A new driver lineup didn’t affect Wayne Taylor Racing as the team kept its Rolex 24 title Sunday. Both of Taylor’s sons have moved to other teams, leaving only Renger Van der Zende as the sole holdover. Taylor signed Ryan Briscoe from Chip Ganassi’s defunct Ford GT program. Scott Dixon and Kamui Kobayashi joined the squad for the 24 hour race. The Cadillac took the lead for good in the early morning hours and ran away from the field. It was the third victory in four years for WTR.
The number 10 car completed a record 833 laps in a race that had less than two hours of caution periods. At one point the green flag stayed out for more than seven hours. The long green flag stretches took a lot of dram out of the race as trailing cars had little chance to close up to the leaders.
As usual, the best racing through the night was in the GTLM class. The two Porsches had a great battle with the BMW from Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. The BMW eventually prevailed, solidifying its lead after sunrise. Drivers in the winning car were Johm Edwards, Augusto Farfus, Chaz Mostert, and Jesse Krohn. Rahal’s other car won the Rolex 24 in 2019.
In LMP2, Dragonspeed retained its Rolex title. Drivers Ben Hanley, Henrik Hedman, Colin Braun, and Harrison Newey. Dragonspeed is planning a six race Indycar program in addition to its sportscar plans. The team took the lead when the pole sitting Mathiasen Motorsports had an issue.
A Lamborghini was expected to win in GTD and the marque didn’t disappoint. Paul Miller Racing’s car went to Victory Circle. Drivers Madison Snow, Bryan Sellers, Corey Lewis, and Andrew Caldarelli took home the watches.
Sebastien Bourdais finished third in his full time sports car debut. The Mustang Sampling team had reconfigured itself in the JDC-Mille stable after leaving Action Express.
Scott Dixon added to his legacy as one racing’s all time greats with his third Rolex24 overall win, tying him for second on the all time roster.
Perseverance award– The crew of the number 4 Corvette spent most of the night hours attempting to find an engine issue. The engine was in pieces in the early morning hours, and the car returned to the track after sunrise. The team spent six hours to complete the repair.
Keating Loves to Drive- Ben Keating drove the number 52 LMP2 car to the pole, then started the race. He also drove the Riley Motorsports Mercedes in GTD. Just doing the math to figure out how he could split his time between the cars and stay within driver time limits was impressive. Keating also drove in Friday’s Michelin Pilot Challenge race.
GEAR has Misfortune- The all female team of Katherine Legge, Christina Nielsen, Tatiana Calderon, and Rachel Frey had a difficult start to the season. The car slowed on the backstretch around 11:30 pm. It limped back to the pits. Early in the morning, the car caught fire with Nielsen behind the wheel. She was not injured, but their race was over.
The IMSA Weather Tech Championship Series next races at the 12 Hours of Sebring March 21. The WEC series will also be there for a 1,000 mile race on Friday.