Bourdais quickest in opening practice at Mid-Ohio

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Sebastien Bourdais kicked off the Honda Indy 200 weekend at Mid-Ohio in the best possible fashion by finishing as the quickest driver in the first practice session on Friday morning.

Bourdais recorded a fastest lap time of 1:06.2034 late on to finish 0.16 seconds clear of Will Power in second place in a close first session in perfect weather conditions.

The 75-minute session was interrupted by three red flag periods due to drivers stopping out on track. Luca Filippi was beached at turn five after spinning in the no. 20 CFH Racing car, requiring assistance to get back going.

Tony Kanaan made a similar error later in the session, whilst Simon Pagenaud was also responsible for a red flag after hitting the tire wall. He was, however, able to continue in the session.

Juan Pablo Montoya spent the majority of the session stuck in his garage after an alternator issue emerged on his Penske no. 2 car before the green flag was shown. The team worked frantically to fix the problem, allowing the Colombian to get out on track with 20 minutes remaining. He eventually finished 23rd in the timesheets, nine-tenths of a second down on Bourdais at the top.

Behind Power in second, two-time race winner Josef Newgarden finished third for CFH Racing ahead of Takuma Sato. Jack Hawksworth led for much of the session, but could only finish fifth in the end.

Mid-Ohio specialist Scott Dixon finished sixth in first practice ahead of fellow title contender Graham Rahal. Marco Andretti slotted into eighth at the end of the session ahead of Carlos Munoz and Simon Pagenaud, who rounded out the top ten in P9 and P10 respectively.

Second practice at Mid-Ohio is set to start at 3:15pm ET, and will run until 4:30pm ET.

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.