One spectator killed, others injured, at VLN Endurance event in Germany

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Officials at the VLN Endurance Championship in Germany have confirmed that one spectator has died and others have been injured after an incident at the Nurburgring today.

Following an incident involving the No. 23 Nissan GT-R being raced by British driver Jann Mardenborough at the time, the race was red flagged.

Pictures from the scene show Mardenborough’s car upside down on the spectator side of the catch fencing at Flugplatz corner, which is part of the Nordschleife circuit.

The event organizers have issued the following statement:

“In the opening round of the VLN Endurance Championship at the Nürburgring, an accident happened on Saturday in which several spectators were injured.

“One of them died despite immediately initiated rescue operations in the Medical Center of the circuit. The other injured spectators were taken for further medical care to the hospital. The race was stopped to allow quick access to the scene of the rescue services and not restarted.

“At Flugplatz, a racing vehicle drove off for a yet unknown reason from the track and came to a halt behind the safety features of the circuit.

“The VLN and the organizer of the race are deeply saddened, and our thoughts are with the families and friends of the victims.”

Nissan has also issued a statement:

During today’s ‘VLN 1’ race at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, a serious incident occurred involving the No.23 Nissan.

The car is reported to have left the track at the ‘Flugplatz’ section and vaulted the catch fencing, landing on its roof in a spectator area.

Several spectators were injured in the incident and despite immediate efforts one of them succumbed to their injuries. The others have been taken immediately to hospital for care.

The driver, Jann Mardenborough got out of the car and, after initial checks in the circuit Medical Centre, has been taken to hospital for further routine checks.

Today’s events have been a tragedy. We are all deeply shocked and saddened by these events and our immediate thoughts go to the deceased, those injured and their families and friends.

The team is fully co-operating with the race organisers to conduct an immediate and thorough investigation into this incident.

This story will be updated upon further information from VLN.

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.