Daytona 24 Hours notes, stories, etc Marshall Pruett and others - Page 4






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  1. #46
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    Rolex 24 all-nighter pays off, DragonSpeed ORECA to race

    Friday, 27 January 2017


    J.J. O'Malley

    Shortly before 2 p.m. on Thursday, Loic Duval contacted the barrier exiting Turn 1 in the closing minutes of the second Rolex 24 at Daytona practice session. Duval was unhurt, but the Gibson-powered No. 81 Dragonspeed ORECA sustained major damage, sending the team scrambling to repair the car.
    The team was forced to miss qualifying and night practice while changing to a spare tub. Duval was fourth fastest at 1m40.511s prior to the incident. At 5:45 a.m. on Friday morning, repairs were finally completed.


    "It was a long night, but hopefully it's well worth it," said DragonSpeed crew chief Steve Noakes. "We had chassis damage, and went to a new tub. We got out of here about a quarter to six, went back for a shower, and then right back to the track. It's all good now."
    Duval will be joined by Henrik Hedman, Nicolas Lapierre and Ben Hanley in Saturday's Rolex 24. As a result of missing qualifying, the will start 12th at the back of the Prototype grid.
    Starting from the back is not an obstacle at the Rolex 24. Andy Lally had a see-saw weekend in 2011, when he went from the Rolex Series GT class pole to the back of the grid when the qualifying time for his TRG Porsche 911 GT3 Cup was disallowed due to improper mounting of the rear wing. Joined by Spencer Pumpelly, Wolf Henzler, Brendan Gaughan and Steven Bertheau, Lally came back to win – his fourth of five Rolex 24 class victories.
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    Jordan Taylor fastest in final Rolex 24 practice

    Friday, 27 January 2017


    J.J. O'Malley / Image by Marshall Pruett

    Jordan Taylor's last-minute flier resulted in the fastest lap (1m36.970s) in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi in Friday's practice session – the lone on-track activity for IMSA WeatherTech Championship teams preparing for the 55th Rolex 24 at Daytona.
    Taylor denied bragging rights for DragonSpeed, which had an all-night repair session pay off as Nicolas Lapierre wound up second fastest (1m37.922s) in the No. 81 Gibson-powered Oreca. The car had to switch to a new tub following a crash in Turn 1 late in Thursday's second practice.


    GTLM pole winner Joey Hand led the class in the No. 66 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT (1m43.490s), followed by Dirk Werner in the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR (1m43.543s).
    "The car keeps getting better and better," said Hand, part of the team's 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans-winning lineup. "It was good in qualifying, but the guys kept tuning on it and it felt even better this morning. Yesterday, it was good for only a lap or two. Now, I think we can drive it this way for a long time."
    Andrea Caldarelli was fastest in GTD in the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 (1m47.455s), followed by Jeroen Bleekemolen in the No. 33 Riley Motorsports Mercedes AMG GT3 (1m47.511s). Robert Wickens led PC in the No. 8 Starworks Oreca (1m43.650s).
    The one-hour session was slowed by a pair of red flag stoppages, with 51 of the 55 starters participating.
    The first red flag of nearly 11 minutes came at the 13-minute mark for the stopped No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE.
    "We were losing fluid, so as a precaution I shut it off," driver Toni Vilander explained. "Just a technical issue – no drama."
    Once racing resumed, the red flag waved again only five minutes later, for a 13-minute stoppage involving a pair of incidents. The No. 18 DAC Motorsports Lamborghini of Emmanuel Anassis lost fluid following an incident in Turn 6, and the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Ligier of Jose Gutierrez lost a wheel in the infield.
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    'Roof Top Ray' set for another Rolex 24 all-nighter

    Friday, 27 January 2017



    J.J. O'Malley / Image courtesy of Ray Wenzel

    All night long during the running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, a lonely cameraman brings stunning live images to racing fans worldwide from high atop the grandstands at Daytona International Speedway. That's "Roof Top Ray."
    In real life, he's Ray Wenzel from Hartford, Conn., who covers major races and other sports events. He's worked with the production teams from TBS, ESPN and ESPN2 which covered the event through 2000, with SPEED Channel which began its coverage in 2001 and currently with FOX Sports, which carried the Rolex 24 for the first time in 2014.


