Pole winner for Rolex 24 qualifier fails inspection; Ganassi leads night session


DAYTONA BEACH, Florida — The No. 31 Cadillac that won the pole position for the Rolex 24 qualifying race was among three cars with an inspection failure Saturday night.

That moved the No. 55 Mazda into the top starting spot for Sunday’s Motul 100. The 100-minute race will set the starting grid for the 59th Rolex 24, the first qualifying race in the sports car classic’s history.

After Felipe Nasr qualified first in Action Express’ No. 31, IMSA ruled the car was underweight. The No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing (rear wing and rear bodywork out of compliance) and the No. 51 of Rick Ware Racing-Eurasia in LMP2 (rear wing) also had their qualifying times disallowed. Both had qualified fifth in class.

STARTING GRID: Click here for the Motul 100 starting grid l Starting grid by number

The trio of cars will be moved to the rear of their classes to start the Motul 100, which will feature two drivers in each entry.

Nasr and co-driver Pipo Derani (whose No. 31 team will be joined by Chase Elliott and Mike Conway in the Rolex 24) will start sixth of the seven DPi cars. Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque will start seventh in WTR’s No. 10.

Two of the three disqualified cars coincidentally had NASCAR connections: Cup Series champion Elliott is in the No. 31, and Cody Ware and Austin Dillon are among the four drivers in the No. 51.

The disqualifications were announced shortly after a two-hour Saturday night practice that was paced by the No. 01 Cadillac of Chip Ganassi Racing.

Kevin Magnussen, who is moving full time into the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship this season from Formula One, turned the fastest lap of 1 minute, 35.412 seconds, which put him barely ahead of Conway’s 1:35.452.

Kamui Kobayashi made it a sweep of the top three for Cadillac on the speed chart for the fourth session of the Roar before the Rolex. The test session concludes with a 10 a.m. warmup Sunday and the 2 p.m. qualifying race.

Click here for speeds from Saturday night practice l Click here for speeds by class l Click here for fastest lap by driver

IndyCar disappointed by delay of video game but aiming to launch at start of 2024

IndyCar video game 2024

An IndyCar executive said there is “absolutely” disappointment that its long-awaited video game recently was delayed beyond its target date, but the series remains optimistic about the new title.

“Well, I don’t know how quick it will be, but the whole situation is important to us,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said during a news conference Monday morning to announce IndyCar’s NTT title sponsorship. “Motorsport Games has spent a lot of money, a lot of effort to create an IndyCar title. What we’ve seen of that effort, which is not completely obvious, is very reassuring.

“I think it’s going to be outstanding. That’s our shared objective, that when it is released, it’s just widely accepted. A great credit both to IndyCar racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, something that our fans love.”

In June 2021, IndyCar announced a new partnership with Motorsport Games to create and distribute an IndyCar video game for the PC and Xbox and PlayStation consoles in 2023.

But during an earnings call last week, Motorsport Games said the IndyCar game had been delayed to 2024 to ensure high quality.

Somewhat compounding the delay is that IndyCar’s license for iRacing expired after the end of the 2022 season because of its exclusive agreement with Motorsport Games.

That’s resulted in significant changes for IndyCar on iRacing, which had provided a high-profile way for the series to stay visible during its 2020 shutdown from the pandemic. (Players still can race an unbranded car but don’t race on current IndyCar tracks, nor can they stream).

That’s helped ratchet up the attention on having a video game outlet for IndyCar.

“I wish we had an IndyCar title 10 years ago,” said Miles, who has been working with the organization since 2013. “We’ve been close, but we’ve had these I think speed bumps.”

IndyCar is hopeful the Motorsports Game edition will be ready at the start of 2024. Miles hinted that beta versions could be unveiled to reporters ahead of the time “to begin to show the progress in a narrow way to make sure we’ve got it right, to test the progress so that we’re ready when they’re ready.”

It’s been nearly 18 years since the release of the most recent IndyCar video game for console or PC.

“(We) better get it right,” Miles said. “It’s something we’re very close to and continue to think about what it is to make sure we get it over the line in due course.”