IMSA’s Rolex 24 at Daytona came down to the final few minutes to decide the winner.
Felipe Nasr in the No. 7 Penske Motorsport Porsche held off Tom Blomqvist in the No. 31 Whelen Cadillac to take the win. For team owner Roger Penske, it’s his first Rolex 24 overall victory in 55 years.
Nasr took the lead from Blomqvist in the pits after a late full-course-yellow. Back under green, Nasr managed the traffic to perfection, keeping the Whelen Cadillac just out of range.
Multiple GTP cars had issues before the 12 hour mark. The No. 01 Cadillac Racing car had a puncture while running second, which took them out of contention. Things only got worse as the car was forced to retire with just under ten hours to go.
Meanwhile, the No. 10 Acura for Wayne Taylor Racing had an electrical failure, putting the car behind the wall. They did manage to return to the race, finishing 190 laps down.
The elimination of these two teams from contention left the Penske Porsche and Whelen Cadillac as the favorites. In the end, Porsche came out on top.
LMP2, GTD Pro, GTD Class Winners
The LMP2 class had a messy 24 hours, with an early incident being the most notable. After clipping the grass and losing control, the No. 20 High Class Racing LMP2 collected the GTD Pro leading No.14 Lexus for Vasser Sullivan Racing.
This incident summed up the race for the LMP2 class, which saw many incidents and issues throughout. In the end, the No.18 for Era Motorsport took the win, beating the No. 4 Crowdstrike Racing machine by over six seconds.
The GTD Pro class was impacted by the LMP2 incident, taking out the Lexus as the early favorite. The No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari took the victory by 35 seconds over the pole-sitting No. 77 Porsche for AO Racing.
The No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes took the GTD class win by just under three seconds. Daniel Morad finished the race on a double-stint for the team, fighting off a late charge by the No. 21 AF Corse Ferrari.
This year’s Rolex 24 saw the largest crowd ever for the event. This showcases the continued revitalization of sports car racing in America and the world. For IMSA, the season continues in March for the 12 Hours of Sebring.
Tagline: “The Cooldown Lap,” written by Jon Wenger, takes you through the world of motorsports each week. Wenger discusses the recent events in various racing divisions.