Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Chip Ganassi Racing and Ford EcoBoost Engine Wins 2015 Rolex 24 At Daytona

Photo Credit: 304336 Richard Dole LAT Photo USA for IMSA


Celebrated as the start to the professional yearly motorsport in North American, the Rolex 24 at Daytona is a daylong test of some of the world’s greatest sports cars. The 2015 edition of the endurance classic on Daytona International Speedway’s 3.56-mile road course collected 53 cars in four classes controlled by drivers from various countries and motorsport disciplines. In addition, the opening round of the new Tudor United SportsCar Championship, the Rolex 24 at Daytona presented the opportunity to start a new season on a high note.

At the front of the 53-car grid in pole qualifying, Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian newly acquired Honda-powered Ligier JS P2 driven by Oswaldo Negri took the top spot overall. The #60 Honda Ligier was one of the fastest cars in the prototype category leading up to the start of the 24-hour race. However, as the clock ticked through the course of the 2015 Rolex 24 at Daytona, the #02 Ford EcoBoost Riley of Chip Ganassi Racing emerged as the race’s main rabbit. Piloted by the accomplished IndyCar star Scott Dixon, the Target/Ford EcoBoost prototype took the lead on the first lap of the race.

The early stage of the race was also noted for an impressive start for the #0 DeltaWing DWC13. Starting the race with a refreshed driver line-up for 2015 that included former Chip Ganassi Racing driver Memo Rojas, the uniquely structured race car qualified fifth and was optimistic for a solid outing in its second Rolex 24 at Daytona event. Sadly, the DeltaWing race team’s effort ended in the second hour of the event due to a transmission problem.

As the clocked reached 2PM on Sunday, a late race sprint following a full-course yellow provided enough of an advantage for the #02 Ford EcoBoost-powered Chip Ganassi Racing machine to claim the sports car win. Completing a 740-lap (2634.4-mile) distance, the winning driving team of Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray pulled off owner Chip Ganassi’s sixth overall victory at the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Drawing drivers from IndyCar and NASCAR, the combination held off the #5 Action Express Racing team by 1.333 seconds for the win. Commenting on his record-setting honour, team owner Ganassi said, “It starts with Felix, my partner, and it starts with Mike Hull. No story about any records at this team would be complete without mentioning their names in the same breath, it’s that simple. I don’t put the teams together, I don’t change the tires, and I don’t build the engines. I’ve said this before, I don’t do the pit stops, Mike Hull makes all that happen. He’s my brother from another mother, I guess. It’s a great honor.”



Photo Credit: Ford Motor Company

 
The new Corvette DP C7-derived bodywork made a magnificent showing in the 2015 Rolex at Daytona. During the race, the #5 Action Express Racing and the #10 car for Wayne Taylor Racing led a fair share of the 740 total laps in the event. The defending winner of the Rolex 24 race, the #5 Action Express Racing machine led though early Sunday morning but ended up settling for the runner-up position. The #10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP led for 264 laps to a third place result. In addition to fighting the #02 car for the lead, both top Corvette DP race cars battled fiercely among each other. A late service stop resulted in contact between the #5 and #10 entering pit road at the same time creating quite a scene. The #5 driver Joao Barbosa and the #5 pilot Jordan Taylor brushed Corvette side panels but ultimately concluded the 2015 Rolex 24 at Daytona with nothing more than mutual displeasure.


Photo Credit: Richard Prince for Chevy Racing


For the #10 car, all the fighting was for not. After the race, the sanctioning body stripped the Wayne Taylor Racing team of their podium finish. The infraction related to driver Jordan Taylor exceeding the amount of time he was permitted to remain in the vehicle within the finish six-hour stage of the race. Jordan Taylor lost drivers’ points but co-drivers Ricky Taylor and Max Angelelli retained their points. Due to the disqualification of the #10 Corvette DP car, the #90 of VisitFlorida.com Racing car was promoted to third in the final standings. Six laps behind the leader while the fourth place #31 Action Express Racing Corvette DP was 19 laps down. Michael Shank Racing’s new Honda Ligier was classified in the fifth place position at the end in the vehicle’s debut.