    When and how did you earn the name "Roof Top Ray"?
    "Three years ago, Jeremy Shaw and John Hindhaugh and the guys from Radio Le Mans were doing their broadcast, and we were doing the internet feed. I think it was Frank Wilson (current Vice President of Production for FOX Sports) who put it all together. Basically, we got them a feed from our truck, so they would have something for them to talk about overnight.
    "I was able to listen to their broadcast. Then Taylor Rollins and Chris Taylor – who were editor/producer types who were working overnight to get highlights together – started playing off the Radio Le Mans broadcast. They were kind enough to give me kudos here and there for the shots. I was shooting the brake rotors glowing, and the flames from the exhaust backfires as they go up onto the banking. The guys were helping me with lead changes, position changes and pit stops, and I would follow cars battling for position. There were no commercials, we were just shooting racing and having fun. Working with the Radio Le Mans commentary, I was up there having a blast. They were the guys who coined, 'Roof Top Ray.'"

    What happened next?


    "After that race, I started to realize how many people from all over the planet were watching. The Twitter posts were trending about the race. I didn't have a Twitter account and had no idea how big it was on the internet, until a week later when Frank Wilson forwarded a page from Autosport magazine and they had half a page talking about the overall TV coverage and mentioned 'Roof Top Ray.' At that point and after a lot of coaxing from my girlfriend (now wife) I got a Twitter account, @RooftopRay."

    Does it get cold up there?


    "Yes it does, but I dress accordingly. I've been a freelance camera operator for 25 years, doing racing in particular. I'm used to the conditions. I've also done stuff like the Great Outdoor Games, Winter X Games and other winter activities, so I've got some pretty good gear. I'm well aware of how it can be like in Florida where it can get down into the 40s and 30s."

    How long have you been covering the Rolex 24 at Daytona?


    "My first one was in 1997 or 1998, and I've done every one since. This will be my fourth year doing the overnight. For this year, they're moving my Camera 1 position, and I will be on scaffolding instead of the platform they used to have. My section was moved to section 386, which doesn't right a bell, so I know something's going to be different. It will be a similar shot where you can see the cars in the trioval and the pit stops, which is key for that camera.

    Any favorite Daytona stories?


    Of all my Rolex 24 memories, my favorite was probably the year SPEED did 25 hours of live coverage [in 2001]. We had two full crews, the Lingner Group produced it, and there were many great driver/year/car features to fill any slow time. They also used a lot of email interaction from people watching, even race parties that lasted all night. That feedback made me feel better – there really were fans doing crazier things than us making TV."

    What are your favorite races?


    "I'm a big fan of endurance racing, so the Rolex 24, Le Mans, certainly Sebring, but my favorite race is the Indy 500. I've done the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen 15 times over the past 20 years, and I love going there and staying at the Seneca Lodge. The only one I haven't worked yet is Le Mans. Most of the time I'm up so I don't get to interact with the fans. But at Sebring, where I usually work Camera 1, the fans behind me are a lot of fun. Every once in a while they pass a good burger or hot dog, because they know I get hungry. Also, Turn 10 is a lot of fun to work at Sebring (pictured, LAT photo), because it's a huge party right across the corner there."
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    Daytona Rolex 24 from the drivers themselves

    Published on Jan 24, 2017
    With the 55th Rolex 24 At Daytona just around the corner, listen to the importance of the race from the drivers themselves.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIJSU8wA67I
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    IMSA's GT Daytona class loaded with GT3 exotica

    Friday, 27 January 2017


    Marshall Pruett / Images by Richard Dole and LAT

    There are no rooms left at the GT Daytona Hotel.
    The overflowing success of IMSA's GT3-based GTD class has been a blessing for the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. As its most populated category, the enriched offerings from Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Dodge, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche transformed the 2016 season into a vision of supercar lunacy.


