2016 Rolex 24 car-by-car preview: P

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MotorSportsTalk’s Tony DiZinno takes a look through the entries for the 2016 Rolex 24 at Daytona, car-by-car. Here’s a look through the Prototype (P) class, with order done by the Roar Before the Rolex 24 times and then second car in team, if applicable:

No. 2 Tequila Patron ESM
Car: Ligier JS P2 Honda
Drivers: Scott Sharp, Ed Brown, Johannes van Overbeek, Pipo Derani
Roar Time: 1:39.249 (1)

Outlook: Now a partial-season IMSA entry, Derani starred during the Roar Before the Rolex 24 test. But given the lineup includes one gentleman driver (Brown) and the Honda engine’s reliability has been in question in the past, is more of an outside podium contender at best.

No. 60 Michael Shank Racing
Car: Ligier JS P2 Honda
Drivers: Ozz Negri, John Pew, Olivier Pla, AJ Allmendinger
Roar Time: 1:39.438 (2)

Outlook: The top of the LMP2-spec car contenders, Shank’s Ligier Honda has dominated the timesheets at Daytona but looks set to actually parlay it into overall success on track this year. Getting Pla was the key alongside the steady hands of Negri and Allmendinger, and if Pew and the engine avoid trouble, a win is in range.

No. 55 Mazda Motorsports
Car: Mazda Prototype
Drivers: Jonathan Bomarito, Tristan Nunez, Spencer Pigot
Roar Time: 1:39.934 (5)

Outlook: Bomarito and Nunez have had the most time testing the Mazda MZ-2.0T gasoline engine, developed with AER. They’re steady hands and Pigot is the wild card. The Indy Lights champion had no expectations in his 2013 race debut, but will be under a microscope here in a three-driver lineup. A finish must be the first target for the new package here, with a top-five or better a bonus.

No. 70 Mazda Motorsports
Car: Mazda Prototype
Drivers: Joel Miller, Tom Long, Ben Devlin
Roar Time: 1:39.828 (3)

Outlook: Similar to the team’s No. 55 lineup, this car has a good if not incredible trio of drivers and with less time behind the wheel of the new gasoline powerplant. And similar to the No. 55 car, a finish is the first goal before going for a top-five or better.

No. 37 SMP Racing
Car: BR Engineering BR01 Nissan
Drivers: Nicolas Minassian, Maurizio Mediani, Mikhail Aleshin, Kirill Ladygin
Roar Time: 1:39.899 (4)

Outlook: The top sleeper in the Prototype field, as the team’s GTD Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 was in 2014 (finished fourth). It’s the car’s U.S. debut but showed better than expected pace at the Roar with four highly underrated drivers, particularly Ladygin. If it makes it to the morning, it could be in position to snatch a podium result.

No. 0 Panoz DeltaWing Racing
Car: DeltaWing DWC13
Drivers: Katherine Legge, Sean Rayhall, Andy Meyrick, Andreas Wirth
Roar Time: 1:39.955 (6)

Outlook: Dr. Panoz has a sneaky good lineup here with a very hard-working team. The car, as ever, is the question. Reliability, not outright top end speed, has proven the car’s albatross in the past and a big result will likely be at mercy of the team’s new – and hopefully improved – EMCO gearbox.

No. 10 Konica Minolta Wayne Taylor Racing
Car: Corvette DP
Drivers: Jordan Taylor, Ricky Taylor, Max Angelelli
Roar Time: 1:39.973 (7)

Outlook: Ended the top DP-spec car at the Roar, in a less-than-top position of seventh. Jordan Taylor’s social media quirkiness belies his ability behind the wheel, and as “Burt Middleston” goes, so goes this car. Ricky Taylor and Max Angelelli provide ample support and there’d be few who begrudge this car winning, especially after its drive-time miscalculation a year ago.

No. 5 Action Express Racing
Car: Corvette DP
Drivers: Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi, Filipe Albuquerque, Scott Pruett
Roar Time: 1:39.995 (8)

Outlook: Sterling reliability, sterling lineup and a sterling history. Easily one of the top two or three victory contenders, even with it being Albuquerque’s first DP-spec start and Pruett’s first with the team.

