Updated: Jul 5, 2018
The Rolex Dayton 24 hour race can be summed up in one word: DRAMA! While technically the race is 24 hours long, this event never disappoints to provide excitement right down to the checkered flag. During the race, I am glad I wasn’t part of a “PC just spun out” drinking game. I realize the PC class is in the last year of running, and I am proud of say I am a PC fan. I was sad to see no more DPs and I will miss the PC’s too. The two Starworks entries retired from the race and went out with a bang….make that a bang into the tire wall.
And of course with the rain, the PC drivers get soaked first. Starworks driver, Remo Ruscitti posted on Twitter at 7:07am Sunday, “The most miserable stint, wet and freezing! Could not feel most of my body. @Starworksmoto have been on it. Unfortunate we are so far back.”
On Sunday, from 1:30am to 7am the green and yellow flags were busy with either cars spinning out, heavy rain, or the ambient temperature taking a dip. While I may have my own negative opinion regarding Continental Tires, after the race, ESM driver Pipo Derani decided to Tweet this comment, “It was a complete joke the GTLM being again quicker than the Prototype class on the rain. Safety must come before anything else…” Which spurred follow up tweets, but I will let you have the fun of reading yourself.
As if the race was tense enough, the final yellow flag was waved when the #93 Acura NSX of Michael Shank Racing driven by Andy Lally finally gave up for the day and pulled off. The car had to be towed but other than losing the hood earlier in the race and being out for 30 minutes, I couldn’t see any accident damage to the car. This last caution helped Ricky Taylor driving #10 Cadillac DPI Wayne Taylor Racing to catch the #5 Action Express Racing car driven by Filipe Albuquerque.
I use the word “catch” loosely. While Filipe mentioned later he was “hit” by Ricky, IMSA did review and concluded it was just racing. To me, I thought Ricky held his line and Filipe didn’t realize how close Ricky was and turned in on him. But I have not seen either car onboard camera or talked with either driver. And what’s the Rolex 24 without a little DRAMA!
So how did the two Acura NSX cars of Michael Shank Racing finish? After 617 laps, car #63 retired and finished 11th in class. Car #86 finished on the lead lap and fifth in class which earned the team the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup award.
The number 10 car of Jordan Taylor, Ricky Taylor, Max (The Axe) Angelelli and Jeff Gordon were the winners in the Prototype class, in PC J French, P O'ward, K Masson and N Boulle brought home the Performance Tech Oreca FLM09 in its final outing at Daytona.
While in GTLM you could of thrown a blanket over the top 4 cars 30 minutes before the end of the race, in the end the number 66 Ford GT of D Muller, J Hand and S Bourdais came home just under 3 seconds in front of the number 911 Porsche GT. In GTD we saw the closest winning margin of the race - a mere 0.293 of a second separated the winners in the 23 Porsche GT of Alerga Motorsports and 2nd Place Audi R8 LMS of Land Motorsport.
Full results for the race can be found HERE