    3GT Racing's two-car Lexus RC F GT3 attack includes IndyCar driver Sage Karam and sports car racing legend Scott Pruett in a talent-stacked driver lineup
    Built upon a blended Pro-Am formula, IMSA's GTD class is driven by its global GT3 underpinnings and the light factory assistance from the brands involved. These dream machines, each carrying steep six-figure price tags, are typically sold for independent use.
    Looking to 2017, "typical" will no longer be used to describe GTD.
    Thanks to marauding newcomers Acura, Lexus and Mercedes-AMG, norms will be tested this year as three additional brands with direct factory involvement – all dead set on whipping the old guard into submission – storm the GTD ranks.
    Even with the might of automotive giants behind some programs, finding an edge, especially with so many distinct cars being equalized under IMSA's Balance of Performance rules, has become the obsessive pursuit for every manufacturer.
    In this diverse group, winning is IMSA's most elusive prize. The secret to capturing it, according to Acura NSX GT3 team owner Michael Shank, takes place before the season gets under way.
    Michael Shank Racing has moved from Prototype to GTD to field a pair of Acura NSX entries in 2017
    "Testing!" roars the Ohioan. "It's not a simple answer, but with us having such a new car we have to get our balance. The series is so tight. You have first to 15th covered in seven or eight tenths of a second. If we want to win, it starts with testing. We're going to have to get our chassis balance better and work on our raceability between all of the drivers."
    For privateers and works-affiliated programs alike, the GT3 rules make standing out in a packed GTD crowd harder than anything found in other IMSA categories. And that's by design.
    "Again, that's because everything is regulated so tightly," Shank says. "All the little advantages will end up as a two- or three-tenths gain at a place like Daytona. Every detail has to be looked at. It's going to be all of the little stuff. And we've been in a spec series like this, in the Toyota Atlantic series back in the late 90s, early 2000s - it was the very same thing. Where we have cars with very equal capability, the difference was spending an extra day on the shaker rig, spending an extra day in the wind tunnel. Anything we could do to maximize the legal testing window."
    Across the GTD divide, Shank's Acuras and the rest of the new brands will find staunch opposition from veteran teams like Stevenson Motorsports and its proven Audi R8s. But keeping the factories at bay and mired somewhere off the podium, won't be easy.
    Audi R8-equipped Stevenson Motorsports is looking forward to the challenge of even more competition in GTD for 2017
    "It's great to have three newcomers to the series, not only for Stevenson Motorsports, but for Audi as well," says Stevenson team manager Mike Johnson. "It's important for all manufacturers to be able to compete against each other on a level playing field. However, none of the [inbound factory] teams are new to IMSA, and they are all very skilled or they wouldn't have been chosen by those manufacturers.
    "It will be very difficult to get any real edge on anybody and I expect to see multiple winners this season. The challenge with GT3 is that with all the downforce and driver aids, passing is very difficult, so it just makes qualifying, pit stops, and minimizing mistakes all that more important. We are excited for that challenge ahead."
    If all the teams – the GTD veterans and even the first-timers – have done their pre-season homework, logged countless miles in testing, then shaken and tunneled their cars without mercy, where might the final differentiator between winning and losing be found?
    "Decision making," Shank exclaims. "If you've done everything possible outside the car, the last place to look is inside that cockpit between the green flag and the checkers. Our drivers have to be better decision makers, period."
    Acura, with its torquey twin-turbo V6 powerplant, pitted against Lexus and its brawling RC F, challenged by Mercedes-AMG and its nightmare-inducing V8 engine, is a brilliant match on its own. Throw the R8s, M6 GT3s, 488 GT3s, Huracán GT3s and 911 GT3 Rs into the GTD cage, and it's going to be one heck of a rumble.
    Paul Miller Racing put the Lamborghini Huracan into the winner's circle in the car's debut GTD season last year
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    IMSA Acura NSX GT3 Tech Tour

