Wayne Taylor Racing wins its third consecutive Rolex 24 at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Wayne Taylor Racing won its 3rd successive Rolex 24 at Daytona, connecting the record held by Chip Ganassi Racing, its chief opposition for the success Sunday.

Filipe Albuquerque brought the No. 10 Acura of WTR to the checkered flag ahead of Kamui Kobayashi in the No. 48 Ally Cadillac, followed by Harry Tincknell in the No. 55 Mazda and Juan Pablo Montoya in the No. 60 Acura of Meyer Shank Racing.

It was the 4th Rolex 24 success in 5 years and 5th general for Wayne Taylor Racing which is one shy of Ganassi’s record of 6 general success. Ganassi was the first string to win 3 successive in 2006-08. It likewise was Acura’s very first Rolex 24 success.

After installing a severe obstacle on Albuquerque for the success throughout the last stint, Renger van der Zande ended up fifth in the No. 01 Ganassi Cadillac due to the fact that of a blown right-rear tire with 8 minutes staying, the 2nd tire failure for the vehicle in the last 3 hours on the 3.56-mile roadway course.

Albuquerque’s lead was closed to less than a 10th of a 2nd on a furious charge with 15 minutes staying by van der Zande, who won the previous 2 Rolex 24s with WTR however was fired after the 2021 season as the group changed from Cadillac to Acura.

Albuquerque took control of the wheel with about 90 minutes staying from Ricky Taylor. Indianapolis 500 winners Helio Castroneves and Alexander Rossi were the other co-drivers.

Kobayahsi, who was teamed with seven-time NASCAR champ Jimmie Johnson, was attempting to end up being the very first chauffeur in Rolex 24 history to win the general title in each of his very first 3 starts in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Champion season opener.

It was the 3rd runner-up general surface in the Rolex 24 for Johnson, who likewise ended up second in 2005 and ’08.

The race developed into a dogfight with 2 and a half hours staying when Scott Dixon had a right-rear tire failure leaving Turn 6 (however was lucky to prevent any damage). The yellow flag accumulated the field for a crazy reboot with the leading 4 automobiles still running within a 2nd for 5 laps after the green.

The lead altered hands a number of times over the last 2 hours as Albuquerque and van der Zande took turns at the front with Tincknell and Kobayashi in hot pursuit.

In his Rolex 24 launching, safeguarding Cup Series champion Chase Elliott ended up ninth general (6th in the DPi class) as part of the No. 31 group, which lost 22 laps after suffering a damaged equipment with about 5 hours staying.

Elliott figured he was done at that point after taking taken 2 turns in the vehicle, however he returned in after the repair work were made. He was pleased to complete strong after a frustrating opening run Saturday night.

“We’re obviously out of the race at this point, but I feel like my progression has been a lot better than that first one,” Elliott informed NBC Sports pit press reporter Kelli Stavast. “I got back in about 3 o’clock this morning and feel like I made a lot of gains. I’m not (at his teammates’) pace by any means but a lot closer to the point where I didn’t feel like I put us in a huge hole like I did that first run.

“So just really appreciate these guys letting me be here. It’s been a lot of fun. This is quite the event. What an amazing race this is. Honor to be a part of it. I hope I get to come back and apply some of the things I’ve learned and be able to be more of a help next time around. Just really enjoyed my time.”

So did Johnson – a minimum of till the seven-time Cup Series champ needed to enjoy his group battle to the surface. After beginning the race in the No. 48, Johnson stated he carried out well throughout a middle-of-the-night stint when he led and handled the speed. He was smiling broadly when he took a seat with NBC Sports experts Steve Letarte and Kyle Petty with simply under 90 minutes staying in the race however stated his “stomach was in a knot” enjoying the surface.

“There’s plenty of nerves that come with this smile,” stated Johnson, who was making his very first Rolex 24 start in a years. “As we’ve been talking, this DPi category is so stacked from top to bottom. When I ran this race 10 years ago, a NASCAR guy could make his way through and not give up too much, and it was fine. What’s required now and the effort these guys put in and how good these guys are, it is so impressive. I’ve had a lot of fun. I had some good stints, and I had a bad stint.

“I’m just to a point in life that I have these opportunities that I can create and my passion to drive, my passion to experience different series, different cars, different tracks, is higher than it’s ever been. It was tough to make a decision to walk away from NASCAR, but the excitement about these experiences really spoke to me, and I’m making the most of it now and really enjoying it.”

Other class winners:

LMP2: The No. 18 of Age Motorsport

GTLM: The No. 3 C8.R of Corvette Racing (which won on the 20-year anniversary of Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr. sharing the very same vehicle in the Rolex 24). In a postrace declaration, Corvette revealed that winning chauffeur Antonio Garcia had actually evaluated favorable for COVID-19.

GTD: The No. 57 Mercedes of Winward Racing

LMP3: The No. 74 Riley Motorsports, that includes IndyCar veterans Spencer Pigot and Oliver Askew

Wayne Taylor Racing wins its 3rd successive Rolex 24 at Daytona initially appeared on NBCSports.com

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.