Grosjean has faith in Lotus revival after poor start

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Romain Grosjean has once again affirmed his faith in the entire Lotus team despite a disastrous start to the season that has seen the one-time front-runners fail to score any points in the opening two rounds of the 2014 F1 season.

After a series of financial crises last year, the team finally found some stability by securing finance from Pastor Maldonado’s backers, PDVSA, and downsizing the workforce at Enstone by 20%.

However, the E22 car was not ready for the first test in Jerez, and Lotus has been on the back foot ever since. A double retirement in Australia came as little surprise, but Grosjean rallied to finish 11th in Malaysia, and the Frenchman was pleased with this result after such a tough start to the year.

“I won’t say exactly everything I could say inside my helmet sometimes,” Grosjean joked. “I think it was good for all the guys that we could finish the Malaysian Grand Prix. Of course it was not the way you would like to see when you start a Grand Prix but at the moment that’s where we are plus we were not that far from the points.”

Grosjean refused to give any kind of time scale for when the team will be back up in the points and fighting for race wins as per 2013, but he has total faith in the team at Enstone.

“I don’t know, to be honest,” he said when asked how long it would take for the team to bounce back. “I know that we still have in our genes the winning spirit and we can still fight back.

“Of course, when you start the season with everything in the right direction it’s easier to move forward but at the moment we’ve had some issues, we’ve solved most of them, hopefully no more coming, then we can go from there.

“Renault is well aware that the power unit needs to improve a little bit compared to certain other manufacturers, but I think it’s going to be good and we can work on our car.”

Grosjean has finished on the podium in the last two Bahrain Grands Prix, but he will be hard-pressed to emulate this result on Sunday. You can watch the race live on NBCSN from 10:30am ET on Sunday.

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.