Mazda wins Rolex 24 pole for second consecutive year at Daytona

2 Comments

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. –Oliver Jarvis put the No. 77 Mazda Team Joest on the pole position at Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona for the second consecutive year as Thursday’s qualifying session was cut short by a heavy crash in the top DPI division.

Ricky Taylor crashed Team Penske’s No. 7 Acura with 2 minutes remaining in the session, hitting the tire barrier after losing control in the Bus Stop. After a red flag, officials elected to end the session with 1:42 remaining. Taylor was able to walk away from the wreck. He was evaluated and released from the infield care center.

Jarvis turned a lap of 1 minute, 33.711 seconds on the 3.56-mile road course, nearly breaking the lap record he set in winning last year’s pole.

Juan Pablo Montoya qualified second (1:34.154) with the No. 6 Acura of Team Penske, followed by Jonathan Bomarito’s No. 55 Mazda in third (1:34.169).

The Cadillacs of Felipe Nasr (1:34.294) and Ryan Briscoe (1:34.442 in the No. 10 of defending overall winner Wayne Taylor Racing) rounded out the top five.

Last year, Mazda’s strong start went up in a ball of flames as both of its cars short-circuited from contention with mechanical problems just past the seven-hour mark.

Mazda worked on making its cars more durable throughout the offseason, and Jarvis believes “reliability is not such a concern” with the DPI class entering its fourth year.

“That allows drivers to push much harder right from the green flag,” Jarvis said. “I think we’ve got one of the most competitive fields I’ve ever been involved in motorsports with; some amazing driver lineups throughout the grid. So I think you’ll see some really entertaining racing from the moment the flag drops.”

In the LMP2 class, Ben Keating was fastest with a lap of 1:37.446 in the No. 52 ORECA.

In the GTLM division, Nick Tandy (who also happens to be a fan of the Daytona 500) set a track record of 1:42.207 (breaking his previous mark of 1:42.257) and also tied Scott Pruett’s record for most Rolex 24 Hour pole positions (four). Tandy also won the pole in 2013, ’16 and ’19.

Tandy edged his teammate Laurens Vanthoor. Antonio Garcia qualified third in the No. 3 Corvette.

In the GTD class, Zacharie Robichon put the No. 9 Porsche 911 of Pfaff Motorsports on the pole with a track-record lap of 1:45.237.

The No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 of AIM Vasser Sullivan will be starting from the rear of the field after the team wasn’t able to change an engine in time for qualifying.

Two-time defending NASCAR Cup champion Kyle Busch will be making his Rolex 24 debut in the No. 14, sharing the car with Jack Hawksworth, Parker Chase and Michael De Quesada.

Click here for full qualifying results 

Final 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona results, stats

0 Comments

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.