02/03/2021

Mechanic Escape

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Wayne Taylor Racing wins record-tying third consecutive Rolex in an Acura

Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque, Alexander Rossi and Helio Castroneves rejoice winning the Rolex 24 at Daytona. (Jasen...

Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque, Alexander Rossi and Helio Castroneves rejoice winning the Rolex 24 at Daytona. (Jasen Vinlove, United states Currently by way of Reuters)

 

Wayne Taylor Racing received its document-tying third consecutive Rolex 24 at Daytona, applying a new motor vehicle and a new lineup to beat some of the most effective racers in the world.

Filipe Albuquerque held off Kamui Kobayashi and Renger van der Zande — both of those component of WTR’s winning groups the past two seasons and both of those trying to find to grow to be the 1st winners of 3 consecutive Rolex races — to give the overhauled Taylor staff its fourth earn in the past five several years at Daytona Global Speedway.

Albuquerque was challenged in excess of the final twenty five minutes by van der Zande, driving a Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing, right up until the staff endured a second tire failure with 7 minutes remaining.

Kobayashi cycled into second but failed to have sufficient to catch Albuquerque, who closed out the 1st in general victory for Acura in the prestigious two times-spherical-the-clock stamina race.

WTR left Typical Motors soon after 28 several years at the stop of previous year to grow to be a manufacturing unit Acura plan, and the staff desired just about every moment of the previous two months to get its motor vehicle ready for Daytona. Wayne Taylor replaced his total lineup for the go to Acura and employed Albuquerque, as perfectly as his oldest son, Ricky Taylor, Helio Castroneves and Alexander Rossi. The trio all drove the Acura the past 3 seasons for Team Penske but desired new employment when Penske closed at the stop of previous yr.

Ricky Taylor and Castroneves, the 3-time Indianapolis five hundred winner, are the reigning IMSA champions and experienced the familiarity with the Acura to be certain the staff was organized even with no offseason testing.

It was WTR’s fourth Rolex earn in five several years and fifth in general, a single guiding Ganassi’s document 6 victories. The 3-straight wins tie Ganassi’s mark.

It truly is the 1st Rolex for Castroneves and Rossi. Albuquerque received in 2018 driving a Cadillac, and Ricky Taylor received in a Cadillac for his father’s staff in 2017.

Ricky Taylor, who closed out the 2017 Rolex earn for WTR, was in the motor vehicle late and experienced the alternative to finish the race but resolved to flip it in excess of to Albuquerque simply because the Portuguese driver was rested and could deal with keep track of conditions that incorporated amplified wind speeds.

“We resolved we desired any individual as new as achievable in the motor vehicle,” Ricky Taylor said. “He acquired in there and was an absolute monster and carried it at the stop.”

Cadillac acquired a second-place finish from an Motion Specific all-star motor vehicle that incorporated 7-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson. Kobayashi carried the load for an Motion Specific lineup that also incorporated Indianapolis five hundred winner Simon Pagenaud and 24 Several hours of Le Mans winner Mike Rockenfeller.

When Taylor switched to Acura, he launched motorists van der Zande and Ryan Briscoe, and selected a new lineup with familiarity of the motor vehicle. Ganassi snatched van der Zande, who was battling Kobayashi to grow to be the 1st winner of 3 straight.

The Dutch driver closed on his former staff many moments in the final twenty five minutes but could not make a go for the lead and was eradicated when his tire was punctured.

“I could see his eyes in my mirrors,” Albuquerque said of van der Zande. “He was so hungry for this, primarily with the total story of leaving Wayne Taylor. I was lucky that they experienced a puncture.”

The Ganassi staff endured a puncture significantly less than two hours earlier when 6-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon was driving, and also overcame two penalties from newcomer Kevin Magnussen, who expended the previous 7 seasons in Formulation A person. The staff fell to fifth.

“Absolutely gutted,” Magnussen said. “Looked like we experienced the race earn suitable there. Renger experienced definitely superior speed catching the No. ten motor vehicle and I think he would have experienced a definitely superior possibility to earn the race.”

Jordan Taylor, youngest son of the winning staff operator, was also a winner in the GT Le Mans course and closed the victory for Corvette Racing. The lineup incorporated Nicky Catsburg and Antonio Garcia, who Typical Motors said soon after the race it experienced pulled from the motor vehicle simply because Garcia analyzed beneficial for COVID-19 as component of his preparations to leave the United States. Garcia drove just about 8 hours in the race and was previous in the motor vehicle Sunday early morning.

“While Antonio Garcia analyzed destructive in preparation for his arrival for the Rolex 24, we have acquired recognize that he has now analyzed beneficial in preparation to depart the state,” GM said in a assertion.

Era Motorsport received the Le Mans Prototype 2 course in an Oreca LMP2 Riley Motorsports received the Le Mans Prototype 3 course in Ligier JS P320 and Winward Racing in a Mercedes-AMG GT3 received the GT Daytona course, which at twenty entries was the major course of the forty nine-motor vehicle subject.

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