Bourdais wins Detroit on fuel mileage after accident-filled second half

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DETROIT – Sebastien Bourdais got ahead of erstwhile dominant driver Juan Pablo Montoya on the final pit stop sequence, Lap 38, then managed to hold on the remainder of the race through a caution-filled second half of the second Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Presented by Quicken Loans en route to his first win of the Verizon IndyCar Series season.

It was just about as nerve wracking as it gets,” Bourdais said. “When we elected to stay out, I was like ‘Oh man, it is all or nothing’ from there.

“All I could hope for was just the same scenario as NOLA. Complicated conditions and one yellow after another and it was the right call today again.

“The difference is that we obviously deserved it I think because the boys worked really hard. We were on pace; we passed a bunch of cars and made the moves when it mattered. We made it stick all the way to the end.

“When we got on the Firestone red tires, I was like ‘Boy, that is way too early’. There was half-way of a groove. Just felt like it was such a risky move. But, I knew it was the right one, just like yesterday. I just couldn’t be any happier that we made it stick.”

In an abnormal and, as of 6:30 p.m. unofficial top 10, Bourdais led Takuma Sato, Graham Rahal, Tristan Vautier, Marco Andretti, Conor Daly, Jack Hawksworth, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Gabby Chaves and Montoya.

Post-race, Montoya was visibly mad at IndyCar officials and declined comment about his race when asked by MotorSportsTalk.

Meanwhile Sage Karam, who was a passing star in the first half, had several incidents in the second, including twice contacting Hawksworth. He told MotorSportsTalk that Conor Daly blocked him at one point.

Vautier was over the moon after finishing fourth, telling MotorSportsTalk he needed to thank his Dale Coyne Racing team for their strategy calls after starting 23rd and last in the field. Additionally, rookie Gabby Chaves was happy with ninth, and said he didn’t make contact with Montoya.

Perhaps the easiest way to recap the second half of this race, after a caution-free first half, is to list the race notes from INDYCAR after Lap 35. Note the Lap 38 stops, as that proved the most crucial moment of the race.

Lap 35: Halfway – 2-Montoya leads 9-Dixon by 8.6542 seconds. 27-Andretti on pit road for four dry tires and fuel.

Lap 37: YELLOW. 18-Gonzalez makes contact with the tire barrier in Turn 4. Pits are closed. Leaders under caution are: 2-Montoya, 9-Dixon, 67-Newgarden, 11-Bourdais, 3-Castroneves.

Lap 38: Pits are open. Leaders are on pit road for four tires and fuel. 5-Daly does not stop and assumes the lead of the race followed by 28-Hunter-Reay and 1-Power. 9-Dixon wins race off pit road followed by 11-Bourdais and 2-Montoya, who nearly spun on pit exit. 20-Filippi and 83-Kimball make contact on exit.19-Vautier must give up his position to 41-Hawksworth as a penalty for blocking.

Lap 42: GREEN. 5-Daly leads field into Turn 1. YELLOW. 20-Filippi spins at the exit to Turn 2 and makes contact with the barrier. 4-Coletti makes contact with the tire barrier in Turn 3. Pits are closed.

Lap 43: Pits are open. 83-Kimball, 27-Andretti and 4-Coletti on pit road for service. 83-Kimball and 27-Andretti take fuel only.

Lap 46: GREEN. 5-Daly leads the field into Turn 1.

Lap 48: 5-Daly leads 28-Hunter-Reay by 2.6840 seconds. 28-Hunter-Reay and 3-Castroneves on pit road for four dry tires and fuel.

Lap 49: 1-Power 9-Dixon, 67-Newgarden on pit road for four dry tires and fuel.

Lap 50: YELLOW. 67-Newgarden makes heavy contact with the barrier in Turn 2. Car has significant right-side damage. Driver climbs from his car without assistance from the Holmatro Safety Team Leaders under caution are: 5-Daly, 11-Bourdais, 2-Montoya, 15-Rahal and 14-Sato.

Lap 51: Leader, 5-Daly, on pit road for four tires and fuel. New leader is 11-Bourdais. 8-Karam, 98-Chaves also pit for service.

Lap 55: GREEN. 11-Bourdais leads field into Turn 1. There is multi-car contact at the exit of Turn 3 involving 4-Coletti, 41-Hawksworth and 8-Karam. YELLOW. Leaders under caution are: 11-Bourdais, 2-Montoya, 15-Rahal, 14-Sato and 22-Pagenaud.

