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Daytona Post-Race Notebook

John Dagys’ post-race notebook from 54th Rolex 24 at Daytona…

Photo: Brian Cleary/

Photo: Brian Cleary/

***Max Angelelli was kept overnight at a local hospital for precautionary measures after being treated for the suspected inhalation of exhaust fumes in the closing stages of the race. The Italian relieved Jordan Taylor, who reported a strange smell in the car in the final hour. Angelelli was released from the hospital on Monday.

***The epic finish in GTLM, which saw Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin edge out teammate Antonio Garcia by just 0.034 seconds, marked the closest class finish in Rolex 24 history. It also snapped a near three-year winless streak on U.S. soil for Gavin and Tommy Milner, who last claimed victory in the 2013 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

***Despite not finishing on the podium, the Lamborghini Huracan GT3, in its North American debut, proved to be the class of the field in GTD. The four quickest laps of the race all came from Lambo teams, including a remarkable 1:45.873 lap set by the O’Gara entry of Antinucci. It was a hefty 1.163 seconds quicker than the nearest GTD manufacturer and just 1.3 seconds slower than the quickest GTLM class car.

***A collision between the Change Racing and Paul Miller Racing cars, which were running 1-2 at the moment derailed the Italian manufacturer’s hopes of victory, while a late-race fuel gamble for the No. 28 Konrad Motorsport entry saw Fabio Babini lose the lead after running out of fuel with less than three minutes remaining.

***IMSA has impounded the engines from all five Lamborghini Huracan GT3s, as well as the GTD class-winning Magnus Racing Audi R8 LMS.

***The highly anticipated competition debut of the Ford GT didn’t necessarily live up to expectations, with both of the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing-run GTLM entries running into trouble early. Gearbox issues for both of the cars, along with electrical woes resulted in multiple trips to the garage, although both cars did finish. The No. 66 car was classified 31st overall, some 30 laps behind the class-winning Corvette. 

***Adding to the number of firsts achieved by Tequila Patron ESM’s victory, it was also remarkably the first overall win for a French-built car in the race’s history. Onroak Automotive president Jacques Nicolet, team principal Philippe Dumas and its core engineering staff were on hand for the historic occasion, which was also the Ligier JS P2’s first major endurance race victory.

***While currently committed to only the first two rounds, Scott Sharp told Sportscar365 they’ll re-evaluate the possibility of completing the remainder of the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup after Sebring. It’s Ligier JS P2 Honda chassis is slated to be used by Michael Shank Racing at Le Mans, which is two weeks prior to Watkins Glen.

***Sharp said the short timeframe between Le Mans and Watkins Glen, as well as Petit Le Mans and the WEC round in Fuji two weeks later, would make it difficult to undertake, thus ruling out the team using one of its WEC-entered Ligier JS P2 Nissans.

***Action Express Racing’s two-year run of a 100 percent reliability record for its No. 5 Corvette DP came to an end on Sunday when the car suffered a left-rear driveshaft failure. The team’s No. 31 car also faced the same failure earlier in the race.

***Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi, Filipe Albuquerque and Scott Pruett still brought the car home in fourth overall, but five laps down. Prior to Daytona, the car had completed all but one lap in the class since post-merger in 2014.

***Katherine Legge became the first woman to lead the Rolex 24, pacing the field twice for 27 laps in the DeltaWing prior to her pit stop. The car crashed out of the race in the fourth hour with Andy Meyrick at the wheel.

***ESM holds a three-point lead over the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP in the Paton Endurance Cup, with PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports and the class-winning JDC-Miller Motorsports entry tied for the lead in PC. Both Corvette Racing and Magnus Racing, also winners on Sunday, lead the GTLM and GTD standings in the four-round cup, where points were scored at the 6, 12, 18 and 24-hour marks.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John


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