Beneath Chamber of Commerce skies, Daytona Worldwide Speedway was bathed in solar as the sphere of 49—or what was left of it—battled within the closing two-hour, all-green-flag run of the 2021 Rolex 24 at Daytona. Right here’s 12 takeaways from the race:

10 konica minolta acura arx 05 acura dpi, dpi helio castroneves, alexander rossi, filipe albuquerque, ricky taylor

The successful No. 10 Acura ARX-05

Jake Galstad

Pedal to the Steel For All 24

      The announcers stored insisting that Renger van der Zande was closing in for the kill as Filipe Albuquerque-piloted the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Konica-Minolta Acura DPi automobile led the sphere, but it surely grew to become a moot level when van der Zande, primarily fired this yr from the automobile that he was chasing, suffered a proper rear flat within the closing minutes of the race, the second flat proper rear tire on the Chip Ganassi Racing No. 01 Cadillac.

      Just one different automobile had an issue with the correct rear that wasn’t contact-related, so it’s a must to marvel if it was simply extremely dangerous luck or some flaw with the Cadillac’s setup. Or, extra probably, mentioned Albuquerque, simply van der Zande’s tail-out fashion of negotiating the bus cease flip.


      It was a high-speed race for positive: “Probably the most hectic, intense, flat-out race I’ve been part of,” mentioned winner Ricky Taylor, son of Wayne. Co-driver Alexander Rossi turns into one other driver with an Indianapolis 500 and a Rolex 24 victory, together with Taylor teammate Helio Castroneves.

      The No. 10 Acura received by 4.704 seconds over the No. 48 Ally Cadillac Racing Cadillac DPi of drivers Jimmie Johnson, Mike Rockenfeller, Simon Pagenaud and Kamui Kobayashi.

      01 cadillac chip ganassi racing cadillac dpi, dpi pit stop, scott dixon, renger van der zande, kevin magnussen

      The No. 01 Cadillac Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi, that includes Scott Dixon, Renger van der Zande and Kevin Magnussen.

      Michael Levitt

      Ganassi a Fast Learner

      Talking of the Ganassi Cadillac, a yr in the past that automobile was gathering mud as a defunct group was making an attempt to promote it. Ganassi, having retired the Ford GTs he was racing within the GT Le Mans class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, was lured again when the successful Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac group was lured over to Acura, which had fired Roger Penske and divided up the 2 Acuras between Taylor and Meyer Shank Racing, the No. 60 automobile that turned out to not be an element within the end. Ganassi’s group, within the hunt till the very finish, clearly discovered the brand new Cadillac simply as shortly as Taylor’s group discovered the brand new Acura.

      48 ally cadillac racing cadillac dpi, dpi jimmie johnson, kamui kobayashi, simon pagenaud, mike rockenfeller

      The second-place No. 48 Ally Cadillac Racing Cadillac DPi.

      Jake Galstad

      Kobayashi Comes Up Simply Brief

      Kamui Kobayashi completed second, simply 4.704 second away from a 3rd straight Rolex 24 win, one thing that has by no means been carried out earlier than. Kobayashi was the nearer for the No. 48 Ally Cadillac, a one-and-done group with Motion Categorical that additionally had NASCAR’s Jimmie Johnson as a driver. The Japanese driver tried, however couldn’t shut the hole on Albuquerque. This was the third straight for Wayne Taylor Racing; solely Chip Ganassi has managed that as properly.

      podium3 corvette racing corvette c8r, gtlm nicky catsburg, jordan taylor, antonio garcia 4 corvette racing corvette c8r, gtlm tommy milner, nick tandy, alexander sims24 bmw team rll bmw m8 gte, gtlm john edwards, jesse krohn, augusto farfus, marco wittmannvictory lane

      Antonio Garcia missed the rostrum ceremony for Corvette Racing.

      Michael Levitt

      2 Drivers Take a look at Optimistic for COVID-19

      Loads of drivers have examined constructive for COVID-19 earlier than an occasion, together with this one, when Michael de Quesada was constructive simply earlier than the race and was pulled from the lineup. However that is the primary time a driver has acquired information of a constructive take a look at end result throughout a race, as did No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R driver Antonio Garcia. He was pulled in hour 17, leaving co-drivers Nicky Catsburg and Jordan Taylor to take the automobile to the checkered flag first.

      It was a stable 1-2 debut for the brand new Corvette race director, Laura Klauser, who changed veteran Doug Fehan, who primarily constructed Corvette Racing from scratch. Third was the No. 24 Workforce RLL BMW M8 GTE. Catsburg and Taylor weren’t a part of the post-race in-person media classes, having presumably gone into quarantine, in order that they did their interviews on Zoom.

      Worldwide Taste, and Then Some

      We’ve lengthy identified that the Rolex 24 is a real worldwide occasion, however we counted up the worldwide drivers to see how worldwide that is: Of the 181 drivers, 68 listed the U.S. as their dwelling nation.

      Go Fly a Kite

      The wind Sunday morning and afternoon was an element, the drivers mentioned; “It was simple to overshoot flip three,” with the wind pushing the automobile alongside, Ricky Taylor mentioned. “The automobiles are so mild, they have been transferring round with the ten or 15 mph winds.”

      Practically a New Race File

      The race went 807 laps, in need of the file of 833. However given the truth that the race had 11 full-course warning flags, had there been much less carnage and breakdowns, the race simply might have set a distance file.

      Already Considering of Sebring

      Thirty-one automobiles ran the 2020 Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, however extra automobiles are anticipated for the 2021 model, which was the final race of the 2020 season however returns to its common slot of being the second race of the season this yr. The LMP3 automobiles can be there, however it’s anticipated that fewer of the LMP2 automobiles will attend than the ten within the Rolex 24. The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring is scheduled for March 17-20.

      Dalziel Lifts LMP2 Winners

      The LMP2 successful group, the No. 18 Period Motorsports Oreca-Gibson, contained a previous total winner, Ryan Dalziel, who helped get the primary win for Motion Categorical again in 2010, or, because the radio announcer mentioned, “a few years in the past.” The quickest time the group set was 1 minute, 37.109 seconds, about 2.5 seconds slower than the quickest DPi automobiles. The ERA automobile was 4 laps down at one level however rallied again to the victory.

      Shock in GT Daytona

      The GT Daytona winner was a little bit of a darkish horse; the No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 stepped up from the GT4 class within the Michelin Pilot Problem, and this was the primary IMSA WeatherTech win for all 4 of the drivers. The group completed 16.329 seconds over one other Mercedes AMG, the quantity 75 Solar Vitality automobile.

      No Drama in LMP3

      The successful LMP3 group, the Riley Motorsports/74 Ranch Resort Liger/Nissan, had a drama-free race, however that wasn’t the case for all of the LMP3s, significantly since they’ve by no means run a 24-hour race earlier than. The No. 74 had a finest time of 1:43.548, somewhat quicker than the GT Daytona automobiles, somewhat slower than the GT Le Mans automobiles. Among the P3 automobiles have been caught up in passing incidents with quicker automobiles, however there’s a studying curve to operating with 4 different courses, moderately than operating solely with LMP3 automobiles, which is what they’ve carried out up till now. It wasn’t an issue for No. 74, which received by three laps.

      What Occurred to Chase Elliott?

      NASCAR Cup champion Chase Elliott, in addition to the remainder of the No. 31 Motion Categorical Whelen Cadillac group, was sidelined by a transmission downside – had that not occurred, the automobile probably would have been battling for the win. The automobile nonetheless completed eighth total, 24 laps down.

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