DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – What a year for Helio Castroneves, the ageless Spider-Man of sports car racing.
Castroneves climbed the fence for the third time this Sunday in the calendar year after claiming another victory in the crown, this time a second straight win at the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The Brazilian closed the race for Meyer Shank Racing, the team that helped him win the Indianapolis 500 record for the fourth time last May.
Castroneves at 60 Acura Stopped Ricky Taylor in the final hour of a two-round race – an ironic result as Castroneves won his first career Rolex 365 days ago as Taylor’s teammate in the Acura No. 10.
Castroneves denied Wayne Taylor Racing’s fourth straight win at the Daytona International Speedway, where he of course climbed the fence with his team to celebrate. Now rival team owner Taylor has gone to the winning lane to congratulate Castroneves.
Michael Shank’s victory comes on the 10th anniversary of Shank’s first win at North America’s most prestigious tournament. sport car race. It was Rolex’s 50th run win with the late Justin Wilson and NASCAR driver AJ Allmendinger has come to appreciate Shank’s fledgling program, and Castroneves since May has helped Shank show that the team is a legit force.
Castroneves will drive the entire IndyCar season for Shank this year in a two-car effort that includes his former Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud. Shank embraced both Castroneves and Pagenaud to help his full-time IMSA motorsport drivers Olivier Jarvis and Tom Blomqvist win their 60th Rolex run.
The remarkable 24-hour race went to the final minutes in four of the five divisions in Daytona. And it was a big day for the IndyCar Series, which featured five racers claiming a Rolex watch.
Colton Herta, Pato O’Ward and IndyCar rookie Devlin DeFranceco beat DragonSpeed USA from multiple laps to win the LMP2, with Herta going door to door in the final minutes with Tower Motorsport. Herta was the winner when the two cars almost collided and Louis Deletraz veered off course.
The new GTD Pro class is decided by a frenzied battle between a pair Porschesand Pfaff Motorsports, which invited IMSA co-champion Felipe Nasr as its endurance racer, took the win.
Riley Motorsports won the LMP 3 class and Wright Motorsports won the GT Daytona class.
The field had 61 cars, the most since 2014, and was driven in record low temperatures.
Temperatures dropped to a 30-second low overnight, but it was a mild 53 degrees and sunny as Castroneves climbed another fence.