In what has been another rich, diverse cast of drivers and cars for 2015, the GTLM class was hotly contested at the 2015 Rolex 24 at Daytona. As the race progressed, it was Corvette Racing team fending off a fierce fight from the BMW Team RLL (Rahal Letterman Lanigan). The #3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R and the #25 BMW Z4 GTE were evenly matched. After 24 hours, the last green flag sprint left Bill Auberlen chasing Jan Magnussen. “That was a nail biter for the last ten to fifteen minutes. The final yellow came in just the right moment for us so we were lucky at the end.” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. With a couple laps that could radically change the outcome of the 700-plus laps prior, the Corvette C7.R remained steady as the BMW charged hard. With only a 0.478-second margin of victory, the #3 Corvette Racing was victorious. Not as triumphant as the 2001 overall victory achieved by the Corvette Racing team, the effort served as solace to the disappointment that the Chevrolet Corvette DP cars were bested by the EcoBoost powered machine for Chip Ganassi Racing for 2015. 


Photo Credit: Richard Prince for Chevy Racing



After the class victory, Jan Magnussen commented on the achievement saying, “I've always felt that I was within a shot of winning the race, but we always had to go back to the garage sometime to fix something, and that was the big thing this weekend was that we had a really, really fast race car, and we were able to push hard. We stayed out of trouble, no mistakes; no damage to the car, good pit stops, great pit stops, and that was the key to winning this race.” The companion Corvette Racing #4 car finished third at the Rolex 24 despite a four-lap long repair required after a collision between the Chevrolet Corvette C7.R and a prototype series machine.

The GT Daytona category did feature some fast Ferraris and Porsches over the course of 24 hours but it was a Dodge Viper at the front when it counted. Due to Dodge pulling factory-supported SRT Motorsports effort from the IMSA Tudor United SportsCar Championship after last season, the GTD class featured the highest hopes for Mopar fans. The #93 Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R fielded by Riley Motorsports led often during the 24-hour distance on the Daytona International Speedway road course. Car owner Ben Keating aided by Al Carter and Cameron Lawrence as well as SRT Motorsports cast-offs Kuno Wittmer and Dominik Farnbacher drove solidly for the Riley Motorsports. However, in the final laps, the #22 Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America closed to less than 6.5 seconds but simply could not deny the #93 Riley Motorsports Viper victory in the GTD category.


Photo Credit: Porsche Cars North America

 
The Prototype Challenge category came down to the last moments in the Rolex 24 at Daytona. It looked like a class win for #54 Core autosport after what has been a steady drive at the front. Leading by 47 seconds with 27 minutes remaining, the #54 car, driven through its last stint by Colin Braun, ran afoul of a slower Daytona Prototype machine. According to Braun and Core autosport, the Daytona Prototype car made contact with his vehicle causing him to spinout. Recovering from the spin, rear suspension damage caused by the incident punctured the oil tank causing a fire-filled end to the long-leading Prototype Challenge car. As a result, class victory went to the #52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports team helmed by Mike Guasch, Andrew Novich, Andrew Palmer and Tom Kimber-Smith in the last stint. Similar to what happened to the Wayne Taylor Racing car in the Prototype category, the second-place team at the line had to relinquish its effort due to a drive trim violation. The #16 BAR1 Motorsports car’s exclusion allowed the #54 car to claim the runner-up spot in the Prototype Challenge class.

 
 Red- Prototype
Green- Prootype Challenge
Blue- GTLM
Yellow- GTD


Race Pos. Class Pos. Laps Completed Car # Driver Line-up Sponsor Team/Owner Car/Chassis Engine
1 1 740 02 Scott Dixon / New Zealand Target/Ford EcoBoost Riley Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Riley DP Ford EcoBoost




Tony Kanaan / Salvador, Brazil







Kyle Larson / Sacramento, CA







Jamie McMurray / Joplin, MO












2 2 740 5 Joao Barbosa / Porto, Portugal Action Express Racing Mustang Sampling Corvette DP Chevrolet




Christian Fittipaldi / Sao Paolo, Brazil







Sébastien Bourdais / Le Mans, France












3 3 734 90 Richard Westbrook / London, England VisitFlorida.com Racing VisitFlorida.com Corvette DP Chevrolet




Michael Valiante / Burnaby, Canada







Mike Rockenfeller / Neuwied, Germany












4 1 725 3 Jan Magnussen / Roskilde, Denmark Corvette Racing Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R Chevrolet




Antonio Garcia / Barcelona, Spain







Ryan Briscoe / Mooresville, NC












5 2 725 25 Bill Auberlen / Redondo Beach, CA BMW Team RLL IHG Rewards Club BMW Z4 GTE BMW