    Acura NSX GT3 racer Andy Lally takes you on a tour of his new twin-turbo V6-powered supercar ahead of its competition debut at IMSA's Rolex 24 at Daytona.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0jpe6EKjj4
    Daytona Rolex 24 coverage and videos are here: http://www.tamparacing.com/forums/au...tt-others.html

    Tampa Racing.com covers the Tampa car scene and supports many fund raisers, worthy causes and events that enrich our community. We hope you enjoy them all.
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  7. #52
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    Daytona Rolex 24 pictures are going up here:

    http://www.tamparacing.com/forums/ph...ml#post9386739
    Daytona Rolex 24 coverage and videos are here: http://www.tamparacing.com/forums/au...tt-others.html

    Tampa Racing.com covers the Tampa car scene and supports many fund raisers, worthy causes and events that enrich our community. We hope you enjoy them all.
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    No. 10 Cadillac team - with co-driver Jeff Gordon - wins Rolex 24 at Daytona

    by Nick Bromberg,

    Jeff Gordon (L), Jordan Taylor, Ricky Taylor and Max Angelelli each won their first Rolex 24 on Sunday. (Getty) Ricky Taylor’s aggressive pass with about five minutes left won the Rolex 24 for Wayne Taylor Racing at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday.
    The No. 10 Cadillac driven by Taylor, brother Jordan Taylor, Max Angelelli and four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon, dominated the 24-hour race. But was second to the No. 5 Action Express team driven by Filipe Albuquerque, Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa as the minutes wound down.
    But Taylor slowly reeled in the No. 5, driven by Albuquerque, and dove to the inside entering turn 1 as Albuquerque left the bottom lane open. For a brief moment, anyway. As Taylor got to the inside of the No. 5, Albuquerque closed the door and the two made contact. And Albuquerque went spinning.
    In-car camera view (Fox) The winning pass. Controversial? (Via Fox) The pass was reviewed by IMSA race officials and no action was taken. The inaction was perhaps karmic retribution for a maneuver Action Express pulled on the race’s next-to-last restart. Mike Conway, driving the lapped No. 31 car for the team was ahead of the No. 10 heading to the green flag as the No. 5 was leading. As the No. 5 accelerated when the green flag flew, The No. 31 conspicuously didn’t, opening up a huge gap for the Albuquerque on Taylor.
    Gordon, who finished third in the 2007 Rolex 24 driving alongside Wayne Taylor, drove two stints for the team, both on Saturday. Gordon drove in the car on Saturday afternoon and then later Saturday evening as rain started to fall at Daytona.
    It’s the first Rolex 24 win for Gordon and his three co-drivers. And with it, Gordon becomes part of a select group of drivers — including A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti and Jamie McMurray — to win both the Daytona 500 and Rolex 24. It’s also a fitting way for Angelelli’s career to end, as the driver had said the 2017 Rolex 24 would be his final race before retirement.
    While the racing was dramatic in Prototypes for the overall win, the GT Le Mans category was the most thrilling event for the entirety of the race as Ford, Corvette, Ferrari and Porsche raced within fractions of a second of each other for significant periods of time. Dirk Mueller, driving for Chip Ganassi’s Ford GT team, won, while Porsche finished second.



    Looks like to me that he spun out because he tried to cut off an overtaking car....
    looked at it several times...
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    Taylors prevail, Cadillac 1-2 in epic Rolex 24

    Sunday, 29 January 2017


    J.J. O'Malley / Images by Marshall Pruett

    Jeff Gordon added a crown jewel to his hall of fame career, joining brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor plus Max Angelelli in giving the Cadillac Daytona Prototype international a winning debut in Sunday's 55th Rolex 24 at Daytona, the debut of the DPi in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition.


