Trystan Hart wins Red Bull Tennessee Knockout for second time

Red Bull Content Pool / Christian Pondella
0 Comments

Trystan Hart became just the third rider to win the Red Bull Tennessee Knockout by a margin of a little more than one minute over the field. 

The streets of Nashville were ablaze Thursday night as Red Bull transformed South Broadway Street into a neon-lit, hard enduro circuit for the 2022 Red Bull Tennessee Knockout (TKO) Prologue. 

Sixteen riders came from around the United States and the world to take on the one-of-a-kind event. The course included a series of urban obstacles such as tires, logs, and concrete barriers to mirror the rural circuits on which hard enduro riders usually compete. 

Veterans Manuel Lettenbichler and Cody Webb faced each other in the men’s quarter-final with Lettenbichler having the edge by the end of the course. He then advanced through the semifinals and into the final round, where he was ultimately beat by Alfredo Gomez of Spain. Taddy Blazusiak of Poland won the men’s third-place race to complete the podium.

But that was just the appetizer.

The Red Bull TKO Prologue gave the enthralled and rambunctious Nashville crowd a taste of what they would see in the Tennessee mountains. The riders packed up their gear and then headed two hours southeast to Sequatchie County for the three-day TKO main event.

The weekend consisted of qualifying, two knockout races and a multi-lap final. The top 26 qualifiers raced in the knockouts in groups of five, with the best 20 riders making their way to the final. 

Hart looked to become only the third rider to win this race twice. Tennessee native Mike Brown won the first two editions.

Webb dominated this race throughout its early history, winning it from 2013 through 2018. Forced to sit out 2019 with a knee injury, it would not be until 2020 that someone beat him on the course. And that someone was Canadian rider Trystan Hart. 

The Red Bull Tennessee Knockout features nature’s harshest elements. Christian Pondella / Red Bull Content Pool

Hart was fastest in qualifying and one of only four riders that completed the knockouts in less than an hour – and this success shined a bright spotlight on him during the main.

“I had a bit of pressure coming into the final because I’d won each round (of the TKO), and I just wanted to keep that momentum rolling,” said Hart in a release. “It feels amazing to win. This championship is so competitive, so I’m humbled to be up there with the best of them.”

Hart finished the race one minute, 19.577 seconds ahead of the pack.

Lettenbichler, who won this race in 2019, was fourth quickest in qualifying before finishing second in the final. This is the second year that Lettenbichler was in the runner-up position in the Red Bull Tennessee Knockout after finishing behind Billy Bolt last year. In 2022, he had a much greater obstacle to overcome than the mountain. Lettenbichler was racing injured adding a greater challenge to every bump and turn.

Lettenbichler’s second-place finish brings him to within a point of the championship leader Mario Roman, who finished one back in third, with two rounds of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship remaining. 

Wade Young was the only other rider to complete five laps to take the fourth position.

Todor Kabakchiev rounded out the top five. 

Ryder LeBlond finished sixth as the highest American-born finisher while Gomez could not match his Thursday night dominance and settled for seventh.

Graham Jarvis in eighth, Webb in ninth and David Cyprian completed the top 10.

Final 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona results, stats

0 Comments

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.