Oriol Servia gets at least four races in RLL’s second IndyCar

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In a mini-reunion of sorts, Oriol Servia returns to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for the first time since the 2009 Indianapolis 500.

The Catalan will race at least four IndyCar races in RLL’s much-discussed second Honda, with the hopes of adding more.

“We have had the plea­sure of working with Oriol before and are looking forward to his return,” Bobby Rahal, team co-owner, said in a release.  “I have always respected his ability to develop the race car and be a produc­tive member of the team so when it came time to consider the possi­bility of a second entry he was right at the top of the list. We are happy to have him back and look forward to having him help the team progress toward the front.”

Servia’s stop-start 2009 also included a stint with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing for a few races as Graham Rahal’s teammate. Lanigan is now a co-owner of RLL, and Servia will be reunited with Rahal as well.

“On the team side, in 2009 we did the 500 together as a one-off race,” Servia said. “We were running very strong until we had a fuel pump fail on us but that one race left us with a sensa­tion that we could do great things together. That same year I did a short stint at Newman/Haas where my team­mate was Graham (Rahal) and that also started a great chem­istry between us that trans­lated to results on track where we finished third and fourth in the last race we ran.

“There are enough syner­gies within the team that make me feel posi­tive that even if we may be starting a little late, we will hit the road running.”

Servia will test with the team at IndyCar’s official preseason test in two weeks, at Barber Motorsports Park March 17-18. His four consecutive races include Long Beach on April 13, Barber on April 27, the Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 10 and the Indianapolis 500 May 25.

From a car count standpoint, that officially brings the Indianapolis 500 number up to 26 confirmed car-engine combinations.

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.