    "This is a dream come true for me," said Gordon, who joined Mario Andretti, A.J. Foyt and Jamie McMurry in winning the event now known as the Rolex 24 and Daytona 500. "That's quite a group. I've always dreamed of driving a beautiful, amazing car that had the technology and could handle like this. It was an amazing experience."
    The victory came with a bit of controversy, with Ricky Taylor nudging his way past fellow Cadillac driver Felipe Albuquerque with less than six minutes remaining. Taylor then held on in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillacv DFPi-V.R, beating Albuquerque to the checkered flag by 0.671 seconds.
    "We've come so close so many times, I'm speechless," said Jordan Taylor. "I'm so proud of my brother – he made it happen."
    Angelelli, who oversees the Cadillac DPi program, had the fastest lap in the winning car in the final race of his career.
    Albuquerque joined Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac, with Action Express Racing seeking its third Rolex 24 triumph since its debut in 2010.


    "So close, but no cigar," said Fittipaldi, a two-time Rolex 24 winner. "The 10 car did an awesome job throughout the race, they had us covered under different conditions. Was it a clean pass? I don't know. It certainly will sell tickets for next year's race. Now, we'll have to turn the page and move on."
    "It was a good fight, until I got hit," Albuquerque said. "I had some GT cars ahead of me so I could not brake, and I closed the door, but then he hit me in the back, I spun and he didn't even wait for me. He just took off."
    IMSA officials reviewed the pass, which was ruled a racing incident.
    The event was a drama in three acts. It opened with a sizzling duel up front led by the three Cadillac DPis, with the Konica Minolta battling a pair of Action Express entries. The complexion of the race changed shortly after nightfall when rain began at 8 p.m., with the precipitation not letting off until nearly 10 a.m. Then it was time for Act Three, featuring the top two Cadillacs swapping the lead back in forth for the final two-and-a-half hours right down to the checkered flag.
    Visit Florida Racing ran in contention throughout the event and took third, with Marc Goossens, Renger van der Zande and Rene Rast one lap behind in the team's debut of the No. 90 Gibson-powered Riley/Multimatic. Fourth, two laps down, was 2016 event-winning Tequila Patron ESM with Scott Sharp, Ryan Dalziel, Pipo Derani and Brendon Hartley in the first race for their No. 2 Nissan DPi.
    Mechanical problems struck many of the new cars. Defending WeatherTech Series champions Dane Cameron and Eric Curran, joined by Michael Conway and Seb Morris in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi, ran with the leaders early in the race before spending time in the garage with suspension and electrical troubles. They placed sixth in the class, 20 laps down. The No. 55 Mazda DPi of Tristan Nunez, Jonathan Bomarito and Spencer Pigot went out late in the event following a fire in the engine compartment while running fifth. The European-based Rebellion Racing and DragonSpeed teams showed promise with their ORECAs in testing and practice, but both teams had problem-plagued races.
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    Rolex win 'dream come true' for WTR team

    Sunday, 29 January 2017


    Marshall Pruett / Images by Pruett, LAT

    The post-race news conference for the overall winners of the Rolex 24 at Daytona revealed five characters immersed in five different realities. For team owner Wayne Taylor, a huge sense of relief was evident; after years of finishing second with his sons Ricky and Jordan behind the wheel, the boys delivered the goods for his team and sponsors.

    For the Taylor brothers, a similar sense of relief was mixed with a tremendous feeling of accomplishment; the second-generation drivers, already sports car champions, filled the one entry left on an incredible CV.
    And Max "the Ax" Angelelli, in his farewell sports car drive, sat doused in champagne after completing a fairytale ending to his driving career.
    And then there was Jeff Gordon, the most popular – and most celebrated – person at the event. The NASCAR legend, now a Rolex 24 winner, smiled wide, laughed, and soaked in the experience of taming America's biggest endurance race after trading decades of stock car competition for the broadcast booth.
    Of the five, Gordon spoke like he was the recipient of an incredible gift made possible by the Taylors and the Ax.
    "I was so thankful when I got that call from Wayne earlier this year or in 2016, and he asked me if I wanted to be a part of this, and then of course told me about the Cadillac program that they were working on," said Gordon, who finished second with Taylor's Daytona Prototype team on his Rolex 24 debut in 2007.


