A few other tidbits from Friday in Detroit

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Here’s a few other noteworthy morsels from Friday here in Detroit, for the IZOD IndyCar Series’ Chevrolet Indy Dual at Detroit:

Sebastien Bourdais will make his 100th start in open-wheel racing on Saturday. He has 31 wins, 31 poles and four consecutive Champ Car titles (2004-’07) in his career, although he has yet to score a podium finish since his return to IndyCar in 2011.

“It doesn’t make you any younger, does it?” the Dragon Racing driver pondered. “But obviously I am just very fortunate to be around and try to get to run a lot. I still enjoy it as much as I used to enjoy it.”

Ryan Briscoe didn’t have the smoothest of first days for Panther Racing in Detroit. The Australian will start 21st for the first race of the weekend, and his day included a spin. Although the chance to drive was unexpected, Briscoe was at least prepared, even though he’s running a seat made last-minute and Townsend Bell’s steering wheel.

“I wasn’t preparing for it at all, but I did just spend the whole last month in an IndyCar and I feel like I am comfortable in the cockpit again,” he said.

Quicken Loans-sponsored driver AJ Allmendinger nearly advanced out of group one in Q1, a tenth off Dario Franchitti in sixth, but will start 13th. It was a good effort for Allmendinger, who hasn’t been in a wet session since 2006 in Champ Car.

KV Racing Technology came down to Earth with a resounding thud in qualifying on Friday after its win in the Indianapolis 500 with Tony Kanaan. Simona de Silvestro qualified 18th, Kanaan 20th, and will each advance one spot thanks to a 10-spot grid penalty applied to Graham Rahal.

IndyCar isn’t the only series racing in Detroit this weekend. Polesitters in GRAND-AM’s Rolex Series include Jordan Taylor (No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP), Max Papis (No. 61 R. Ferri/AIM Motorsport Racing with Ferrari F458) and Tom Long (No. 70 SpeedSource MAZDA6), and in the Pirelli World Challenge are Johnny O’Connell (No. 3 Cadillac Racing) and Mark Wilkins (No. 38 Kia Motors America Kia Optima).

Final 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona results, stats

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona overall results were all streaks: two consecutive victories in the endurance classic for Meyer Shank Racing and three in a row for Acura.

And Helio Castroneves became the second driver to win three consecutive Rolex 24s and the first to win in three straight years (Peter Gregg won in 1973, ’75 and ’76; the race wasn’t held in ’74 because of a global oil crisis).

Starting from the pole position, Tom Blomqvist took the checkered flag in the No. 60 ARX-06 that led a race-high 365 of 783 laps with co-drivers Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud and Colin Braun.

RESULTS: Click here for the finishing order in the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona l By class

Meyer Shank Racing now has two Rolex 24 victories and the 2022 championship since entering the premier prototype category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2021.

“I think what’s so special about this team is we are a small team compared to some of our opponents, but the atmosphere, the way we work, enables people to get the best out of themselves, and I think that’s why we’re such high achievers,” Blomqvist said. “I think there’s no egos. It’s a very open book, and that just enables each and every one of us to reach our potential. I think that’s why we’ve achieved so much success in really a short time at this level of competition.”

It’s the 16th IMSA victory for MSR.

The 61st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona marked the debut of the Grand Touring Prototype category that brought hybrid engine technology to IMSA’s top level.

In other categories:

LMP2: James Allen passed Ben Hanley on the final lap and delivered a victory in the No. 55 ORECA by 0.016 seconds. It’s the second IMSA victory for Proton Competition, which last won at Sebring in 2012. It was the first Rolex 24 victory for Allen and co-drivers Gianmaria Bruni, Fred Poordad and Francesco Pizzi.

GTD Pro: Cooper MacNeil won in the last start of his IMSA career as the No. 79 Mercedes-AMG GT3 scored the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for WeatherTech Racing and the team’s fourth career victory.

MacNeil, who co-drove with Maro Engel, Jules Gounon and Daniel Juncadella, earned his 12th career victory and first at the Rolex 24.

“Winning by last IMSA race is tremendous,” MacNeil said.

GTD: The No. 27 Heart of Racing Team delivered the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for Aston Martin, which has been competing in endurance races at Daytona International Speedway since 1964. Drivers Marco Sorensen, Roman De Angelis, Darren Turner and Ian James (also the team principal) earned the victory in the English brand’s 13th attempt.

It’s also the first Rolex 24 at Daytona win for Heart of Racing, which has seven IMSA wins.

LMP3: Anthony Mantella, Wayne Boyd, Nico Varrone and Thomas Merrill drove the No. 17 AWA Duqueine D08 to victory by 12 laps for the team’s first class win in IMSA.


STATS PACKAGE FOR ROLEX 24 HOURS OF DAYTONA:

Fastest laps by driver

Fastest laps by driver after race (over the weekend)

Fastest laps by driver and class after race

Fastest lap sequence

Lap chart

Leader sequence

Race analysis by lap

Stint analysis

Time cards

Pit stop time cards

Best sector times

Race distance and speed average

Flag analysis

Weather report

NEXT: The 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season will resume with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring March 18 with coverage across NBC, USA and Peacock.