Rolex 24 at Daytona 2020 ends with repeat overall winner

Photo courtesy of IMSA
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The Rolex 24 at Daytona has concluded at the Daytona International Speedway this afternoon. The 58th running of the event saw multiple lead changes, a crash for Team Penske and many more highlights along the way.

The No. 10 Cadillac of Wayne Taylor Racing won with Kamui Kobayashi behind the wheel. Kobayashi won by more than a minute over the No. 77 Mazda of Oliver Jarvis.

It was the third Rolex 24 win in the past four years for the team, but it seemed in doubt earlier on when Kobayashi’s co-driver Briscoe committed a pit violation with five and a half hours remaining by missing a red light at the end of the pits during the race’s fourth caution. After serving a 60-second penalty, Briscoe fell from fourth to first, handing the lead to the No. 5 Cadillac.

But a fifth yellow put the car back on the lead lap, and Briscoe charged back to second on the 3.56-mile road course. He retook the lead during a pit stop, and Kobayashi drove it to victory lane.

It was a relatively clean race aside from a DPI shunt near the four-hour mark that left Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves apoplectic at Harry Tincknell for contact that knocked him from contention.

Here were the winners in the other divisions:

LMP2: No. 81 ORECA LMP2 of Dragon Speed USA

GTLM: No. 24 BMW M8 GTE of BMW Team Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

GTD: No. 48 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of Paul Miller Racing

Starting lineup 

Oliver Jarvis. Photo: IMSA

Oliver Jarvis put the No. 77 Mazda Team Joest entry on the pole position during Thursday’s qualifying session with a lap of 1 minute, 33.711 seconds on the 3.56-mile road course.

Jarvis will share the front row with the No. 6 Acura Team Penske entry of Juan Pablo Montoya.

In the LMP2 class, Ben Keating won the pole position with a lap of 1:37.446 in the No. 52 ORECA. Henrik Hedman qualified second at 1:37.728 in the No. 81 DragonSpeed ORECA, which won the LMP2 class in last year’s Rolex 24

Jonathan Bomarito qualified third in the second Maza Team Joest entry, while Felipe Nasr will start in the fourth position in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac.

In GTLM, Nick Tandy set a track record of 1:42.207 in the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR -19. Tandy edged his teammate Laurens Vanthoor by 0:049. Antonio Garcia qualified third in the No. 3 Corvette.

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

Click here for full qualifying results 

Click here for the starting grid in the 58th running of the Rolex 24

2019 winners

The Wayne Taylor Racing Konica Minolta DPi Cadillac took overall honors with drivers Fernando Alonso, Kamui Kobayashi, Jordan Taylor and Renger van der Zande.

Here are last year’s other class winners:

  • LMP2: DragonSpeed ORECA team with drivers Roberto Gonzalez, Pastor Maldonado, Sebastian Saavedra and Ryan Cullen.
  • GTLM: BMW Team RLL M8 GTE with drivers Connor De Phillippi, Philipp Eng, Augusto Farfus and Colton Herta.
  • GTD: GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 with drivers Mirko Bortolotti, Rik Breukers, Christian Engelhart and Rolf Ineichen.

Automaker Depth

There are 12 manufacturers in this year’s race, representing some of the most prestigious makes from around the world:

  • Acura
  • Aston Martin
  • Audi
  • BMW
  • Cadillac
  • Chevrolet
  • Ferrari
  • Lamborghini
  • Lexus
  • Mazda
  • Mercedes-AMG
  • Porsche.

Notable drivers

Kyle Busch. Photo: IMSA

Several NASCAR and IndyCar stars will compete in this year’s race, including Kyle Busch, who will make his Rolex 24 debut in the No. 14 AIM Vasser-Sullivan Lexus RC-F GT3 in the GTD Daytona class. Busch will share the entry with Parker Chase, Jack Hawksworth and Michael De Quesada.

I’M NOT THE TOP DOG: Busch embraces challenges

Acura Team Penske will have four different Indy 500 winners between its two DPi entries, with Alexander Rossi and Helio Castroneves sharing the No. 7 car with Ricky Taylor.

Juan Pablo Montoya and Simon Pagenaud will pair up with Dane Cameron in the No. 6 entry.

READ MORE: Whether dining or driving, Montoya and Cameron fast friends at Penske 

Young IndyCar sensation Colton Herta will return to BMW Team RLL in attempt to defend their 2019 GTLM victory. Once again, Herta will be joined by Conor De Phliipi, Phillip Eng, while Bruno Spengler is a new addition to the team in 2020.

VIDEO: Colton Herta continuing family legacy at Daytona

Five-time IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon will return to the DPi class with defending overall winner Wayne Taylor Racing, joining Alonso, Kamui Kobayashi, Ryan Briscoe and Renger van der Zande.

MORE ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA COVERAGE:

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AJ Foyt Racing promotes Benjamin Pedersen from Indy Lights to IndyCar for 2023 season

Benjamin Pedersen AJ Foyt
AJ Foyt Racing
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Benjamin Pedersen is the first driver to land a promotion from Indy Lights into IndyCar for next season as AJ Foyt Racing confirmed Wednesday he’ll be part of its 2023 lineup.

Pedersen, a 23-year-old dual citizen of Denmark and the United States, spent last season running the full Indy Lights schedule for HMD Motorsports. Linus Lundqvist, his teammate, won the Lights title, and Pedersen finished fifth in the final standings. Pedersen earned his only win earlier this month when he led every lap from the pole at Portland.

Pedersen also ran four races for HMD in 2021 with back-to-back runner-up finishes in his debut. Pedersen landed on AJ Foyt Racing team president Larry Foyt’s radar through a “trusted colleague” and Pedersen spent most of last season shadowing the IndyCar team.

His promotion to IndyCar comes ahead of all four drivers who finished ahead of him in the Indy Lights standings, including champion Lundqvist.

“We are really looking forward to having Benjamin as part of the team,” Larry Foyt said. “His enthusiasm is infectious, and he is 100 percent committed to IndyCar, AJ Foyt Racing, and doing the best he can to win races.

“It’s been great to have him embedded with the team this past season, and everyone is excited to hit the ground running when testing begins. It is also great to have a multi-year program in place, which will help him and the team grow together.”

Foyt did not announce a car number for Pedersen. Kyle Kirkwood spent his rookie season driving AJ Foyt’s flagship No. 14 but Kirkwood is moving to Andretti Autosport. The team has not yet announced if Dalton Kellett will return for a fourth season, and a third car for Tatiana Calderon was pulled from competition after seven races because of sponsorship non-payment. Shutting down Calderon’s team removed the only semi-regular female driver from the IndyCar field.

Pedersen, however, was signed to an agreement Foyt said “spans multiple seasons as the team plans to develop the young rookie and is aligned to a longer-term plan for AJ Foyt Racing.”

Pedersen was born in Copenhagen but raised in Seattle and currently lives in Indianapolis. He said his time shadowing the IndyCar team has given him a jump on his rookie preparations.

“I’ve spent a lot of time this season with AJ Foyt Racing learning the ins and outs of making the jump to IndyCar and it’s been really nice to do that in conjunction with my Indy Lights season,” Pedersen said. “IndyCar has been my target goal since I started open wheel racing in 2016. The racing, atmosphere, fans, events, tracks, etc. are all awesome.”