No. 31 Action Express Racing
Car: Corvette DP
Drivers: Dane Cameron, Eric Curran, Simon Pagenaud, Jonny Adam
Roar Time: 1:40.011 (9)

Outlook: This car won’t be the out-and-out fastest car in the class, but Cameron and Pagenaud – reunited in another DP after three years – should keep the car firmly in the frame. A podium is a realistic target; a win, not out of the question.

No. 90 Visit Florida Racing
Car: Corvette DP
Drivers: Ryan Dalziel, Marc Goossens, Ryan Hunter-Reay
Roar Time: 1:40.418 (11)

Outlook: All the parts here are good – lineup, car, team – but this will be their first race as a newly combined unit, and the Roar was a big challenge for this group with engine and gearbox issues. Ordinarily you’d rate the win chances high, but they’re going to need a far better set of circumstances for the race week itself.

No. 01 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing
Car: Riley-Ford
Drivers: Lance Stroll, Alexander Wurz, Brendon Hartley, Andy Priaulx
Roar Time: 1:40.665 (12)

Outlook: Only at Daytona could Toyota, Porsche and ex-BMW factory aces come together in a Ford EcoBoost-powered DP, but they are thanks to the Stroll/Ford Chip Ganassi Racing linkup. However, it was a tough Roar for this car, and despite the star power in the lineup it’s hard to call this car the race favorite.

No. 02 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing
Car: Riley-Ford
Drivers: Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Jamie McMurray, Kyle Larson
Roar Time: 1:40.244 (10)

Outlook: The defending champion lineup is back for what could be one last hurrah, certainly for the DP cars, but perhaps as a unit if Ganassi only continues to run extra cars for its IndyCar and NASCAR stars from 2017 and beyond. You can bet the No. 02 crew will be extra motivated to match its 2015 result.

No. 50 Fifty Plus/Highway to Help
Car: Riley-BMW
Drivers: Byron DeFoor, Dorsey Schroeder, Jim Pace, David Hinton, Thomas Gruber
Roar Time: 1:43.330 (13)

Outlook: The mostly gentlemen driver, lone five-driver entry and oldest DP-spec car in the field is the only car of the 13 in the Prototype class you can rule out of win contention off the bat. But as a fun one-off entry racing to raise awareness for a good cause, the Alzheimer’s Association, it more than serves its purpose.

Chase Sexton wins Triple Crown Anaheim 2 Supercross: Levi Kitchen unseats Jett Lawrence in 250s

Supercross Anaheim 2
Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media

Chase Sexton won two of the three races in the Monster Energy Supercross Anaheim 2 Triple Crown, which was enough to overcome a fifth-place finish in Race 2 and give him the overall victory. It was the second Supercross win of his career.

“Super big night for me,” Sexton told NBC Sports’ Will Christien. “After last weekend with that being a struggle, I just need to come out here and stop the bleeding a little bit and I did that tonight.”

Sexton suffered a crash on Lap 1 of his heat, sending him into Last Chance Qualifier. The bad gate pick put him in a difficult position to start the race and he was able to climb to only fifth at the checkers.

At Anaheim 2, three riders entered the final race of the Triple Crown in a winner-take-all scenario. Sexton, Jason Anderson and Eli Tomac each had a shot at victory. It raised the intensity level for all riders in an evening that featured a lot of comers and goers.

Jason Anderson took the early lead in Race 3, which set him up for the overall victory. Sexton stalked and passed him midway through the race and then a minor mistake late allowed Webb to slip around as well. Anderson’s 5-1-3 gave him second overall.

“I had a tough couple of rounds, getting off that Anaheim 1 crash and then last week weekend I fumbled a little bit, but I’m excited to get back on the box and start moving forward,” Anderson told Jason Thomas.

Anderson finished seventh in the first two rounds of 2023.

RESULTS: How they finished for the 450 Main in Anaheim 2

Ken Roczen was the model of consistency in the opening rounds and at Anaheim 2. In three races so far this year, he’s gotten progressively better each time with a fifth in A1, a fourth last week in San Deigo and a third this week.

