Porsche’s no. 18 car storms to Nürburgring WEC pole

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NÜRBURGRING – Porsche extended its perfect qualifying record in the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship season by recording a one-two finish in Saturday’s session at the Nürburgring.

Following its first pole of the year at Le Mans in June, the no. 18 car stormed to the top of the timesheets as Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb shared driving duties for the session.

Their combined average of 1:36.473 was enough to give them pole position by just 0.069 seconds, edging out the sister no. 17 Porsche piloted by Mark Webber and Timo Bernhard in qualifying.

Once again, Audi struggled to put up much of a fight to Porsche over one lap, finishing a second behind in third and fourth place with the no. 8 leading the no. 7 car.

Toyota’s focus on damage limitation continued in qualifying as its cars finished fifth and sixth. The no. 1 of Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi finished 2.2 seconds down on P1, whilst the no. 2 of Alexander Wurz and Stephane Sarrazin finished a further six-tenths behind.

Coming off the back of his Le Mans victory in June with Porsche, Nick Tandy adjusted quickly to life in LMP2 by producing a blistering final lap to give KCMG’s no. 47 car its second pole position of the season. The no. 26 G-Drive of Sam Bird and Julien Canal finished second, whilst the no. 36 Signatech Alpine car rounded out the top three.

In GTE Pro, AF Corse managed to comfortably see off the threat posed by Aston Martin Racing and Porsche in qualifying by finishing first and second, with the no. 51 of Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander secure class pole.

The no. 95 of Marco Sorensen and Christoffer Nygaard had been at the top of the timesheets following the first runs, but a poor lap from Nygaard dragged their average down to leave them third in the class standings. Porsche’s no. 92 and no. 91 finished fourth and fifth, whilst the no. 99 and no. 97 AMR cars struggled to P6 and P7 in class.

SMP Racing’s no. 72 Ferrari ended AMR’s streak of pole positions in 2015 by topping the GTE Am class, beating the no. 98 of Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda by almost half a second.

Dalla Lana’s hopes of taking a fourth pole of the season were dashed when his car stopped on his final lap, meaning they could only finish second ahead of the no. 77 Dempsey Proton Racing car of Patrick Dempsey and Patrick Long.

The 2015 6 Hours of Nürburgring kicks off at 1pm CET tomorrow.

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.