Dirk Werner / Hanover, Germany







Augusto Farfus / Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil







Bruno Spengler / Schiltigheim, France












6 4 721 31 Eric Curran / Holyoke, MA Action Express Racing Whelen Engineering / Team Fox Corvette DP Chevrolet




Dane Cameron / Charlotte, NC







Max Papis / Como, Italy







Phil Keen / England












7 3 718 4 Oliver Gavin / Yardley Hastings, England Corvette Racing Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R Chevrolet




Tommy Milner / Lake Mary, FL







Simon Pagenaud / Poitiers, France













1 714 52 Mike Guasch / Pleasant Hill, CA PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Cuttwood / Spyder Orafol ORECA FLM09 Chevrolet
8


Andrew Novich / Novato, CA







Andrew Palmer / Claremont, CA







Tom Kimber-Smith / Henley on Thames, England












9 5 705 60 John Pew / Palm Beach, FL Micheal Shank Racing Curb Record / Aero Ligier JS PS2 Honda HPD




Oswaldo Negri, Jr. / Aventura, FL With Curb/Agajanian






AJ Allmendinger / Denver, NC







Matt McMurry / Phoenix, AZ












10 2 704 54 Jon Bennett / Charlotte, NC CORE autosport Composite Resources / Flex Box ORECA FLM09 Chevrolet




Colin Braun / Charlotte, NC







Mark Wilkins / Toronto, Canada







James Gue / Alpharetta, GA












11 1 704 93 Ben Keating / Port Lavaca, TX Riley Motorsports TI Automotive Dodge Viper SRT Viper V10




Dominik Farnbacher / Ansbach, Germany







Al Carter / Greenville, DE







Kuno Wittmer / Montreal, Canada







Cameron Lawrence / Windermere, FL



12








2 704 22 Cooper MacNeil / Hinsdale, IL Alex Job Racing WeatherTech Porsche 911 GT America Porsche




Leh Keen / Atlanta, GA







Andrew Davis / Athens, GA







Shane van Gisbergen / Auckland, New Zealand



13








3 702 58 Madison Snow / Lehi, UT Wright Motorsports Brumos Porsche / Beautyrest Black Porsche 911 GT America Porsche




Jan Heylen / Tampa, FL







Patrick Dempsey / Malibu, CA







Philipp Eng / Salzburg, Austria












14 4 701 24 John Edwards / Cincinnati, OH BMW Team RLL IHG Rewards Club BMW Z4 GTE BMW




Lucas Luhr / Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany







Jens Klingmann / Heidelberg, Germany







Graham Rahal / Columbus, OH












15 3 701 85 Mikhail Goikhberg / Vancouver, Canada JDC/Miller Motorsports La Moderna ORECA FLM09 Chevrolet




Chris Miller / Edina, MN







Stephen Simpson / United Kingdom







Rusty Mitchell / Midland, TX












16 4 701 49 Pasin Lathouras / Thailand AF Corse NaRaYa Ferrari 458 Italia Ferrari




Michele Rugolo / Italy







Rui Aguas / Portugal







Matt Griffin / Ireland












17 5 695 48 Christopher Haase / Waging am See, Germany Paul Miller Racing Castrol EDGE Audi R8 LMS Audi




Bryce Miller / Summit, NJ







Dion von Moltke / Coral Gables, FL







René Rast / Frankfurt, Germany












18 6 691 63 Bill Sweedler / Wesport, CT Scuderia Corsa Robert Graham / Royal Purple Ferrari 458 Italia Ferrari




Townsend Bell / San Luis Obispo, CA







Anthony Lazzaro / Atlanta, GA







Jeff Segal / Philadelphia, PA












19 7 687 81 Damien Faulkner / Ireland GB Autosport Tully's Coffee Porsche 911 GT America Porsche




Kuba Giermaziak / Poland







Mike Skeen / Charlotte, NC







Rory Butcher / Scotland







Michael Avenatti / Los Angeles, CA












20 8 678 009 Derek DeBoer / Central Point, OR TRG-AMR LaSalle / Royal Purple/ Orion Energy / PassTime USA Aston Martin V12 Vantage Aston Martin




Max Riddle / Vancouver, Canada






Eliseo Salazar / Chile







Kris Wilson / Monument, CO







Brandon Davis / Napa, CA












21 9 674 33 Ben Keating / Port Lavaca, TX Riley Motorsports TI Automotive Dodge Viper SRT Viper V10