    "I just couldn't believe it. It was like a dream come true for me because I've always dreamt about driving a car, a beautiful, amazing car that could handle like this, that had the technology like this and could compete in a race like this.
    "This is very surreal to me, this whole experience and moment, to have this on my résumé, it's a very elite group that's won the Daytona 500 and the Rolex 24 together. That's something I'm very, very proud of."
    Ricky Taylor fought back tears as he described the impact Angelelli has had on his life – and his brother's – as the two have become two of America's brightest young talents.


    "Starting off with a win here in Daytona, and then you've got Max's last race, and we've been family for 20 years now, and he's taught us everything we know," he said. "We used to have classes with Max. He used to be the Professor X, and he'd come over to our house, and we'd have a pen and paper, and he'd teach us about downforce and he'd teach us about overtaking.
    "And then to finish – I mean, it was an emotional day, regardless if we won the race, to have our last race with Max. But to win was really cool."
    Gordon, with the Taylor brothers as his sports car teachers, witnessed the immense talent they possess and believes they would thrive in other forms of racing.


    "All I've been thinking about the whole time I've been together with these guys is how do I get them in some ovals in a bigger, heavier car?" he said, referring to NASCAR. "But I mean, to me the way you recognize talent is to know what equipment that they're in, so when you're a teammate to them and you're in the same equipment and you go out there in conditions that are very, very challenging and you know your own capabilities, and then you see them excel the way that they did, I've got to say, to me one of the highlight moments for me that I thought was a crucial moment for this race was when Jordan was on slicks and it started raining, and they stayed out.


    "And when he was out there on slicks and it started getting really wet, just the fact to get that car back to pit road without wrecking, to get the wets I thought was an amazing moment. And then watching these guys just do what they did throughout the night in crazy conditions.
    "So there's no doubt that that transfers over to other series, other cars. I've built enough of a bond with this group that I would love to see them get whatever opportunities were available to them out there. I mean, they've got the personality as well as the talent, and that's what you're always looking for."


    After acknowledging Angelelli's amazing swan song performance, Wayne Taylor admitted he was never worried about his sons' ability to join the illustrious club of Rolex 24 winners. He even says Ricky's charging drive to snatch the win with minutes left on the clock was never a question.
    "It's funny, I was telling somebody outside that the weirdest thing is as a father, people always ask me what's it like to have your kids racing because most mothers worry about the fear factor, which I never do," he said.
    "And the great part I am proud of is that when they're in the car, I'm actually very relaxed because I do believe they know what they're doing, and I had no question in my mind that Ricky was not going to come home second today. There was no way he was going to do it."
    Five men, at different places and stages in life, headed in new and exciting directions, forever tied together and unified by an amazing win. The power of the Rolex 24 was fully realized on Sunday.
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  11. #56
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    Angelelli goes out a winner at Rolex 24

    Sunday, 29 January 2017


    J.J. O'Malley / Images by Marshall Pruett

    With just over four hours remaining, Max Angelelli pitted while leading the 55th Rolex 24 at Daytona. When he stepped out of the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R and Jordan Taylor took over, it marked the end of the 50-year-old Italian's driving career.
    "I'm happy for what I achieved with the boys and finish my career with a big win," Angelelli said.


    But Angelelli is far from finished in motorsports. He is Cadillac's program manager in developing the new DPi, and even though the event finished with a trip to Gatorade Victory Lane along with the Taylor brothers and NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon, Angelelli was enjoying a win-win situation with the Wayne Taylor Racing and Action Express Racing Cadillacs battling for the victory.
    Following his opening stint on Saturday evening, Angelelli talked of how Cadillac's Rolex 24 preparation was paying off.
    "We have started this weekend with a major advantage," Angelelli said. "We started designing and developing the car very early. We had the first Cadillac on the track in the beginning of September. After the Roar test and this weekend we have over 8,000 miles of testing. As you can see, that is paying off the Cadillac prototypes are running 1-2-3. It would mean everything to win with this new car in my last race. I would leave with a smile on my face."
    While one of the three lead Cadillacs fell behind with various problems, it proved to be a 1-2 finish.


