Engine issue costs Maldonado shot at points finish

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Pastor Maldonado was left frustrated after today’s Bahrain Grand Prix thanks to a problem with his engine that cost him a shot at a points finish.

The Lotus driver has endured a difficult start to the 2015 season, failing to finish any of the first three races despite having the pace to rank inside the top ten.

A brake issue in qualifying left Maldonado 16th on the grid, and despite receiving a time penalty for starting out of position on the grid, he was soon battling for points with Felipe Massa and Felipe Nasr.

Lotus managed to get its driver ahead of the Brazilian pair thanks to a swift second pit stop, but it proved to be the high point of his race.

When entering the pits for a third time, Maldonado suffered an engine problem that forced him to stop outside his garage whilst the team tried to cool the car down.

He eventually rejoined the race, only to finish down in 15th position ahead of the Manor drivers.

“That was a frustrating race for me,” Maldonado said. “I pushed as hard as possible at the start on the medium tires whilst everyone around me was on the grippier soft compound rubber.

“Once I moved to the soft tires I was able to set the race’s then fastest lap so things looked good with our strategy.

“Unfortunately the engine anti-kill triggered when I came in to make my final pit stop which cost me a lot of time. It’s frustrating as we should have finished strongly.

“My focus is now Barcelona where I’ve delivered very strongly in the past.”

His teammate, Romain Grosjean, fared far better in the sister Lotus car, finishing seventh for the second race in a row and picking up six points for the team.

“It had been a tough weekend until now for me, so it was really great to get another strong seventh position,” Grosjean said. “Today’s race was great, especially as there was lots of overtaking. I was really hoping to catch Daniel Ricciardo but he was too quick for us today.

“It was quite difficult to manage tires, especially with the rears so I think we did a good job to make the two-stop strategy work. We only had new medium compound tires for the race, the rest were scrubbed, so it really was a great job by the team.

“It was a good recovery from Friday and Saturday’s session and I’ll happily take seventh place as my birthday gift for myself and the team.”

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.