It was a Wayne Taylor kind of weekend at Daytona for the Rolex 24. The win for the #10 Konica-Minolta Acura DPi brings 3 consecutive Rolex wins to WTR and 5 total. Filipe Albuquerque took the checkered flag and was joined in Victory Lane by co-drivers Alexander Rossi, Helio Castroneves and Ricky Taylor. (Wayne Taylor’s son) Taylor’s younger son, Jordan, was also a winner in GTLM with the #3 Corvette Racing Team.
The final minutes of the race brought a challenge from former Taylor driver Renger van der Zande in the Ganassi #01 Cadillac. A blown tire brought that challenge to an end with an ironic twist as van der Zande was key to Wayne Taylor wins for the 2 previous years. The Ally #48 was there with a charge but could not make up the difference and finished 4.7 seconds back. It was a good show for the Jimmie Johnson team with Kamui Kobayashi , Mike Rockenfeller and Simon Pagenaud.
After 24 hours of racing, 5 of the DPi class cars were on the lead lap at the finish. Mechanical issues put the pole sitting #31 in the garage with 5 hours remaining but the team still managed an 8th place overall.
The LMP2 class was taken by the #18 Era Motorsport ORECA of Dwight Merriman, Kyle Tilley, Ryan Dalziel and Paul-Loup Chatin.
The LMP3 class, new within the main event to have 5 classes on track, was won by the Riley Motorsports #74 with drivers Scott Andrews, Oliver Askew, Spencer Pigot and Gar Robinson.
The Corvettes were one and two in GTLM. Jordan Taylor with Nicky Catsburg and Antonio Garcia drove the #3 across first and the #4 crossed shortly behind with the team of Alexander Sims, Tommy Milner and Nick Tandy. The Corvettes were also at the front of the GTLM field following the Motul qualifying the weekend before.
The GTD class also had 5 cars on the lead lap at the finish. Mercedes AMG also proved one and two with the #57 Winward Racing group of Russell Ward, Philip Ellis, Indy Dontje and Maro Engel taking the win. The #75 Sun Energy Mercedes came in 16 seconds back.
The next race up on the IMSA WeatherTech schedule is the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts on tap March 17-20. The race is half as long… but a bit more bumpy. The racing season is much the same for 2021. Covid is still with us and a bit bumpy for the start but with a little luck the fans may have an open gate as we go green into the season.