    Angelelli turned in the fastest lap of the winning car, with his time of 1m36.394s just shy of Filipe Albuquerque's lap of 1m269s.

    His final lap proved to be a memorable one. Leading Joao Barbosa by 12.389s, he slid midway through the damp chicane and drove through the track to get back on the banking – directly ahead of the second-place Cadillac. But "Max the Ax" was able to retain the lead.
    "This was one of my most difficult races," said Angelelli, who joined Wayne Taylor in winning the 2005 Rolex 24. "I was hoping to have an easier dry race, but that did not happen. It was very difficult to keep the car on the track with the rain tires, especially late in the stint. I made a slight mistake. I was able to recover and stay in P1. My career has been a roller coaster, from a complete disaster to a lot of success. How can I describe it? It has been long and difficult."
    And Angelelli's prediction proved correct. He left Daytona with a big smile on his face.
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    No. 66 Ford GT team savors grueling Daytona Rolex 24 win



    No. 66 Ford GT team savors grueling Rolex win

    Sunday, 29 January 2017


    Marshall Pruett (words and images)

    Ford's win at last year's 24 Hours of Le Mans made international headlines, but the road to victory for its new GT model was much easier than expected. Ease was nowhere to be found on the path to the brand's second 24-hour win in less than a year as its Le Mans-winning trio of Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller and Sebastien Bourdais spent the weekend locked in one of the fiercest battles ever seen in IMSA's GT categories.


    Their No. 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing GT, nearly pristine despite a hundred chances to spin and crash during 14 hours of frigid rain, survived another hundred chances to be hit as half the GT Le Mans class circulated in a supercar train around the 3.56-mile Daytona circuit.
    The ragged yet flawless performance saw the team and drivers expend everything they had to keep factory entries from Ferrari, Porsche, Corvette and BMW out of Victory Lane.
    "I think we had six GTLM's in line there, at least, maybe even seven, after 24 hours, and a grueling 24 hours," said an exasperated Hand. The constant attack from rival cars and bad weather only added to the sense of accomplishment for the No. 66 squad.
    "I was right before Dirk, the last – the couple hours before he drove, and you come off that rain at night, the intensity, your eyes are popping out of your head," Hand continued. "I got in, it was raining, I had to do that cross over to dry. That was tough. Those slicks, when you put them on and it's still wet, and the temperature was so low, that was the trickiest part was to get the temps up on the slicks right away. After that we still had a good car."
    After 24 hours, the top seven GTLM cars were covered by 7.532 seconds. If Ford's win on its return to Le Mans was too easy, Daytona made sure every inch was earned.
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    Slwsnowman40
    IMSA Radio reported around 8am PST that the other prototypes were dialed back in terms of performance to get to the end. One of the Nissan drivers confirmed that and the other NIssan car was having a problem they couldn't find.

    Based on that, I'd think it comes down to Caddy had confidence it would run for 24 hours and everyone else didn't have that level of confidence.
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    HPD Trackside - Acura NSX GT3s at the 2017 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona

    Tuesday, 31 January 2017


    RACER Staff


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mL_c5FHOxRI

    The 24 Hours of Daytona kicked off the 2017 racing season with a test of teams and machines. The debut of the new Acura NSX GT3 increased the excitement, with Michael Shank Racing fielding two complete teams of experienced drivers.
    Daytona Rolex 24 coverage and videos are here: http://www.tamparacing.com/forums/au...tt-others.html

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    Here's the entire video of the Daytona Rolex 24 Part 1 here

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3XyADBUCTI



    ROLEX 24: Relive the race with telecast replay

    Tuesday, 31 January 2017


    RACER Staff / Image by LAT
    Relive all the action from the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the first race of the 2017 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season and Round 1 of the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup.
    Last edited by senor honda; 02-01-2017 at 08:57 AM.
    Daytona Rolex 24 coverage and videos are here: http://www.tamparacing.com/forums/au...tt-others.html

    Tampa Racing.com covers the Tampa car scene and supports many fund raisers, worthy causes and events that enrich our community. We hope you enjoy them all.
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