Rolex 24 at Daytona: Acura Wins Again

Rolex 24 at Daytona
Simon Pagenaud, of France, drives the Acura ARX-06 through the front stretch during the Rolex 24 hour auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Five different series racing in the International Motor Sports Association took to the track for the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Tom Blomqvist crossed the finished line first in the premier GTP series. Meanwhile there was a tight battle between the top two finishes in LMP2 and a complete blowout in LMP3.


Taking over for DPI, GTP is a new era of hybrid prototypes for the WeatherTech Sports Car Championship. The first race of the season for this series ended exactly as it began with a dominant performance from Acura. Tom Blomqvist started on the pole and led the first two hours before handing over the wheel to his teammates. He remained dominant in the final two hours of the event capturing the victory for himself and fellow drivers Colin Braun, Simon Pagenaud and Helio Castroneves. It’s the third straight Rolex 24 win for Castroneves.


While the GTP series opened with a dominant performance, LMP2 provided the most thrilling type of finish all racing series hope to see. James Allen and Ben Hanley were behind the wheel as the top two cars came down to the checkered flag. Allen managed to pass Hanley at the line by inches. The top four in the LMP2 series all finished within 13 seconds of each other, the closest of any of the five series on the track this weekend.


The exact opposite of the LMP2 finish would be the LMP3 finish. This was nowhere close as the AWA team of Wayne Boyd, Nico Varrone, Thomas Mantella and Anthony Mantella cruised to victory. AWA finished 12 laps ahead of second place Sean Creech Motorsport. If Acura was dominant in GTP, then AWA was epically dominant in LMP3.


Marco Sorensen drove his Aston Martin to the checkers clinching the GTD series win for Heart of Racing. It was a bit surprising as the Mercedes team looked to be dominant during qualifying. But the Aston Martins came out strong in the race and found their way to a first place finish.


While the Mercedes may not have been able to clinch the win in GTD, they were able to cross the finish line first in GTD Pro. Pole sitter Maro Engel piloted his Mercedes to victory beating out the teams for Corvette and Lexus.

IMSA will return in March for the Mobil 1 12 Hours at Sebring in Sebring, Florida.

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