Fernando Alonso wins 4 straight; Button captures Legends Trophy title

Legends Trophy
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Two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso continued his successful run in the Legends Trophy sim league, winning both races Saturday at the virtual Silverstone circuit.

Jenson Button, Alonso’s former F1 teammate at McLaren and a 2009 champion, won the season championship with a runner-up and 12th-place finish. He donated the $25,000 prize to “No Kid Hungry” campaign run by the Share Our Strength nonprofit.

“It’s been a lot of fun over the past month. Also, driving two cars, both the Brabham and then the Indy
car (last week), that was pretty awesome,” said Button, who had a win and four runner-up finishes to claim the title. “At Silverstone, I did struggle to get the car working a bit with the long corners and the understeer in the car.”

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After sweeping the May 23 races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Alonso turned the feat again at Silverstone. He missed the first two weeks of the season and didn’t finish either race at virtual Circuit Vandvoort in Round 3, but he has been a force since.

“When I made my debut three weeks ago, I had also just had my sim rig installed,” Alonso said. “It was a
bit of a mess, and the car is tricky and difficult to drive for the first time. Obviously, Silverstone I know
very well the track and that was an advantage for this weekend.”

Alonso won from the pole by 1.4 seconds over Button in the first race, leading all eight laps. He started 19th in the second race but moved into the top five on the first lap and then overtook four-time IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti on Lap 6 of 8. Franchitti took second, and two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya was third.

The event ended the second season of The Race All-Star Series powered by ROKiT Phones that was created in March. The third season will begin June 6 with races on June 20 and June 27.

Jenson Button wrapped up the championship with finishes of second and 12th at the virtual Silverstone circuit (Legends Trophy).

Final 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona results, stats

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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

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.