Marcos Ambrose rebounds in second day of Supercars test

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It didn’t take long for Marcos Ambrose to get back into the swing of things in Australia’s V8 Supercars.

After a disappointing 15th place showing in the first of a two-day SuperTest at Sydney Motorsport Park on Saturday – including being sidelined nearly an hour for clutch repairs – Ambrose came back with a vengeance on Sunday’s second and final day of the test.

Ambrose and the DJR Penske Ford Falcon FG/X finished fifth overall out of the 25-driver field, with a best lap of 1 minute, 30.15 seconds.

That mark was not far off the fastest driver in the test, perennial Supercars favorite Mark Winterbottom, who had a top lap of 1:29.58.

That immediately got fans and Australian media thinking the former NASCAR driver may actually be a legitimate contender to win the Supercar series championship in his first year back in the series in a decade.

It would make for a great storyline, given that Ambrose won the Supercar championships in his native land in 2003 and 2004, and last drove a Supercar in 2005 before moving to NASCAR in 2006 through 2014.

“I feel like we have something to build on now,’’ Ambrose told Australia’s Herald Sun newspaper. “We are just going to keep on improving our team every time we go to a racetrack.

“I am not really thrilled with this weekend’s progress but I am thrilled with how I feel behind the wheel now. It has taken me time just to get any confidence behind the wheel.

“These V8 Supercars are a unique car and they take a bit of getting used to. I think I am slowly getting there.”

Earlier in the day, Ambrose finished 14th in the Armor All Shootout, with a best lap of 1:31.77.

It’s just another step in his becoming reacclimated to Supercars.

“Racing is more about predicting than reacting,’’ Ambrose told the Herald Sun. “When I don’t know what the car is going to do, I can’t predict it.

“I think that is where laps help in the car. I am going to face that at every track I go to this year because I won’t know which way to go. I need to learn how these cars feel and how to drive them fast at each track.

“2015 is a year of learning for all of us here. Hopefully the fans can be patient with me and we will build this team up to be a serious contender but it won’t happen overnight.”

The V8 Supercars season begins Feb. 26-March 1 in the Adelaide’s Clipsal 500.

 

Result: Session 4, Sydney Motorsport Park SuperTest

1 Ford Pepsi Max Crew Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG/X 01:29.58
2 Holden Racing Team James Courtney Holden Commodore VF 01:29.93 00:00.35
3 Freightliner Racing Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore VF 01:29.94 00:00.36
4 Erebus Motorsport V8 Will Davison Mercedes E63 AMG 01:30.10 00:00.52
5 DJR Team Penske Marcos Ambrose Ford Falcon FG/X 01:30.16 00:00.58
6 The Bottle-O Racing Team David Reynolds Ford Falcon FG 01:30.17 00:00.59
7 Erebus Motorsport V8 Ashley Walsh Mercedes E63 AMG 01:30.18 00:00.60
8 Walkinshaw Racing Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore VF 01:30.18 00:00.60
9 Nissan Motorsport Todd Kelly Nissan Altima 01:30.36 00:00.78
10 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander Holden Commodore VF 01:30.38 00:00.80
11 Ford Pepsi Max Crew Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon FG/X 01:30.47 00:00.89
12 Wilson Security Racing GRM Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 01:30.58 00:01.00
13 Nissan Motorsport Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 01:30.59 00:01.01
14 Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport Nick Percat Holden Commodore VF 01:30.67 00:01.09
15 Nissan Motorsport James Moffat Nissan Altima 01:30.76 00:01.18
16 Team GB Galvanizing Dale Wood Holden Commodore VF 01:30.78 00:01.20
17 Team TEKNO Darrell Lea Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore VF 01:30.87 00:01.29
18 Team BOC Jason Bright Holden Commodore VF 01:30.95 00:01.37
19 Nissan Motorsport Michael Caruso Nissan Altima 01:30.97 00:01.39
20 Red Bull Racing Australia Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VF 01:31.00 00:01.42
21 Supercheap Auto Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore VF 01:31.11 00:01.53
22 Wilson Security Racing GRM David Wall Volvo S60 01:31.26 00:01.68
23 Red Bull Racing Australia Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VF 01:31.33 00:01.75
24 Super Black Racing Andre Heimgartner Ford Falcon FG 01:31.92 00:02.34
25 Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport Tim Blanchard Holden Commodore VF 01:32.42 00:02.84

 

Result: Armor All Shootout, Sydney Motorsport Park SuperTest

1 Ford Pepsi Max Crew Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon FG/X 01:30.66
2 Team TEKNO Darrell Lea Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore VF 01:30.67 00:00.01
3 Holden Racing Team James Courtney Holden Commodore VF 01:30.69 00:00.03
4 Ford Pepsi Max Crew Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG/X 01:30.71 00:00.06
5 Wilson Security Racing GRM Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 01:30.86 00:00.20
6 Nissan Motorsport James Moffat Nissan Altima 01:31.11 00:00.45
7 Team BOC Jason Bright Holden Commodore VF 01:31.19 00:00.53
8 Red Bull Racing Australia Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VF 01:31.26 00:00.60
9 Freightliner Racing Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore VF 01:31.28 00:00.62
10 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander Holden Commodore VF 01:31.43 00:00.77
11 Nissan Motorsport Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 01:31.50 00:00.84
12 Red Bull Racing Australia Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VF 01:31.63 00:00.97
13 Supercheap Auto Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore VF 01:31.64 00:00.98
14 DJR Team Penske Marcos Ambrose Ford Falcon FG/X 01:31.77 00:01.12
15 The Bottle-O Racing Team David Reynolds Ford Falcon FG 01:31.81 00:01.15
16 Erebus Motorsport V8 Will Davison Mercedes E63 AMG 01:31.88 00:01.22
17 LD Motorsprts Nick Percat Holden Commodore VF 01:32.19 00:01.53
18 Erebus Motorsport V8 Ashley Walsh Mercedes E63 AMG 01:32.24 00:01.59
19 Nissan Motorsport Todd Kelly Nissan Altima 01:32.84 00:02.18
20 Super Black Racing Andre Heimgartner Ford Falcon FG 01:32.92 00:02.26
21 Wilson Security Racing GRM David Wall Volvo S60 01:33.36 00:02.70
22 LD Motorsports Tim Blanchard Holden Commodore VF 01:33.55 00:02.89
23 Team GB Galvanizing Dale Wood Holden Commodore VF
24 Walkinshaw Racing Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore VF
EXC Nissan Motorsport Michael Caruso Nissan Altima

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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.