Scuderia Corsa enters Ryan Briscoe and Ed Jones in Rolex 24

Scuderia Corsa Rolex 24
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Scuderia Corsa will enter the No. 63 Ferrari in the GT Daytona Class of the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona with Ryan Briscoe, Ed Jones, Brett Curtis and Marcos Gomes behind the wheel. Sponsorship will come from Total, Aero and long time backer Pacific Western Bank.

Scuderia Corsa’s lineup showcases drivers with success in both sports cars and open wheel competition.

The team is anchored by IndyCar veteran Briscoe. Last year he, along with Renger van der Zande, Scott Dixon and Kamui Kobayashi, won overall in the Rolex 24 Hours in the Konica Minolta Cadillac Daytona Prototype. He has an opportunity to win back-to-back in two different classes.

“This will be a new challenge for me racing in the GTD class in a Ferrari,” said Briscoe in a Christmas Eve press release. “I’m very grateful and will do my part to fight for the victory and can’t wait to hit the track in a few weeks! Happy Holidays and I wish everyone a safe and successful 2021.”

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Jones finished third in the 2017 Indianapolis 500 to score a career-best finish. He matched that feat twice since in 2018 on the street circuits of Long Beach, Calif. and Belle Isle, Mich. He qualified fourth for the 2019 Indianapolis 500 with Scuderia Corsa livery to provide his best starting position of that season in the series’ biggest race. He finished on the lead lap in 13th two weeks after earning a top 10 on the Indy road course.

“First, it’s great to be back with Scuderia Corsa because I have a great relationship with the team and everyone there,” Jones said. “I think we have the chance to start 2021 off the right way with a great result at Daytona. I think the team we have around us, as well as drivers, is a strong lineup. It should be the perfect opportunity to get a great result.

“The goal as always is to win. I think if we show the performance that Scuderia Corsa had last year, we can certainly be in position to achieve.”

Gomes competed in the 2014 and 2015 with this team and earned 10th- and 14th-place results respectively. In 2019, he made a third appearance with another team, winning the pole and finishing eight in class for Via Italia Racing, which was supported by Scuderia Italia.  He led the field to the green flag that year.

“The expectation is to fight for the victory,” Gomes said. “We have a strong lineup of drivers and Scuderia Corsa is one of the most experienced teams in the GTD Class. Furthermore, the Ferrari 488 has always been very competitive at the Daytona 24.”

Scuderia Corsa won IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD championships in 2015, 2016 and 2017. The team also a earned championship in the Fran Am Rolex Series in 2013. More recently, they added victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, 12 Hours of Sebring, Six Hours of the Glen and in the Petit Le Mans.

Meyer Shank Racing wins Petit Le Mans to take final DPi championship in dramatic finale

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Meyer Shank Racing outdueled Wayne Taylor Racing to win the Petit Le Mans and clinch the championship in a thrilling final race for the DPi division.

Tom Blomqvist, who started from the pole position, drove the No. 60 Acura ARX-05 to a 4.369-second victory over Pipo Derani in the No. 31 Action Express Cadillac.

“That was incredible,” Blomqvist told NBC Sports’ Matt Yocum. “I’ve never dug so deep in my life. The adrenaline. I did that for the guys. I was so motivated to win this thing this weekend. But I’ve got to thank everyone on the whole team.”

With co-drivers Oliver Jarvis and Helio Castroneves, Blomqvist helped MSR bookend its season-opening victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona by winning Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season finale at Michelin Road Atlanta.

In between those two victories, the No. 60 earned five runner-up finishes to stay in the thick of the championship hunt and trail WTR’s No. 10 Acura by 14 points entering Saturday’s race.

WTR’s Filipe Albuquerque had a lead of more than 10 seconds over Blomqvist with less than 50 minutes remaining in the 10-hour race.

But a Turn 1 crash between the Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillacs brought out a yellow that sent both Acuras into the pits from the top two positions.

Though he entered in second, Blomqvist barely beat Albuquerque out of the pits, and he held the lead for the final 45 minutes.

Blomqvist said he gained the lead because of a shorter fuel fill after he had worked on being efficient in the second-to-last stint.

“The team asked a big job of me with the fuel; I had a big fuel number to hit,” Blomqvist said. “We knew that was probably our only chance. The yellow came at the right time and obviously we had a bit less fuel to fill up, so I was able to jump him and then it was just a matter of going gung-ho and not leaving anything on the line. And obviously, the opposition had to try too hard to make it work. I’m so thankful.”

Albuquerque closed within a few car lengths of Blomqvist with 14 minutes remaining, but he damaged his suspension because of contact with a GT car in Turn 1.

It’s the first prototype championship for Meyer Shank Racing, which also won the 2021 Indy 500 with Castroneves.

“We’ve had in the last four years, three championships for Acura, the Indy 500 win and the Rolex 24, it doesn’t get any better,” team co-owner Mike Shank told NBC Sports’ Kevin Lee.

It’s the third consecutive runner-up finish in the points standings for Wayne Taylor Racing, which won the first Daytona Prototype international championship in 2017. The premier category will be rebranded as the Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class with the LMDh cars that will establish a bridge to racing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Kamui Kobayashi finished third in the No. 48 Cadillac of Action Express that also includes Jimmie Johnson and Mike Rockenfeller.

The podium showing marked Johnson’s last scheduled race in IMSA’s top prototype division. The seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion has raced in the No. 48 Ally Cadillac lineup as the Action Express entry has run the Endurance Cup races.

Johnson said a lack of inventory will preclude him having a 2023 ride in the top category. But he still is hopeful of racing the Garage 56 Next Gen Camaro in next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans and possibly running in a lower class for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

“I’d love to be at Le Mans next year,” Johnson told NBC Sports’ Dillon Welch after his final stint Saturday. “I’d love to be at the Rolex 24. The series is going through a shake-up with the reconfiguration of the rules and classes, so I don’t have anything locked down yet, but I’m so thankful for this experience with Action. The support Ally has given us, Mr. Hendrick, Chad Knaus, all of Hendrick Motorsports. It’s been a fun two years, and I certainly hope I’m on the grid again next year.”