Lap 56: Pits are open. 41-Hawksworth 8-Karam on pit road for repoirs.

Lap 58: GREEN. 11-Bourdais leads field into Turn 1.

Lap 59: YELLOW. 83-Kimball and 9-Dixon make side-to-side contact between Turns 3 and 4. 9-Dixon makes contact with the tire barrier in Turn 4. Leaders under caution are: 11-Bourdais, 2-Montoya, 15-Rahal, 14-Sato and 22-Pagenaud. 15-Rahal must give up his position to 14-Sato as a penalty for blocking.

Lap 60: Pits are open. 5-Daly (Blocking) and 8-Karam (Avoidable Contact) have been sent to the back of the field for penalties.

Lap 62: GREEN. 11-Bourdais leads field into Turn 1. There is contact between 83-Kimball and 3-Castroneves in Turn 1. There is contact between 8-Karam, 41-Hawksworth and 4-Coletti in Turn 3. YELLOW for debris in Turns 11 and 12.

Lap 65: GREEN. 11-Bourdais leads the field into Turn 1. 14-Sato and 15-Rahal takes second from 2-Montoya spins at the exit of Turn 2 and collects 3-Castroneves. FULL COURSE YELLOW. Leaders under caution are: 11-Bourdais, 14-Sato, 15-Rahal, 2-Montoya and 10-Kanaan. RED FLAG is displayed for track cleanup. Race will be a timed race when it resumes with a restart on Lap 66.

Lap 66: GREEN. 10-Kanaan and 22-Pagenaud dive on to pit lane for fuel only

11-Bourdais leads field into Turn 1. He leads 14-Sato by 0.6081 of a second.

Lap 67: WHITE: 11-Bourdais leads 14-Sato by 1.3737 seconds.

Lap 68: CHECKERED.11-Bourdais wins Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans Race #2 by 1.7644 seconds over 14-Sato.

RESULTS

DETROIT – Results Sunday of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 2.35-mile Raceway at Belle Isle Park, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (9) Sebastien Bourdais, Chevrolet, 68, Running
2. (15) Takuma Sato, Honda, 68, Running
3. (5) Graham Rahal, Honda, 68, Running
4. (23) Tristan Vautier, Honda, 68, Running
5. (7) Marco Andretti, Honda, 68, Running
6. (10) Conor Daly, Honda, 68, Running
7. (19) Jack Hawksworth, Honda, 68, Running
8. (14) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 68, Running
9. (18) Gabby Chaves, Honda, 68, Running
10. (1) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 68, Running
11. (12) Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 68, Running
12. (20) Sage Karam, Chevrolet, 68, Running
13. (13) Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 68, Running
14. (8) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 68, Running
15. (16) James Jakes, Honda, 67, Running
16. (21) Stefano Coletti, Chevrolet, 67, Running
17. (17) Luca Filippi, Chevrolet, 66, Running
18. (2) Will Power, Chevrolet, 64, Contact
19. (3) Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 64, Contact
20. (4) Scott Dixon, Chevrolet, 58, Contact
21. (6) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 49, Contact
22. (22) Rodolfo Gonzalez, Honda, 35, Contact
23. (11) Carlos Munoz, Honda, 5, Mechanical

Race Statistics
Winner’s average speed: 79.476
Time of Race: 2:00:38.4300
Margin of victory: 1.7644
Cautions: 7 for 17 laps
Lead changes: 5 among 5 drivers

Lap Leaders:
Power 1-2
Montoya 3-21
Dixon 22
Montoya 23-38
Daly 39-50
Bourdais 51-68

Verizon IndyCar Series point standings: Montoya 315, Power 294, Dixon 252, Rahal 246, Castroneves 245, Bourdais 228, Andretti 224, Newgarden 206, Pagenaud 193, Kimball 187.

2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona: Schedule, TV info, start times, entry lists, notable drivers, more

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The new year brings the start of a new era for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, which will open the 2023 schedule with the 61st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

A new premier class for prototypes is the overriding story entering the 24-hour endurance race that unofficially kicks off the major-league racing season.

The new Le Mans Daytona hybrid (LMDh) cars of the Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) top category will re-establish a bridge to the 24 Hours of Le Mans while bringing a new layer of engine electrification to IMSA.

With at least a few of the cars on the grid at Daytona also slated to race at Le Mans in June, it’s possible for the first time in decades (since the “Ford vs. Ferrari” battles) to have the same car win the overall title at Daytona and Le Mans.

