Defending Rolex 24 at Daytona and series champions – Acura and Meyer Shank Racing – combined to score their second consecutive Rolex 24 victory today at Daytona International Speedway, in the start of the GTP hybrid racing era in the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship.
The event marked the successful racing debut for the electrified Acura ARX-06 prototype sports car, the second successive win at Daytona for the Meyer Shank Racing team, and the third consecutive Rolex 24 win for Acura in the North American crown jewel of endurance sports car racing [see Fast Facts section below].
Starting from the pole, the MSR Acura driver lineup of Tom Blomqvist, Colin Braun, Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud led the opening hour, and dominated early portions of the twice-around-the-clock contest; until a series of caution flags closed up the field for the final eight hours of the race.
However, the caution flags also enabled the Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport Acura ARX-06 recover from a series of minor earlier delays, moving into second place in the final hours. Together, the two Acura teams fought off the competition throughout the closing laps to score their second consecutive Acura 1-2 at Daytona.
Acura NSX GT3 Evo22
In the production-based GTD class, Acura NSX GT3 Evo22s from Gradient Racing and Racers Edge Motorsports with WTR both persevered to take home fourth and sixth place finishes respectively.
Gradient Racing, with a lineup comprised of veteran Acura NSX driver Katherine Legge, Mario Farnbacher and Marc Miller, partnered with rookie Sheena Monk on her IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship debut for the Rolex 24. The team overcame a late race fuel fire that set them off strategy, coupled with a massive fuel-saving effort at the finish, to bring their #66 Acura NSX GT3 Evo22 home fourth.
At Racers Edge Motorsports with WTR, Ashton Harrison, the reigning Fanatec GT World Challenge America presented by AWS champion for Acura, partnered with Wayne Taylor Racing Super Trofeo drivers Danny Formal and Kyle Marcelli, as well as NTT INDYCAR SERIES race-winner Ryan Briscoe to bring home a sixth-place finish to open their 2023 Michelin Endurance Cup campaign.