Thought of IndyCar stars making pilgrimage to Bathurst is tantalizing

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Today marks one of the emerging endurance race classics on the planet, the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour from Mount Panorama.

And today also marks a day – or week – of envy for those drivers, onlookers and participants who haven’t yet been to Bathurst but are salivating at the prospect of heading to one of the world’s most iconic race circuits.

The Bathurst race generally draws a mix of international sports car stars beyond the locals in Australia, and today alone, a swath of Verizon IndyCar Series drivers expressed both their interest and desire to race at Bathurst while watching via the event website, Radio Le Mans, or NISMO’s YouTube channel (NISMO.TV).

It seems surprising that as a New Zealander, Scott Dixon has never raced at Bathurst. But the four-time Verizon IndyCar Series champion kicked off a bit of discussion about it earlier today:

Dixon’s endurance race teammate in one of the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GTs, Sebastien Bourdais, has won overall at the Rolex 24 at Daytona and Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, and he added a class win in the Ford at last year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. Bourdais added his enthusiasm for racing there:

Fellow IndyCar veterans Oriol Servia and JR Hildebrand have also chimed in, and that’s in addition to other drivers (Connor De Phillippi, Dion von Moltke, Felix Rosenqvist, Pipo Derani, Wayne Boyd, Mike Hedlund and more), media folk and other onlookers who are desiring and dreaming of making the pilgrimage.

This is where I queue up the Liz Lemon in “30 Rock” clip and say, that yes, I want to go to there.

And someday, this needs to happen for those drivers too. Because as we’ve seen, Dixon and Bourdais have already tackled Le Mans – well – and adding Bathurst to their already glittering resumes would be even more to fun to watch.

Dario Franchitti, the four-time IndyCar champion and three-time Indianapolis 500 champion, also extended his best wishes prior to the race. Franchitti was the Rolex 24 at Daytona grand marshal last week.

Final 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona results, stats


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.


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.