Braun, CORE take second consecutive IMSA pole at CTMP; Porsche, Lexus lead GT fields

Photo courtesy of IMSA
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CORE autosport rose to the occasion for the second week in a row to take pole for Sunday’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix from Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

Colin Braun piloted the No. 54 Oreca 07 Gibson to a quick time of 1:06.315, bettering Acura Team Penske’s Dane Cameron by over two tenths of a second – Cameron’s best lap was a 1:06.540 in the No. 6 Acura ARX-05 – to give CORE its second consecutive pole. In doing so, Braun utterly destroyed the previous track record (a 1:08.459 from Ricky Taylor, set last year) by over two seconds.

An elated Braun credited CORE for their recent run of success.

Colin Braun gave CORE autosport its second consecutive pole in the 2018 IMSA season. Photo courtesy of IMSA

“It’s a testament to these CORE autosport guys,” Braun explain. “The ORECA is really fast and we were fast at The Glen. This car is just a blast to drive. I love it around here. It’s probably my favorite racetrack. It’s definitely a place I enjoy coming.”

Robert Alon qualified an impressive third in JDC-Miller Motosports’ No. 85 Oreca, while Renger Van Der Zande (No. 10 Cadillac DPi-V.R for Wayne Taylor Racing) and Jonathan Bomarito (No. 55 Mazda RT24-P for Mazda Team Joest) filled out the top five.

Of note: Helio Castroneves, who crashed heavily during Friday’s second practice, qualified sixth in the sister No. 7 Acura for Penske, while Tequila Patron ESM qualified the No. 22 Nissan Onroak DPi in eighth (Pipo Derani and Ryan Dalziel share the lone entry from ESM this weekend, as the team ran short of spare engines following three separate engine failures during the weekend of the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen).

In GT Le Mans (GTLM), Nick Tandy put Porsche GT Team on the pole with a quick time of 1:13.517 in his No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR. Tandy beat out Ford Chip Ganassi Racing’s Ryan Briscoe by over three tenths of a second – Briscoe’s best lap was a 1:13.831 in the No. 67 Ford GT.

Nick Tandy put Porsche P1 on the GTLM grid at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Photo courtesy of IMSA

While pleased with the pole, Tandy kept his enthusiasm muted, highlighting that the race will be a much bigger challenge, especially in hot conditions they’re expected to see on Sunday.

“I mean, qualifying is one thing. It’s going to be hot this weekend. It’s good we can bring our tires up to temperature and the Porsche is obviously really good on this track. We showed that last year. But the race is obviously not one lap long, so we’ll see what the pace is going to be on the long run,” Tandy detailed.

Jan Magnussen qualified third in No. 3 Corvette C7.R for Corvette Racing. Laurens Vanthoor (No. 912 Porsche) and Oliver Gavin (No. 4 Corvette) rounded out the top five.

In GT Daytona (GTD), 3GT Racing enjoyed a banner day with their Lexus RCF GT3 entries, with Jack Hawksworth (No. 15 Lexus) and Dominik Baumann (No. 14) qualifying 1-2. Hawkworth turned in a best lap of 1:15.581, roughly half a second quicker than Baumann, whose quick lap was 1:15.581.

Jack Hawksworth led a 3GT Racing 1-2 for Lexus in qualifying at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Photo courtesy of IMSA

Hawksworth revealed that the high-speed nature of the track fits the Lexus platform form well, which helped them to a 1-2 in qualifying.

“We knew this would be a track that really suited us,” said Hawksworth. “It’s almost designed for our car, this type of track. We knew we were going to be strong. I’m really happy with how well we’ve been performing this whole week. We’ve been fast since the moment we came off the truck.”

Bryan Sellers qualified third in the No. 48 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 for Paul Miller Racing, the current GTD championship leaders. Ben Keating (No. 33 Mercedes-AMG GT3 for Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports) and Michael Schein (No. 16 Porsche 911 GT3 R for Wright Motorsports) rounded out the top five.

Results can be found here. Sunday’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix rolls off at 1:55 p.m. ET, but will be televised at 4:00 p.m. ET

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Final 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona results, points

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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

POINTS: Standings after Rolex 24 at Daytona l Michelin Endurance Cup standings l Daytona endurance points

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.