next chapter of her life and her brand.

GoDaddy pulled out of racing after the 2015 season, and Patrick hasn’t had the same level of funding and marketing support since. Patrick has slowly reshaped her image, first into a Instagram model and is now a full-blown lifestyle guru. She realized – at the age of 35 – she was on her own.

She and GoDaddy aligned for a splashy move into NASCAR, where she was glamorous off the track but only mediocre on it. Through all of this, she was married, divorced, spent five years dating fellow driver and competitor Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and then seemed to find herself through a tailored diet, exercise and a healthy lifestyle.

She is cutting the cord on racing after Indy, and her focus is on a sense of well-being far away from the track.

“Their business is so perfectly paired to what is going on with mine, so when we sat down and met, it was like, `Let’s talk about our business. Let’s talk about the messaging. How does this work?”‘ Patrick said. “And this is undeniably perfect for both of us. Not only is it a huge two races and the biggest two races of the year, but on top of that, you have so much `side hustle’ going on, and all the messaging and our brands, and where we are going is so perfectly paired.”w

GoDaddy can help Patrick move on to whatever it is for racing’s former “It Girl.” The company will help her streamline her online presence. Patrick, for the company, is back as a neon green-and-yellow symbol to all the wannabe entrepreneurs chasing dreams.

She’ll get those rides, too. Patrick said she knows she will because she believes she will.

“That’s just the way the universe works,” she said. “You have to ask for what you want. Things have taken a long time with this, but you just have to go with the flow on these things. The universe is not on your time schedule.”

More AP auto racing: https://racing.ap.org/