Michelin 2021 Rolex 24 Post-Race

January 31, 2021

Michelin 2021 Rolex 24 Post-Race

January 31, 2021

Michelin Averages 4,900 miles driven per hour with deep field in 2021 Rolex 24 At Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 31, 2021) – The Rolex 24 At Daytona is recognized worldwide as a premier test of speed and endurance and Michelin helped deliver both in convincing fashion in the opening event of the 2021 IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship season this weekend.

The strong 49-car field, all fitted with MICHELIN® Pilot® Sport GT competition tires, racked up a stunning 33,509 laps of the 12 turn, 3.56-mile circuit in the 24-hour race that ran from 3:40 p.m. Saturday to 3:40 p.m. Sunday.

The total of 119,292 race miles, and an approximate average of 4,970 miles driven per hour for 24 consecutive hours are all new milestones for Michelin in IMSA competition.

“Considering the context, it is a privilege to be here as the safety and health of our teams and partners was the priority,” said Tony Ménard, director of motorsport, Michelin North America.

“From a business standpoint, we extend our thanks to IMSA and the Daytona International Speedway for making it possible and for aligning the Roar Before the 24 and the Rolex 24 unto consecutive weekends.

“Just two months ago we were at Sebring for the 12-hour race. So being able to make and ship the majority of the tires for Daytona this month was very difficult to organize and a challenge for two months, especially with the year-end holidays, but we did it.”

The race saw consistent temperatures for the first two thirds of the race, before track temperatures jumped from 56 degrees to 90 degrees.

“The quality of the cars, teams, and drivers in IMSA competition is incredibly high as demonstrated by the incredibly close competition and the high number of finishers,” said Ménard. “The teams worked to push as hard as possible to extract performance throughout the race.”

Rolex 24 Race Notes

Photo: ©2021 Michelin North America

Throughout the Rolex 24 At Daytona, a healthy three to five cars in most classes were on the lead lap and in contention for the win down to the final hours.

Five contenders from three DPi automotive brands all took their turn at the lead, before Wayne Taylor Racing emerged to win its third consecutive Rolex 24 race, in its first race with its new Acura ARX-05 car and with an entirely new driver lineup. The top finishing Cadillac and sole Mazda ensured all three brands were on the DPi podium.

Chevrolet Corvette and Mercedes-AMG dominated the GT Le Mans and GT Daytona ranks, respectively, with both brands securing 1-2 finishes in their classes. BMW (GTLM) and Lamborghini (GTD) rounded out the class podiums, with both brands’ Rolex 24 win streaks snapped at two and three years.

Corvette Racing won its first Rolex 24 with the C8.R and first for the team since a 1-2 finish in 2016, while race and series debutantes Winward Racing captured the GTD win ahead of SunEnergy1 Racing.

Era Motorsport (LMP2) and Riley Motorsports (LMP3) won the pro-am prototype classes. Era’s car had a special livery this race, designed by a six-year-old fan of the team.

Michelin Pilot Challenge Notes
  • Friday’s MICHELIN Pilot Challenge race featured dominance by AWA’s McLaren in GS and a late-race pass for the lead in TCR. Kuno Wittmer and Orey Fidani captured the overall and GS win in their No. 13 McLaren 570S GT4, ahead of four BMW M4 GT4 cars. Mikey Taylor moved to the TCR lead on the last restart in his No. 17 JDC-Miller Audi RS3 LMS SEQ car and held onto win the race over the top Honda Civic Type R and Hyundai Veloster N TCR entries.
  • The TCR class ran with a newly developed MICHELIN® Pilot® Sport GT S9M+ tire, which was an evolutionary step developed and tested over the offseason. This tire ran only on the front axles.
  • A total of 137 cars raced with Michelin in the three IMSA race series and the Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich® Tires over the two weeks at Daytona, a total which matched the 2019 SuperSebring event at Sebring International Raceway that included three IMSA race series and the FIA World Endurance Championship. The 137 cars at Daytona in 2021 covered 18 automotive brands, and was split into 49 WeatherTech Championship cars, 42 MICHELIN Pilot Challenge cars, 19 Prototype Challenge cars and 27 MX-5 Cup cars. In this week’s Michelin Tire Tech Tip Minute on NBC Sports, reporter Parker Kligerman explained how the preparation occurred.
Race Winners:

Michelin congratulates the race winners at Daytona International Speedway:

WeatherTech Championship (Rolex 24 At Daytona)

  • DPi: Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque, Alexander Rossi, Helio Castroneves, No. 10 Konica Minolta Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05
  • LMP2: Kyle Tilley, Dwight Merriman, Ryan Dalziel, Paul-Loup Chatin, No. 18 Era Motorsport ORECA 07
  • LMP3: Oliver Askew, Spencer Pigot, Scott Andrews, Gar Robinson, No. 74 Riley Motorsports Ligier JS P320
  • GTLM: Jordan Taylor, Nicky Catsburg, Antonio Garcia, No. 3 Corvette C8.R
  • GTD: Russell Ward, Indy Dontje, Philip Ellis, Maro Engel, No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3

Top scoring teams in the first race of the four-race IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup were:

  • DPi: No. 10 Konica Minolta Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05
  • LMP2: No. 8 Tower Motorsport ORECA 07
  • LMP3: No. 74 Riley Motorsports Ligier JS P320
  • GTLM: No. 4 Corvette C8.R
  • GTD: No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3

MICHELIN Pilot Challenge (BMW Endurance Challenge)

  • GS: Kuno Wittmer, Orey Fidani, No. 13 AWA McLaren 570S GT4
  • TCR: Mikey Taylor, William Tally, Chris Miller, No. 17 JDC-Miller Audi RS3 LMS SEQ
Next Up:

IMSA heads to Sebring International Raceway in March with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring event. All of the WeatherTech Championship, MICHELIN Pilot Challenge and Prototype Challenge series race at Sebring. Additionally, the new Porsche Carrera Cup North America series makes its debut.

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2021 Rolex 24 Recap

Tuesday February 2, 2021