Rolex 24 GTLM recap

January 29, 2018

Rolex 24 GTLM recap

January 29, 2018

Most of the headlines in the immediate aftermath of the Rolex 24 at Daytona centered around Ford Chip Ganassi Racing, which dominated the race with a 1-2 finish in the GT Le Mans class.

Elsewhere there were still plenty of stories in class. Here’s a look at the rest of the runners beyond Ford:

CORVETTE RACING

Corvette Racing finished third and fourth to kick off the team’s 20th professional sports car season of competition. Jan Magnussen scored the pole in the No. 3 Corvette C7.R, and shared it with Antonio Garcia and Mike Rockenfeller to lead home the sister No. 4 car driven by Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Marcel Fassler.

“I think we can be happy. We again didn’t make any mistakes by the drivers, the pit stops were fine… we may have had an unscheduled stop for brakes,” said Garcia, who shared last year’s GTLM title with Magnussen. “Other than that, everything worked perfect. We just didn’t have the pace.

“It was a little bit like what happened a lot last year. If this was Lime Rock, I’d be super happy with third. But here at Daytona or Le Mans, you only want to win.”

RISI COMPETIZIONE

Risi Competizione Ferrari fought through a handful of issues to end a solid fifth, although it ended the team’s run of three straight podiums to end 2017. Still, all of Toni Vilander, Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado and Davide Rigon did the job, with Calado setting the race’s fastest lap.

“I think you always want to be confident going into the weekend, but I knew even though I wasn’t at the Roar that both the Fords and Corvettes looked a little bit outside of our reach,” Calado said. “I was just hoping we would maybe get some good luck on our side, but unfortunately, lady luck didn’t arrive, and we had a lot of issues to deal with, which cost us quite a lot.

“But, saying that, I don’t think we had the pace to be on the podium, so it’s something I hope is addressed if we continue to race. All the guys have done an amazing job. The car’s always immaculate when we start the race, and everyone works so hard, so a big thank you to everyone at Risi, especially Giuseppe. Let’s hope we get another shot and another race win.”

PORSCHE GT TEAM

Porsche started its season in sixth and eighth after a challenging outing for the pair of 911 RSRs. Nick Tandy lost the back end at the Bus Stop chicane at one stage, but brought the car home for the team to make timely repairs and get him back out there.

“After such an unfortunate race we have to look at things in a positive light,” Tandy admitted. “For instance, one positive aspect is that the team pulled together as one unit this week. Everyone knew what they had to do. Plus we didn’t have any problems during free practice and were going well early on in the race. We now need to build on this. Daytona is an important race, there’s no question about that, but the season has only just begun.”

BMW TEAM RLL

The debut for the new BMW M8 GTE could be classified as a success, with both cars avoiding the usual reliability pitfalls that can hit a new car in its first race. Both cars finished, and the No. 24 car was unlucky to miss out on a top-five finish in the final hours.

“I think it is a great achievement to have completed the first tough 24-hour race for the new BMW M8 GTE without any significant technical problems. Due to the car’s BoP we were not where we wanted to be, but we showed great team spirit and fought to the very end,” said Augusto Farfus, one of BMW’s extra endurance drivers who shared the No. 24 car with John Edwards, Jesse Krohn and Nicky Catsburg.

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