MSR Acura dominates Rolex 24 at Daytona for second year running

Jake Galstad/Lumen

MSR Acura dominates Rolex 24 at Daytona for second year running


MSR Acura dominates Rolex 24 at Daytona for second year running


After a frenetic series of full-course cautions and hard-fought restarts, the final run to the Rolex 24 at Daytona checker for Tom Blomqvist and the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb Agajanian Acura ARX-06 was relatively calm. The team, 2022 IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship champs, took its second consecutive victory in front of the largest crowd in the race’s history.

With everything new in the GTP class, including new manufacturers with Porsche and BMW joining in, new teams and nine new race cars, the finish looked very familiar — Cadillac and Acura, MSR, Wayne Taylor Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing fighting to the end, the only teams with a shot at the victory.

Blomqvist took a historic 0.4190s victory over Filipe Albuquerque to deliver another win for the team and teammates Colin Braun, Helio Castroneves, and Simon Pagenaud, while, once again, Albuquerque, Ricky Taylor, Louis Deletraz and Brendon Hartley had to settle for second. The No. 01 CGR Cadillac finished third with Renger van der Zande taking the final stint for Sebastien Bourdais and Scott Dixon ahead of their sister car, a redemption for CGR after failing to get either of their cars to the finish in 2022.

The biggest drama at the end came from LMP2. James Allen in the No. 55 Proton Competition ORECA passed CrowdStrike Racing by APR’s Ben Hanley at the line to take the victory for him, Fred Poordad, Francesco Pizzi and Gianmaria Bruni by just 0.016s. In a reliability contest, the No. 17 AWA Duqueine cruised to the LMP3 victory with Anthony Mantella, Wayne Boyd, Nico Varrone and Thomas Merrill.

The GTD classes had been hard-fought, sometimes nasty battles in the final hours, but in the end, the GTD No. 27 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage took the victory over all the GT cars. In the final hours, Roman De Angelis and Marco Sorensen were virtually unchallenged, thanks in part to having the GTD PRO battle raging behind them as a buffer to any potential challengers, and took the victory with Ian James and Darren Turner.

Heart of Racing’s toughest challenge came from Winward Racing living out a potential Cinderella story that went from pole to destroyed car to contending for victory, but contact in the final hour for Philip Ellis ended that dream. Instead, Magnus Racing came home second in the No. 44 Aston Martin for John Potter, Andy Lally, Spencer Pumpelly and Nicki Thiim. Inception Racing was third with the No. 70 McLaren 720S for Brendan Iribe, Frederik Schandorff, Ollie Millroy and Marvin Kirchhofer.

GTD PRO came down to a fight between the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG, the No. 3 Corvette and the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus. Prior to the final restart, it was a flurry of position changes between the three, but in the end Maro Engel brought the WeatherTech Racing home first to claim the victory with Cooper MacNeil, Daniel Juncadella and Jules Gounon. Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor and Tommy Milner took second for Corvette, with Jack Hawksworth, Ben Barnicoat and Mike Conway third for Lexus.

Full reports to follow.