Muscle Milk men lead first Petit Le Mans test sessions

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Back-to-back American Le Mans Series P1 champions Muscle Milk Pickett Racing paced both of today’s test sessions at Road Atlanta for next weekend’s Petit Le Mans, with a fast time of 1 minute, 10.510 seconds set in the morning run.

For the 10-hour race, Muscle Milk’s usual duo of Lucas Luhr and Klaus Graf will be joined by Romain Dumas, who was the one that posted the quick time this afternoon in the No. 6 HPD ARX-03c.

Also testing today were Level 5 Motorsports’ two P2 entries, the No. 551 and 552 HPD ARX-03b machines. The No. 551, which will be driven by Scott Tucker and Ryan Briscoe at Petit, was second-fastest overall (1 minute, 13.689 seconds), with the No. 552 of Tucker, Marino Franchitti and Guy Cosmo logging the third-fastest lap (1 minute, 14.489 seconds).

Four GT machines took part in Sunday’s sessions, with the class led by the No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R that will be driven by Jonathan Bomarito, Kuno Wittmer and Tommy Kendall. The No. 93 topped out with a lap at 1 minute, 19.394 seconds.

The Prototype Challenge and GT Challenge categories only had one car apiece turn laps on Sunday. On the PC side, the No. 25 8Star Motorsports ORECA FLM09 of Sean Rayhall and Ozz Negri logged a fast lap of 1 minute, 16.072 seconds. In GTC, the No. 66 TRG Porsche 911 GT3 Cup of Craig Stanton, Ben Keating and Damien Faulkner threw down a lap of 1 minute, 25.283 seconds; Keating and Faulkner enter Petit on a two-race win streak in GTC after wins at Circuit of the Americas and Virginia International Raceway.

Another pair of test sessions are slated for Monday at Road Atlanta, the first from 8 a.m. to Noon ET and the second from 1-5 p.m. ET.

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.