Photo courtesy of IMSA

Rolex 24 at Daytona 2020 ends with repeat overall winner

Leave a comment

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:

Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter

Robert Wickens shares more positive strides toward recovery in new video

Joe Skibinski/IndyCar
Leave a comment

Robert Wickens has made massive steps since sustaining a spinal cord injury in an Aug. 19, 2018 crash at Pocono Raceway.

Since the accident, Wickens publicly has shared his recovery, often uploading videos of his physical rehabilitation on Twitter.

In his most recent update on Wednesday, Wickens shared a video of him walking on a treadmill. Fellow NTT IndyCar Series competitor Tony Kannan, who competes in triathlons during his spare time, also was visible running on the treadmill behind Wickens.

“When I am @TonyKannan [sic] age, I hope to run as fast as him…” Wickens tweeted. “Today was a good day!”

Wickens, who will turn 31 on March 13, first made his return to the IndyCar paddock in last year’s season opener in St. Petersburg. Since then, he’s made a return to the driver’s seat, piloting a specialized Acura NSX prior to the start of last year’s IndyCar race in his hometown of Toronto.

In September, Wickens fulfilled a vow to his wife Karli, by standing with her during their wedding. The new husband and wife also danced together during their reception.

Should Wickens fully recover to resume racing, Arrow McLaren SP co-owner Sam Schmidt has stated that the team’s No. 6 entry will be available for him to drive. Wickens continues to remain as a “driver coach and consultant” for the team.

Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter