Record-setting 1-2 for Ford at Rolex 24

January 28, 2018

Record-setting 1-2 for Ford at Rolex 24

January 28, 2018

Ford Chip Ganassi Racing delivered one of the more dominant performances ever at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, with a 1-2 finish in the GT Le Mans class to cap off a banner month of January and a number of records set in the process.

The pair of Ford GTs led all but a handful of laps en route to the 1-2 finish, with the trio of Richard Westbrook, Ryan Briscoe and Scott Dixon in their No. 67 Ford GT ending a winless drought since the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park race in July 2016.

Additionally, the win delivered Chip Ganassi Racing its 200th win overall as a team across multiple series, and in a race where Ganassi served as grand marshal. The first was an IndyCar race in Australia in 1994, with Michael Andretti driving. This is the team’s eighth Rolex 24 win and second straight in the GTLM class.

The trio combined to finish 783 laps, which beat the prior overall record of 762 laps set in 1992 in a Nissan R91 CP. The trio also beat the old mileage record (2,760.96 miles set on an old 3.84-mile configuration) on the shorter, current 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway layout.

Their No. 67 Ford GT finished ahead of the sister No. 66 Ford GT of Dirk Mueller, Joey Hand and Sebastien Bourdais, who led the majority of the race themselves, but lost the lead on the third-to-last pit sequence in the 22nd hour.

While the No. 66 car was out front, the No. 67 powered past when Westbrook was behind the wheel.

On the second-to-last stop, the No. 67 team opted to swap Westbrook for Briscoe to the finish. Both cars’ final stops came with 39 minutes to go, and they exited the pits in the same order. Hand ended 11.166 seconds back, unofficially.

Corvette Racing’s No. 3 C7.R of Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia and Mike Rockenfeller completed the podium in third, but never really challenged for the race win. Magnussen took the pole, but both Fords were past by the end of the first lap. The second Corvette was fourth, making it an all-American marque top-four sweep in class.

All of the lone Risi Competizione Ferrari, No. 912 Porsche and No. 24 BMW M8 GTE laid their case for fifth place with the Risi Ferrari ultimately grabbing that spot as best of the rest.

An incident at the Bus Stop delayed the No. 911 Porsche and a cut tire from debris slowed the No. 25 BMW, but both cars still finished the race.

Overall and in Prototype, Action Express Racing took the victory with its No. 5 Cadillac DPi-V.R, and like Ganassi also made history.

The trio of Filipe Albuquerque, Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi combined to set both a new lap and distance record in this race, eclipsing records set in 1992 (762 laps) and 1982 (2,760.96 miles, on longer 3.84-mile circuit) this race. They finished 808 laps and 2,876.48 miles.

GRT Grasser Racing Team won in GT Daytona with a Lamborghini Huracan GT3, with the quartet of Mirko Bortolotti, Franck Perera, Rik Breukers and Rolf Ineichen.

This post will be updated.







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