Jeroen Bleekemolen / Monte Carlo, Monaco







Al Carter / Greenville, DE







Marc Goossens / Geel, Blegium







Sebastiaan Bleekemolen / Monte Carlo, Monaco












22 6 670 01 Scott Pruett / Auburn, CA Ford EcoBoost /Target Riley Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Riley DP Ford EcoBoost




Joey Hand / Sacramento, CA







Charlie Kimball / Chertsey, United Kingdom







Sage Karam / Nazareth, PA












23 10 669 45 Markus Winkelhock / Germany Flying Lizard Motorsports D Station / OSMO / eSilicon Audi R8 LMS Audi




Robert Thorne / Littleton, CO







Satoshi Hoshino / Japan







Tomonobu Fujii / Japan












24 7 644 66 Robert Gewirtz / Columbus, OH RG Racing
Riley DP BMW Power




Shane Lewis / Jupiter, FL







Mark Kvamme / Columbus, OH







David Cheng / Sammamish, WA












25 5 640 911 Nick Tandy / Bedford, United Kingdom Porsche North America Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR Porsche




Patrick Pilet / Auch, France







Marc Lieb / Ludwigsburg, Germany













6 632 98 Pedro Lamy / Lisbon, Portugal Aston Martin Racing Gulf Aston Martin Vantage V8 Aston Martin
26


Paul Dalla Lana / Toronto, Canada







Darren Turner / Banbury, United Kingdom







Stefan Mücke / Berlin, Germany







Matthias Lauda / Salzburg, Austria












27 11 616 44 John Potter / Salt Lake City, UT Magnus Racing Flex Box / Children's Tumor Foundation Porsche 911 GT America Porsche




Andy Lally / Dacula, GA







Marco Seefried / Germany







Martin Ragginger / Salzburg, Austria












28 12 604 97 Michael Marsal / New York, NY Turner Motorsport Alvarez & Marsal BMW Z4 BMW




Markus Palttala / Belgium







Andy Priaulx / Guernsey, Channel Islands







Boris Said / Escondido, CA












29 13 593 007 Christina Nielsen / Horshholm, Denmark TRG-AMR Orion Energy / Royal Purple Aston Martin V12 Vantage Aston Martin




James Davison / Melbourne, Australia







Christoffer Nygaard / Denmark







Brandon Davis / Huntington Beach, CA












30 8 590 50 Jim Pace / Ridgeland, MS Fifty Plus Racing Endures for a Cure Fifty Plus Racing Endures for a Cure, Inc. Riley DP BMW Power




Byron DeFoor / Ooltweah, TN
/ Highway to Help Race Team





David Hinton / Clearwater, FL







Dorsey Schroeder / Little Torch Key, FL












31 7 581 912 Jörg Bergmeister / Leverkusen, Germany Porsche North America Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR Porsche




Earl Bamber / Whanganui, New Zealand







Frédéric Makowiecki / Arras, France












32 14 545 64 Francisco Longo / São Paulo , Brazil Scuderia Corsa viaitaliaracing.com.br Ferrari 458 Italia Ferrari




Daniel Serra / São Paulo , Brazil







Marcos Gomes / São Paulo , Brazil







Andrea Bertolini / Sassuolo , Italy












33 15 539 18 Darryl O'Young / Tin Hau, Hong Kong Muehlner Motorsports America
Porsche 911 GT America Porsche




Matteo Beretta / Lecco, Italy







Marc Basseng / Rosenbach, Germany







Connor De Phillippi / San Clemente, CA







Nikolaus Mayr-Meinhof / Frohnlieten, Austria












34 4 535 11 Chris Cumming / Vancouver, Canada RSR Racing AutoMaxUSA ORECA FLM09 Chevrolet




Bruno Junqueira / Belo Horizonte, Brazil







Jack Hawksworth / Bradford, England







Gustavo Menezes / Los Angeles, CA












35 16 532 73 Patrick Lindsey / Santa Barbara, CA Park Place Motorsports Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT America Porsche




Spencer Pumpelly / Atlanta, GA







Jim Norman / Tampa, FL







David Ducote / Houston, TX







Kevin Estre / Lothau, Austria












36 8 530 17 Wolf Henzler / Nürtingen, Germany Team Falken Tire Falken Tire Porsche 991 RSR Porsche




Bryan Sellers / Atlanta, GA







Patrick Long / Thousand Oaks, CA












37 9 426 7 Brendon Hartley / Palmerston North, New Zealand Starworks Motorsport Martini Riley DP BMW Power




