Sunday, January 25, 2015

Ganassi All-Stars Sip Way to 24 Hours of Daytona Victory

Scott Dixon led the first lap and he led the final lap of the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans as the #02 Ganassi Racing Ford Riley took victory. It is Dixon's second career win in the 24 Hours of Daytona and Ganassi Racing's sixth 24 Hours of Daytona victory in the last ten runnings. Dixon won the 2006 race with Dan Wheldon and Casey Mears as his co-drivers.

Dixon's co-driver for this year's race each put their names in the record books. Jamie McMurray joins Mario Andretti and A.J. Foyt as the only drivers to win the 24 Hours and Daytona 500. Tony Kanaan becomes the 13th Indianapolis 500 winner to win the 24 Hours of Daytona joining Andretti, Mark Donohue, Bobby Rahal, Foyt, Al Unser, Al Unser, Jr., Arie Luyendyk, Dixon, Dan Wheldon, Juan Pablo Montoya, Dario Franchitti and Buddy Rice as the drivers to do so. This is Kyle Larson's first 24 Hours of Daytona victory in his second appearance.

The 2014 Daytona winners Sébastien Bourdais, Christian Fittipaldi and João Barbosa came home in second position with the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP of Jordan Taylor, Ricky Taylor and Max Angelelli finishing third. The #10 were beat on fuel mileage and had to make a driver change will ten minutes to go so Jordan Taylor did not go over the maximum drive time. Dixon was able to stretch his fuel three laps longer than the #10 on stints, giving him the advantage on the final two pit stops.

The #90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP came home in fourth, six laps down with Mike Rockenfeller, Michael Valiante and Richard Westbrook.

The #3 Corvette finished fifth overall and wins the GTLM class with Jan Magnussen, Antonio García and Ryan Briscoe holding off the #25 RLLR BMW Z4 GTE of Dirk Werner, Bill Auberlen, Augusto Farfus and Bruno Spengler by 0.478 seconds. The top two in GTLM finished 15 laps down.

The #31 Action Express Racing Corvette DP of Phil Keen, Max Papis, Eric Curran and Dane Cameron finished seventh overall, 19 laps down. The #4 Corvette of Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Simon Pagenaud round out the GTLM podium by finishing eighth overall, 22 laps down.

A late accident by the #54 CORE Autosport Oreca handed the PC class victory to the #52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca of Tom Kimber-Smith, Andrew Palmer, Mike Guasch and Andrew Novich. Colin Braun spun the #54 Oreca on exit of the bus stop and hit the outside barrier, ending their hopes of back-to-back PC victories at Daytona. The #52 finished ninth overall, 26 laps down. The #16 BAR1 Motorsports Oreca of Johnny Mowlem, Tom Papadopoulos, Martin Plowman, Tomy Drissi and Brian Adler rounded out the top ten overall, second in PC, a lap back of the #52.

The pole-sitting #60 Michael Shank Racing Ligier-Honda finished 11th, 35 laps down with Oswaldo Negri, John Pew, A.J. Allmendinger and Matt McMurry after stopping on course under that final caution for Braun's accident. The #54 CORE Autosport Oreca of Braun, Jon Bennett, Mark Wilkins and James Gue finished 12th, third in PC.

The #93 Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper of Dominik Farnbacher, Ben Keating, Kuno Wittmer, Cameron Lawrence and Al Carter win GTD, finishing 13th overall, 36 laps down. The #22 Alex Job Porsche of Shane Van Gisbergen, Leh Keen, Cooper MacNeil and Andrew Davis finished second in GTD, 7.588 seconds back of the Viper. Rounding out the top fifteen and the GTD podium, two laps back of the #93 Viper was the #58 Wright Motorsports Brumos Porsche of Philipp Eng, Madison Snow, Jan Heylen and Patrick Dempsey.

The next round of the 2015 IMSA United SportsCar Championship will be the 12 Hours of Sebring on March 21st.