With results of 2-3-4, he earned his first podium of the season, which lands him fourth in the standings.

“This was hard earned,” Roczen said after the race. “I completely botched the start and then to have to work my way up. I only happen on the very last lap to step up here on the podium.”

Webb’s solid second-place finish in the third race allowed him to leapfrog several riders and finish fourth overall, but a seventh in Race 1 kept him off the podium. He improved in each race in Anaheim, however, with a 7-4-2.

With a 4-6-5, Dylan Ferrandis rounded out the top five.

The intensity of the race was a little too much for Tomac.

While battling side-by-side with Webb in Race 3 at the one-third mark, Tomac jumped wide and crashed hard. He fell to 14th, doing some damage to his bike in the process. He advanced only one position in that race to 13th. His first two races, a third and second, were strong enough to give him sixth overall. He retains the points lead, but it has shrunk to a gap of only four over Sexton and Webb.

Malcolm Stewart injured late in the week and was not able to mount.

Levi Kitchen became the first rider to unseat Jett Lawrence in the Triple Crown format at Anaheim 2 and won the overall with consistency. In his three races, Kitchen finished 4-2-2 to narrowly edge the winner of the first two races.

“This whole day; this is unbelievable. I took a few good slams in practice and I was down on myself,” Kitchen told NBC Sports Jason Thomas afterward. “The first moto I got a good start and got shuffled back, then I knew I just needed to be consistent.”

Jett Lawrence saved his best for last – which wasn’t hard given the struggles he experienced in the first two races.

Despite those problems, he entered Race 3 of the Triple Crown three points behind Kitchen after suffering a pair of disappointing races by his personal measuring stick. In the first and second 250 races of the night, Lawrence hit the ground. He dropped to the final rider in the running order in Race 2 with a Lap 1 fall. But in both races, he was able to overcome his mistake and close the gap so that he had a chance to take his first Triple Crown win of his career.

Click here for full 250 West Main Results

Lawrence rode to third in Race 1 and sixth in Race 2. In the final race of the night, Lawrence did all he could. He earned the holeshot, but when Kitchen fell in behind him, Lawrence’s fate was sealed. His 3-6-1 tied him in points with Stilez Robertson, but the tiebreaker goes to the final round and his win secured second-place.

“I can definitely say Triple Crowns are not my thing,” Lawrence told NBC Sports Will Christien. “We have one more to try and fix this, so hopefully we can get that done.”

Lawrence will move into the 450 class for the Lucas Oil Motocross outdoor season and his 250 record book will be closed.

The best news for Lawrence is the other riders who entered this round in the top three had a worse night, so Lawrence leaves Anaheim with a 16-point gap on Cameron McAdoo and 17 over RJ Hampshire.

Roberston finished 6-1-3 to take the final step of the podium.

“Getting that win in the second Main meant a lot,” Roberston told Thomas. “I wish I could have done a little better in the third one, but we’re still up here on the box.”

Mitchell Oldenburg used consistency to earn fourth in the overall. He finished 5-4-6.

After missing the Main last week in San Diego, Max Vohland finished 7-8-4 to round out the top five.

RJ Hampshire set himself up as the early favorite with his Race 1 win. In Race 2, it all fell apart. He fell in the sand section and damaged his bike, finishing last in that race. The final event of the night for the 250s provided only a 13th-place finish, leaving Hampshire deep in the points.

Cameron McAdoo hard crash in qualification, which was scary news for a team that has seen three of their riders sidelined with injury. McAdoo was never quite able to get his rhythm with an 8-7-5.

2023 Race Recaps

San Diego: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence double down
Anaheim 1: Tomac wins opener for the first time

Anaheim 2 coverage

Power Rankings Week 2
SuperMotocross tightens playoff schedule
Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence go two-for-two in San Diego
Results and points after San Diego
Seth Hammaker to miss 250 E season opener with wrist injury
Jo Shimoda joins Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner with injury
Injury sidelines Austin Forkner for remainder of 2023 SX