24h Le Mans
Rolex 24 at Daytona – Wayne Taylor Racing's Acura wins
The top step on the podium at the 59th Rolex 24 at Daytona was claimed by the #10 Acura DPi ARX-05 of Wayne Taylor Racing, and ACO President Pierre Fillon had the honour of serving as Grand Marshal at the race this year.
Overall victory at the 59th Rolex 24 at Daytona was up for grabs in the last seven minutes of the race! A final twist saw Chip Ganassi Racing's #01 Cadillac DPi fall victim to a flat tyre just as its driver, Renger van der Zande, was attempting to snatch first place from Filipe Albuquerque. In the end, the opening round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship was won by the #10 Acura DPi ARX-05 driven by Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque, Alexander Rossi and Helio Castroneves. Albuquerque crossed the finish line with only a 4.7-second lead on Ally Cadillac Racing's #48 Cadillac DPi driven by Kamui Kobayashi (FIA WEC 2019-2020 world champion with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing). The #55 Mazda DPi fielded by Mazda Motorsports rounded out the podium. Wayne Taylor Racing has now joined Chip Ganassi Racing as the only two teams to earn three consecutive overall wins at the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Filipe Albuquerque (LMP2 winner at the 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans with United Autosports: "It was very tough, especially mentally because we had to fight hard and drive fast all the time as we were probably lacking just a little bit of pace. But we had the advantage with the fuel, and we had track position so I was holding on to that for everything I could, and in the end, the car behind had a puncture which made our life easier. I’m just so happy, and a big thanks to Wayne, Ricky, Helio, Alex and the rest of the team as it was perfect execution by everyone."
The LMP2 class was won by Paul-Loup Chatin (IDEC SPORT Racing driver at the 24 Hours of Le Mans) at the wheel of Era Motorsport's #18 ORECA LMP2 07. The French driver had teamed up with Dwight Merriman, Kyle Tiley and Ryan Dalziel, crossing the finish line with a 19.5-second lead on Tower Motorsport's #8 ORECA LMP2 07.
The LMP3 class saw the top step on the podium go to Gabiel Aubry, Timothé Buret, Matthieu Vaxivière and Canadian driver John Farano sharing the #74 Ligier JS P320 fielded by Riley Motorsports.
The GTLM class, the equivalent of LMGTE Pro at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, saw Corvette Racing pull off a one-two. The #3 Corvette C8.R shared by Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg won the class ahead of the #4 of Tommy Milner, Nick Tandy and Alexander Sims. The American team is looking to participate in the 89th 24 Hours of Le Mans on 12-13 June.
Click here for the 2021 Rolex 24 at Daytona provisional classification.
The next round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is the 12 Hours of Sebring on 17-20 March.