2016 Rolex 24 car-by-car preview: PC

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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 Challenge (PC) class, with order done by the Roar Before the Rolex 24 times and then second car in team, if applicable.

Note, all cars are the Oreca FLM09:

No. 8 Starworks Motorsport
Drivers: Renger van der Zande, Alex Popow, Chris Cumming, Jack Hawksworth
Roar Time: 1:42.118 (1)

Outlook: Led the Roar test and due for a bit of luck at a race that has consistently eluded Peter Baron, most notably in 2012 for the overall win. Outside of CORE’s No. 54 car, this is the strongest lineup in the pro-am class, and will be a win contender.

No. 88 Starworks Motorsport
Drivers: Maro Engel, Mark Kvamme, Sean Johnston, Felix Rosenqvist
Roar Time: 1:42.458 (3)

Outlook: Baron has also assembled a sneaky good lineup here with three de facto pros, albeit a lineup down on prototype experience. Engel and Rosenqvist should star in their stints, Johnston could surprise in his, and gentleman driver Kvamme helped RG Racing to a top-10 finish last year.

No. 54 CORE autosport
Drivers: Colin Braun, Jon Bennett, Mark Wilkins, Martin Plowman
Roar Time: 1:42.423 (2)

Outlook: On paper, the class favorites and keen to avenge their late-race heartbreak of a year ago. Braun, Plowman and Wilkins are three top-level pros – even if Wilkins has secured the “prestigious-in-rating-but-doesn’t-really-want-be-referred-to-as-a-fake-Silver” Silver rating – and Bennett is a dependable, if not the fastest, true am.

No. 20 BAR1 Motorsports
Drivers: Marc Drumwright, Johnny Mowlem, Tomy Drissi, Ricardo Vera, Brendan Gaughan
Roar Time: 1:42.658 (4)

Outlook: Mowlem returns to defend his pole position and Gaughan will be fun to watch, but the rest of the lineup isn’t stellar on paper. That said, half the battle in PC is finishing, and if BAR1 gets either or both of its cars to the morning they’ll be in with a podium shout.

No. 26 BAR1 Motorsports
Drivers: Ryan Eversley, Ryan Lewis, Adam Merzon, Don Yount, John Falb
Roar Time: 1:44.848 (8)

Outlook: Eversley and Lewis will be fun to watch and all three gentlemen drivers have the potential to punch above their weight. Like their sister car, avoid trouble, keep it running, and a podium is more than possible.

No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports
Drivers: Tom Kimber-Smith, Robert Alon, Jose Gutierrez, Nick Boulle
Roar Time: 1:42.986 (5)

Outlook: Bobby Oergel’s team makes a late return to PC after a possible LMP2-spec program fell through. As such, the lineup leaves a bit to be desired after “TKS,” the team’s lone experienced ace. But few would have pegged this car a race winner last year given the lack of driving experience, so PR1 won’t give up its crown without a fight.

No. 85 JDC/Miller Motorsports
Drivers: Chris Miller, Mikhail Goikhberg, Stephen Simpson, Kenton Koch
Roar Time: 1:43.491 (6)

Outlook: The John Church-led squad has a respectable lineup and Simpson and Koch, in particular, have the potential to star in their stints. Would be a podium finisher on merit, and a potential winner if the class favorites hit any trouble.

No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports
Drivers: James French, Jim Norman, Josh Norman, Brandon Gdovic
Roar Time: 1:44.848 (8)

Outlook: Probably will go for the tortoise beating the hare strategy in class with an inexperienced, all-gentlemen lineup. That said, French was respectable in the 2015 season and Jim Norman is a past class winner at the Rolex 24, so there is slight experience there.

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.