The GTP category will feature four manufacturers, two of which are new to IMSA’s premier division. Porsche Motorsport (with Team Penske) and BMW (with Rahal Letterman Lanigan) will be fielding LMDh prototypes, joining (now-defunct) DPi category holdovers Acura (Meyer Shank Racing, Wayne Taylor Racing) and Cadillac (Chip Ganassi Racing, Action Express Racing).

Here’s what else you need to know ahead of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season opener Jan. 29-30 at Daytona International Speedway:


NOTABLE DRIVER ADDITIONS 

The Rolex 24 will feature 10 active drivers from the NTT IndyCar Series, including the IMSA debuts of Team Penske drivers Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin, who will be teamed in an LMP2 entry (teammate Will Power unfortunately had to withdraw from this debut).

Colton Herta will move into the GTP category with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud return with Meyer Shank Racing to defend their overall 2022 Rolex 24 victory. Scott Dixon also returns in the premier category with Chip Ganassi Racing for his 20th Rolex 24 start and third consecutive in the No. 01 Cadillac.

Other IndyCar drivers in the field: Romain Grosjean will make his debut in GTD Pro with Iron Lynx Racing (as a precursor to driving a GTP Lamborghini next year); Devlin DeFrancesco (Rick Ware Racing) and Rinus VeeKay (TDS Racing) are in LMP2; and Kyle Kirkwood will return in GTD with Vasser Sullivan.

Daytona 500 winner Austin Cindric also will return, teaming with DeFrancesco in an LMP2 entry for Rick Ware Racing.


CAR COUNT

The Rolex 24 field was capped at 61 cars, matching last year’s field (which was the largest since 2014). The field was capped because of the space limitations for the LMDh cars of GTP in the pits and garages.

Click here for the official 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona entry list.


STARTING LINEUP

Tom Blomqvist captured the first pole position of the GTP era, qualifying defending race winner Meyer Shank Racing in first with the No. 60 ARX-06 Acura that he shares with Colin Braun, Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud.

The No. 7 Porsche 963 of Porsche Penske Motorsports will start second.

Click here for the 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona starting lineup


RACE BROADCAST

The 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona will be streamed across the NBC Sports AppNBCSports.com and Peacock, which will have coverage of the event from flag to flag.

Broadcast coverage of the race coverage will begin Saturday, Jan. 28 at 1:30 p.m. ET on NBC and move to USA Network from 2:30-8 p.m. and then will be exclusively on Peacock and IMSA.TV from 8-10 p.m. Coverage will return to USA Network from 10 p.m. to midnight and then move to Peacock/IMSA.TV until 6 a.m.

From 6 a.m. until noon on Sunday, Jan. 29, Rolex 24 coverage will be available on USA Network. The conclusion of the Rolex 24 will run from noon through 2 p.m. on NBC.

HOW TO WATCH IMSA ON NBC SPORTS: Broadcast schedule for 2023

Other events that will be streamed on Peacock from Daytona during January (all times ET):

Jan. 21: IMSA VP Racing Sports Car Challenge, 2:05 p.m.

Jan. 22: IMSA VP Racing Sports Car Challenge, 12:20 p.m.

Jan. 22: IMSA Rolex 24 qualifying, 1:25 p.m.

Jan. 27: BMW Endurance Michelin Pilot Challenge, 1:45 p.m.


ROLEX 24 COVERAGE FROM NBC SPORTS

Roger Penske, Chip Ganassi take their storied rivalry to a new level at Daytona

Pfaff Motorsports returns to Rolex 24 in premier parking spot punching above its weight

Cadillac, Acura battle for top of the speed charts

Herta, Rahal team up with BMW in pursuit of overall win at Rolex 24

Wayne Taylor Racing takes a step up to the next level with Andretti Autosport

Austin Cindric seeks to join legendary club of Rolex 24-Daytona 500 winners

Helio Castroneves recalls “Days of Thunder” moment in 2022 Rolex 24 victory

The “Bus Bros” tackle the “Bus Stop” for Rolex 24 at Daytona debuts

Romain Grosjean adds Rolex 24 at Daytona to his crown jewel career

Tom Blomqvist beats the clock to win Rolex 24 at Daytona pole position

GTP cars make debut in “Gymkhana”-level traffic

Five things to watch in the new GTP class as a golden era of sports cars returns

Cadillac unveils paint schemes for LMDh cars

Austin Cindric, Devlin DeFrancesco, Pietro Fittipaldi teaming up in LMP2

IndyCar drivers in the 61st Rolex 24


ROLEX 24 DAILY SCHEDULE, START TIMES

Here’s a rundown of everything happening at Daytona International Speedway over the last two weeks in January, starting with the Roar test session. Rolex 24 start times and full schedule:

Wednesday, Jan. 18

7 a.m.: GTP garages open

4 p.m.: Non-GTP garages open

4 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship haulers load-in (park only)

6:30 p.m.: Non-GTP garages close

9:30 p.m.: GTP garages close

Thursday, Jan. 19

7 a.m.: Garages, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship haulers open

8:30 a.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship safety inspection

10 a.m.: Rolex 24 Media Day

2 p.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge driver and team manager briefing

3 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship driver and team manager briefing

5:15 p.m.: Track walk

7:30 p.m.: Non-GTP garages close

9:30 p.m.: GTP garages close

Friday, Jan. 20

7 a.m.: Garages open

8:45-9:15 a.m.: VP Racing SportsCar Challenge practice

9:30-10:45 a.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge practice

11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

1:45-2:15 p.m.: VP Racing SportsCar Challenge practice

2:30-4 p.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge practice

4:15-6 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice (GTD/LMP3/LMP2 4:15-5:45; 4:30-6: GTD Pro, GTP)

8 p.m.: Non-GTP garages close

9:30 p.m.: GTP garages close

Saturday, Jan. 21

7 a.m.: Garages open

8:40-9:15 a.m.: VP Racing SportsCar Challenge qualifying

9:30-11 a.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge practice

11:15 a.m.-12:45 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

2:05-2:50 p.m.: VP Racing SportsCar Challenge, Race 1 (streaming on Peacock)

3:10 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

4:30-5:30 p.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge practice

6:30-8:30 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

10 p.m.: Garages close

Sunday, Jan. 22

7 a.m.: Garages open

10:15-11:15 a.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge practice

12:20-1:05 p.m.: VP Racing SportsCar Challenge, Race 2 (streaming on Peacock)

1:25-3 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Rolex 24 qualifying (streaming on Peacock)

8:30 p.m.: Garages close

Wednesday, Jan. 25

6 a.m.: Garages open

7:30-10 a.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship safety inspection, non-GTP

8 a.m.: Mazda MX-5 load-in

10-11:30 a.m.: Track walk

10 a.m.-noon: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship car photos

11:30 a.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge team manager briefing

Noon: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship team manager briefing

12:30 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship new driver briefing

Noon-2 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship safety and technical inspection, non-GTP

1:45-2:30 p.m.: Mazda MX-5 practice

2:45-3:45 p.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge practice

2:30-7:30 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship safety inspection, GTP only

4-5:30 p.m.: Track walk

6:45 p.m.: Garages close

Thursday, Jan. 26

7 a.m.: Garages open

9-9:30 a.m.: Mazda MX-5 practice

9:45-10:45 a.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge practice

11:05 a.m.-12:35 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

12:55-1:10 p.m.: Mazda MX-5 qualifying

2:25-3 p.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge qualifying

3:20-5:05 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice (3:20-5:05: GTD, LMP3, LMP2; 3:35-5:05: GTD Pro, GTP)

5:30-6:15 p.m.: Mazda MX-5, Race 1

7:15-9 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

10:15 p.m.: Garages close

Friday, Jan. 27

7 a.m.: Garages open

9:25-9:55 a.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge practice

10:15-11 a.m.: Mazda MX-5, Race 2

10:30 a.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge driver and team manager briefing

11:20 a.m.-12:20 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

1:45-5:45 p.m.: BMW M Endurance Challenge at Daytona (Michelin Pilot Challenge; streaming on Peacock)

8:45 p.m.: Garages close

Saturday, Jan. 28

6:30 a.m.: Garages open

9:45 a.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship driver and team manager briefing

12:30-12:40 p.m.: Rolex 24 engine warmup

1:30-1:40 p.m.: Rolex 24 formation laps

1:40 p.m.: The 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona (starting on NBC; streaming flag to flag on Peacock)

Sunday, Jan. 29

1:40 p.m.: Finish of the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona

7:30 p.m.: Garages close