Photo courtesy of IMSA

IMSA: Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona after 2 hours — 22 hours remain

Leave a comment

UPCOMING UPDATES: After Hour 6 (8:30 p.m. ET) and Hour 9 (11:30 p.m. ET).

The Rolex 24 at Daytona is just over two hours in, and while it has run caution-free, there has been no shortage of action across the Prototype, GT Le Mans, and GT Daytona classes.

Below is a quick, early-race report on all three classes in the early hours of running.

Prototype

Filipe Albuquerque leads in the No. 5 Cadillac DPi-V.R for Action Express Mustang Sampling Racing. He seized the lead from polesitter Renger Van Der Zande, in the No. 10 Cadillac DPi for Wayne Taylor Racing, following the opening round of pit stops.

The No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Racing Cadillac sits second with Matt McMurry behind the wheel, and even led briefly in the early laps with Tristan Vautier.

The biggest early movers in Prototype come from the two Tequila Patron ESM Nissan DPi entries. The No. 22 machine, in the hands of Pipo Derani at the time of writing, sits third after starting 18th, while the No. 2, with Olivier Pla at the helm at the time of writing, runs seventh after starting 20th, even overcoming an unscheduled pit stop for a cut tire.

Elsewhere, Fernando Alonso has had a trouble-free run so far in the United Autosports No. 23 Ligier JS P217 Gibson, briefly taking the lead during an exchange of pit stops, and currently sits ninth with Phil Hanson now driving.

A couple of cars have run into problems, namely the two Mazda Team Joest RT24-P entries. The No. 55, with Jonathan Bomarito driving at the time, saw the left-front wheel come off after a pit stop, while the No. 77 entry, with Oliver Jarvis at the wheel, went back into the garage with a mechanical problem. They run 18th (No. 55) and 19th (No. 70, four laps and six laps off the lead respectively.

Also, both Acura Team Penske ARX-05s have had strong opening stanzas, with the No. 6 running fifth in the hands of Juan Pablo Montoya and and the No. 7 running in the top five in the early laps. However, the No. 7 did suffer a slight hiccup when the door latch wouldn’t fasten after a pitstop, forcing an extra stop for repairs and dropping the team, with Ricky Taylor at the wheel, one lap off the lead.

GT Le Mans

Ford Chip Ganassi Racing swept into the early lead, with Joey Hand seizing control in the No. 66 Ford GT, passing polesitter Jan Magnussen’s No. 3 Corvette Racing C7.R on the opening lap. The Fords even ran 1-2 early on, with Richard Westbrook moving into second and following teammate Hand for the opening stint.

Hand continues to lead, while Antonio Garcia runs second in the No. 3 Corvette. Nicky Tandy sits third in the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR for Porsche GT Team.

GT Daytona

Audi currently leads the way. The No. 29 Montaplast by Land Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 leads, in the hands of Jeffrey Schmidt. The two Lexus RC F GT3 entries from 3GT Racing run second (Dominik Farnbacher, No. 15) and third (Kyle Marcelli, No. 14).

A couple of GTD teams have encountered trouble. Most notably, the Wright Motorsports No. 58 Porsche 911 GT3 R crashed during the pace laps before the green flag came out. The car, with Robert Renauer at the helm, suffered significant damage to the nose and immediately went to the garage for repairs and has not been on track since.

Also, the No. 82 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GT3, which battled for the lead early on, suffered a fire on pit road.

Live timing and scoring from IMSA can be for here.

Hour 2 Standings

Follow@KyleMLavigne

Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
1 Comment

Zach Veach will be leaving his Andretti Autosport ride with three races remaining in the season, choosing to explore options after the decision was made he wouldn’t return for 2021.

In a Wednesday release, Andretti Autosport said a replacement driver for the No. 26 Dallara-Honda would be named in the coming days. The NTT IndyCar Series will race Oct. 2-3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and then conclude the season Oct. 25 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Veach was ranked 11th in the points standings through 11 races of his third season with Andretti. Since a fourth in the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway, he hadn’t finished higher than 14th.

“The decision was made that I will not be returning in 2021 with Andretti Autosport in the No. 26 Gainbridge car,” Veach said in the Andretti release. “This, along with knowing that limited testing exists for teams due to COVID, have led me to the decision to step out of the car for the remainder of the 2020 IndyCar season. I am doing this to allow the team to have time with other drivers as they prepare for 2021, and so that I can also explore my own 2021 options.

“This is the hardest decision I have ever made, but to me, racing is about family, and it is my belief that you take care of your family. Andretti Autosport is my family and I feel this is what is best to help us all reach the next step. I will forever be grateful to Michael and the team for all of their support over the years. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for a relationship that started many years ago with Road to Indy. I will also be forever grateful to Dan Towriss for his friendship and for the opportunity he and Gainbridge have given me.

“My love for this sport and the people involved is unmeasurable, and I look forward to continuing to be amongst the racing world and fans in 2021.”

Said team owner Michael Andretti: “We first welcomed Zach to the Andretti team back in his USF2000 days and have enjoyed watching him grow and evolve as a racer, and a person. His decision to allow us to use the last few races to explore our 2021 options shows the measure of his character.

“Zach has always placed team and family first, and we’re very happy to have had him as part of ours for so many years. We wish him the best in whatever 2021 may bring and will always consider him a friend.”

Andretti fields five full-time cars for Veach, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Colton Herta.

It also has fielded James Hinchcliffe in three races this season.