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Meyer Shank, Acura Secure 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona Victory

Updated: Jan 30, 2023

GTP Era Begins as Acura Wins Third Straight at Daytona.

Meyer Shank Acura driver Tom Blomqvist took the green flag first, and crossed the checkered flag first 24 hours later, as the No. 60 Acura ARX-06 finished first in the opening round of the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship Season. Blomqvist shared the win with fellow Meyer Shank Racing drivers Colin Braun, Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud. With the win, Acura and Meyer Shank secure the first victory in the new for 2023 IMSA GTP era and second straight overall win at Daytona.

Meyer Shank win the Rolex 24 at Daytona
© Adam Prescott - Prescott Motorsport

While both Acuras showed superior pace to their rivals on track, the win for Acura did not come without challenges as the second place finishing No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport team overcame a three lap deficit. In the thirteenth hour of the race the No. 10 went behind the wall to fix an oil filler bracket. On one of the late restarts, Filipe Albuquerque made a move around the No. 02 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac V-LMDh of Earl Bamber which secured Acura a 1-2 finish. The rest of the top five consisted all of Cadillacs, with the No. 01 and No. 02 Cadillac V-LMDh machines of Chip Ganassi Racing finishing third and fourth. Action Express Racing finished off the top five with their No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac finishing in fifth.

(Image - Rick Dole/IMSA)

The No. 55 Proton Competition Oreca 07 Gibson edged the No. 04 CrowdStrike Racing by APR Oreca 07 Gibson at the line on the final lap to secure the LMP2 class victory on their debut in the class. James Allen used the slipstream he gained by trailing Ben Hanley from the exit of the Le Mans Chicane on the final lap to slingshot his way passt the No. 04 of Hanley to secure the win by 0.016 seconds. The win stands as one of the closest margins of victory in Rolex 24 at Daytona history. Allen shares the class victory with Porsche factory driver Gianmaria Bruni, Fred Poordad, and Francesco Pizzi. AF Corse rounded out the podium with their No. 88 Oreca. In remarkable comeback after electrical issues plagued their car on lap two of the race, the No. 8 Tower Motorsport entry of Josef Newgarden, Scott McLaughlin, John Farano and Kyffin Simpson rallied to finish fifth only two laps behind the winner and behind the No. 35 TDS Racing Oreca.

With five hours to go in the LMP3 class, the Sean Creech Motorsports Ligier JS P320 Nissan held a dominant lead. However, disaster struck as the car suffered gearbox issues, resulting in a lengthy spell behind the wall for repairs. This handed the win in class to the No. 17 AWA Duqueine D08 Nissan of Anthony Mantella, Wayne Boyd, Nico Varrone and Thomas Merril who took the victory a huge 12 laps ahead of their nearest competitor. The No. 33 of Sean Creech Motorsports rallied to finish in second place, while the Performance Tech Motorsports No. 38 Ligier JS P320 finished in third.

The Heart of Racing wins at Daytona
© Adam Prescott - Prescott Motorsport

The No. 27 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 driven by Marco Sorensen, Roman De Angelis, Darren Turner and Ian James took not only the GTD class win, but also crossed the finish line ahead of the GTD-Pro class winner. Sorenson, who drove the car to the checkered flag, finished 2.3 seconds ahead of the GTD-Pro class winners of WeatherTech Racing. Finishing second in the GTD class was the No. 44 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 driven by Andy Lally, Spencer Pumpelly, John Potter and Nicki Thiim. Rounding out the podium in the GTD class was the No. 70 Inception Racing McLaren 720S of Marvin Kirchhoefer, Ollie Millroy, Frederik Schandorff and Brendan Iribe.

WeatherTech Mercedes AMG Gt3
© Adam Prescott - Prescott Motorsport

GTD-Pro honors went to the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 of Jules Gounon, Daniel Juncadella, Cooper MacNeil and Maro Engel. MacNeil, who contested his 13th and final Rolex 24 at Daytona and IMSA WeatherTech Championship event, secured his first Rolex 24 win in his final attempt. After suffering a cut tire in the 11th hour of the race, Corvette Racing's No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R GTD rallied to finish second in class. Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor and Tommy Milner shared the podium with the Vasser-Sullivan Lexus No. 14 of Jack Hawksworth, Ben Barnicoat and Mike Conway.

You can view the entire field finishing results here:

The IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Series will need the seven week break until the next round of the championship, as the drivers and teams will prepare for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in seven weeks time.


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