Team Aguri, ABT back to work ahead of second Formula E season; calendar due on Friday

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The inaugural FIA Formula E campaign may only have ended 11 days ago, but the teams and drivers have already been getting back to work ahead of the start of season two.

Nelson Piquet Jr’s time off as champion is unlikely to last too long, particularly with many of his rivals getting back in their cars to prepare for the next ePrix.

Here are some notes and pieces of noteworthy news from the Formula E world.

TEAM AGURI BEGINS LIFE AFTER AMLIN WITH DONINGTON TEST

The split between insurance company Amlin and Team Aguri was confirmed on the season two entry list last week, but life goes on for the latter.

Now scrubbed of the Amlin branding and with a brand new Twitter account – @TeamAguri – the team spent some time testing at Donington Park on Wednesday with Salvador Duran and former F1 driver Pedro de la Rosa, who remained open to a more permanent role in the series.

“At the moment this is just an exploration for both sides really,” the Spaniard said. “It is too early to say if I will race or not. I am here and I wanted to have a go and Team Aguri was good enough to let me try it.

“The team looks very attractive on the outside and they have a good engineering team and good plans for the future. As I said it is early days for me, but if I do it then it will be at 100 per cent.”

As for Amlin? Its popular Twitter account is still going (complete with the cat), but has signed off for summer.

DI GRASSI HAILS “A HUGE STEP FORWARD” WITH SEASON TWO CAR

Lucas di Grassi’s defeat in the season one championship race was not without controversy following what he called a “joke disqualification” at the Berlin ePrix.

However, he has remained upbeat and is already back to work with the new car at ABT, who have been joined by technology company Schaeffler for season two.

SEASON TWO CALENDAR DUE ON FRIDAY

The calendar for the second Formula E season should be issued tomorrow following the meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Mexico City, but a draft version is already doing the rounds.

As per motorsport.com, this is the proposed schedule:

1. Beijing, China (October 17)
2. Putrajaya, Malaysia (November 21)
3. Punta Del Este, Uruguay (December 12)
4. Buenos Aires, Argentina (February)
5. Mexico City, Mexico (February)
6. TBA (March)
7. Long Beach, USA (April)
8. Paris, France (April 24)
9. Berlin, Germany (May 21)
10. Moscow, Russia (June 11)
11. Battersea Park, London (TBA)

The round in Mexico City is set to be held on a version of the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez that will host the Formula 1 Mexican Grand Prix later this year. The other new round on the calendar is Paris, which replaces Monaco.

The Miami ePrix has also been omitted from this draft calendar. According to Sports Business Daily, event promoter Andretti Sports Marketing declined to comment when approached.

The date of the London ePrix appears to be dependent on when the British Grand Prix will take place, but will once again be held at Battersea Park, which MotorSportsTalk understands has a five year contract to host a Formula E race. It will once again be a double header finale.

Final 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona results, points

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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

POINTS: Standings after Rolex 24 at Daytona l Michelin Endurance Cup standings l Daytona endurance points

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.