Rubens Barrichello / São Paulo , Brazil







Ryan Hunter-Reay / Fort Lauderdale, FL







Tor Graves / Thailand







Scott Mayer / Franklin, WI












38 17 414 19 Jim Michaelian / Seal Beach, CA Muehlner Motorsports America
Porsche 911 GT America Porsche




Matteo Beretta / Lecco, Italy







Connor De Phillippi / San Clemente, CA







Ricardo Flores / Daytona, FL







Nikolaus Mayr-Meinhof/ Frohnlieten, Austria












39 10 389 1 Scott Sharp / West Palm Beach, FL Tequila Patron ESM Tequila Patron Honda HPD ARX Honda




Ryan Dalziel / Orlando, FL







David Heinemeier Hansson / Copenhagen, Denmark












40 5 361 61 Martin Plowman / United Kingdom BAR1 Motorsports Southwest Realty Advisors ORECA FLM09 Chevrolet




Marc Drumwright / Houston, TX







Ivo Breukers/ Netherlands







Shelby Blackstock/ Cornelius, NC







Remo Rusitti/ Burnaby, Canada












41 11 348 07 Joel Miller / Hesperia, CA SpeedSource Mazda / Castrol / ModSpace Mazda Mazda




Tom Long / Raleigh, NC







Ben Devlin / England







Sylvain Tremblay / Parkland, FL












42 9 310 62 Pierre Kaffer / Germany Risi Competizione
Ferrari F458 Italia Ferrari




Davide Rigon / Thiene, Italy







Giancarlo Fisichella / Rome, Italy







Olivier Beretta / Monte Carlo, Monaco












43 6 299 8 Mirco Schultis / Westbaden, Germany Starworks Motorsport Martini ORECA FLM09 Chevrolet




Renger van der Zande / Dodewaard, Netherlands







Alex Popow / Caracas, Venezuela







Mike Hedlund / Woodside, CA












44 7 238 38 James French / Sheboygan, WI Performance Tech Motorsports
ORECA FLM09 Chevrolet




Jerome Mee / Houston, TX







James Vance / Stouffville, Canada












45 18 233 23 Ian James / Phoenix, AZ Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing Heart of Racing Porsche 911 GT America Porsche




Mario Farnbacher / Ansbach, Germany







Alex Riberas / Barcelona, Spain












46 10 211 51 François Perrodo / France AF Corse
Ferrari 458 Italia Ferrari




Emmanuel Collard / Arpajon, France







Gianmaria Bruni / Rome, Italy







Toni Vilander / Kankaanpää, Finland












47 12 198 70 Jonathan Bomarito / Monterey, CA SpeedSource Mazda / Castrol / ModSpace Mazda Mazda




Tristan Nunez / Boca Raton, FL







James Hinchcliffe / Toronto, Canada







Sylvain Tremblay / Parkland, FL












48 19 176 28 Klaus Bachler / Unzmarkt, Austria Konrad Motorsport
Porsche 911 GT America Porsche




Christopher Zoechling / Bristol, United Kingdom







Christian Engelhart / Kösching, Germany







Lance Willsey / Chestnut Hill, MA







Rolf Ineichen / Sursee, Switzerland












49 13 172 57 Tracy Krohn / Houston, TX Krohn Racing Krohn Racing Ligier JS PS2 Judd




Olivier Pla / Toulouse, France







Nic Jonsson / Buford, GA







Alex Brundle / King's Lynn, United Kingdom












50 14 49 2 Ed Brown / Boca Raton, FL Tequila Patron ESM Tequila Patron Honda HPD ARX Honda




Johannes van Overbeek / Oakland, CA







Jon Fogarty / Bend, OR












51 15 42 0 Memo Rojas / Mexico City, Mexico Claro / TracFone DeltaWing Racing Claro / TracFone DeltaWing DWC13 Elan




Katherine Legge / Guildford, United Kingdom







Gabby Chaves / Bogota, Colombia







Andy Meyrick / Cheshire, England












52 16 740 10 Jordan Taylor / Apopka, FL No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP for Konica Minolta Corvette DP Chevrolet




Ricky Taylor / Apopka, FL Wayne Taylor Racing






Max Angelelli / Monte Carlo, Monaco












53 8 713 16 Johnny Mowlem / London, United Kingdom BAR1 Motorsports Autosport Designs Inc. / Top 1 Oil ORECA FLM09 Chevrolet




Tom Papadopoulos / East Hills, NY







Tomy Drissi / Hollywood, CA







Brian Alder / Dublin, OH







Martin Plowman / United Kingdom





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