5 Takeaways from the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona
This previous weekend, IMSA kicked off its 2023 season with its most grueling race, the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona.
The Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona ran its 61st race and kicked off the American racing calendar on the iconic Daytona Worldwide Speedway. This yr’s Rolex was some of the hotly anticipated in current reminiscence with the debut of the LMDh formulation and new GTP class main the sector to inexperienced after years of growth.
After 24 hours of racing, there are loads of speaking factors dominating the conversations. From BoP to reliability, this yr’s Rolex will maintain IMSA followers speaking in the course of the month and a half between now and the subsequent race at Sebring in March.
1 – The Acuras didn’t miss a beat
Final season the Acura DPi machines had been on one other degree from the primary race of the season, all the best way to Petite Le Mans. Going into the brand new formulation within the high class, it was unsure who would rise to the highest. However after the Rolex, it’s clear that the Acura machines are essentially the most well-rounded automobiles within the class.
Whereas they might not have been one of the best in any given facet. They had been in a position to keep out of the storage greater than another producer and neither of their automobiles had any main hybrid system points all through the race.
The staff struggled with a persistent gearbox situation, nevertheless. They had been compelled to make frequent stops to high off on fluid and the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura needed to go behind the wall to flush its oil and high it off. This put them three laps down in the course of the night time, and put their sister automobile, the #60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura, far within the lead going into the morning.
Every staff has rather a lot to study and fairly a little bit of room to develop leaving Daytona. However the Acuras are in one of the best spot going into the remainder of the season, and as growth continues, will really be a pressure to be reckoned with.
2 – GT drivers proceed to shine
Final yr the season ended with a mega five-car, five-manufacture battle within the ultimate hours of the 10-hour race at Petie Le Mans. This yr that shut, tight-knit pack racing was in a position to proceed, and it gave us essentially the most compelling combat of the race within the ultimate two hours.
Because the race got here to an in depth, the #27 Coronary heart of Racing Aston Martin had a decisive lead over the remainder of the GT ranks, however the combat for the highest of GTD PRO was tooth and nail not 4 seconds behind the #27 at any given second. The #3 Corvette, #14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus and #79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes went at it for nearly two hours for sophistication lead, giving us a few of the finest racing of the 24 hours within the course of.
The #79 gained out ultimately and Cooper McNeil leaves the staff on a excessive word by lastly claiming the long-elusive Rolex for himself and the staff.
3 – Porsche has a weekend to overlook throughout the board
Going into the Rolex, the Porsche Penske GTP program was a heavy favourite for general victory. They’d carried out extra testing than each different GTP ream by a major margin and by way of reliability they had been believed to be essentially the most strong of the brand new automobiles.
Within the race, all that testing appeared to exit the window. The #7 was out and in of the storage all race and the #6 appeared to at all times be attempting to climb its approach again on the lead lap. The ultimate nail within the coffin was a complete ICE failure for the #6 in the previous couple of hours of the race as Nick Tandy tried to carry it again onto the lead lap.
The GT ranks the Porsche buyer groups had been made nearly out of date by a heavy Stability of Efficiency lower from IMSA, permitting the Mercedes and Aston Martin GT3 machines to run forward and declare the category and general GT victories.
#ICYMI Here’s a recap of the 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona.#IMSA | @Rolex24Hours pic.twitter.com/39KTiwYgOw
— #IMSA (@IMSA) January 30, 2023
4 – Colin Braun and Tom Blomqvist are harmful
Tom Blomqvist has burst onto the IMSA scene during the last two years after main the #60 Meyer Shank Racing DPi staff to the ultimate DPi championship in 2022. Over the low season CORE Autosport and LMP3 mainstay, Colin Braun was in a position to win the seat on the Ohio-based outfit left vacant by Oliver Jarvis after the 2022 season.
Braun made his presence identified early by making some extremely aggressive strikes for the lead early within the race. After a terrific setup from Blomqvist, Braun capitalized and set the #60 staff in a terrific spot as night time fell. With assist from Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud, the #60 gained a second Rolex 24 in a row and the season seems to be very shiny for them. Blomqvist and Braun each have one thing to show and 2023 will be the yr each as soon as once more come out swinging and make their mark within the IMSA historical past books.
5 – All eyes are on IMSA
The 61st working of the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona was the highest-attended Rolex 24 in its historical past. The infields had been chocked filled with RVs, tents, and a few courageous people sleeping of their vans. Whereas the grandstand was very well-packed for the beginning of the race and all through the occasion.
Elevated curiosity in motorsport within the states has actually discovered its solution to the Sportscar world. The file turnout at Daytona is hopefully the beginning of an even bigger development round IMSA in 2023.