Wayne Taylor Racing wins 58th annual Rolex 24 at record pace

Ryan Briscoe, Renger van der Zande, Scott Dixon and Kamui Kobayashi have scored the third Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona win for Wayne Taylor Racing’s Cadillac DPi-V.R in four years, while a Rahal Letterman Lanigan BMW M8 won GTLM for the second straight year.

Kobayashi steered the Konica Minolta #10 entry across the line 65sec ahead of the polesitting #77 Mazda RT24-P driven by Oliver Jarvis, Tristan Nunez and Olivier Pla.

The triumph keeps alive Cadillac’s 100 percent winning record in the classic IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opener. The 58th running of the event also saw a record distance completed due to only five caution periods, the top three completing 833 laps.

Over the final couple of hours, Kobayashi was taking it relatively easy and still pulling away from the Mazda, which in turn crossed the line 20sec ahead of the #5 JDC Miller MotorSports Cadillac of Sebastien Bourdais, Joao Barbosa and Loic Duval.

Fourth was earned by Dane Cameron, Juan Pablo Montoya and Simon Pagenaud in the #6 Acura Team Penske ARX-05, five laps down after being slowed almost throughout the race by the car bottoming out.

The second JDC Miller entry of Matheus Leist, Tristan Vautier, Chris Miller and Juan Piedrahita was fifth, ahead of the second Mazda which was way off the pace for the last three hours due to a power loss.

LMP2 was won by DragonSpeed, the Ben Hanley, Henrik Hedman, Colin Braun and Harrison Newey beating the PR1 Mathiasen of Gabriel Aubry/Ben Keating/Simon Trummer/Nick Boulle by a full lap, with Era Motorsport eight laps down.

The GT Le Mans battle was a thriller, Jesse Krohn overcoming a stall in his penultimate stop to drive home the #24 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing BMW M8 GTE he shared with John Edwards, Augusto Farfus and Chaz Mostert.

The Finn had to pass both Porsche 911 RSRs over the course of the final couple of hours, but eventually left them in his wake, crossing the line 14 sec ahead. Earl Bamber in the #912 car he shares with Laurens Vanthoor and Mathieu Jaminet engaged in a frantic duel with Nick Tandy in the final hour, but held on and then pulled away to restrict the Tandy/Fred Makowiecki/Matt Campbell-driven machine to the lowest step on the podium.

Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg delivered a fourth place finish for the new mid-engined Corvette C8.R on its debut, albeit well over a minute behind the Porsche battle.

The Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 retired more than hour before the end with a lack of power, leaving fifth place to last year’s winning BMW M8, which was 13 laps down due to earlier trouble when it ran over debris.

The GT Daytona class featured a Lamborghini Huracan 1-2, the Paul Miller Racing entry of Bryan Sellers, Corey Lewis, Madison Snow and Andrea Caldarelli triumphing ahead of the GRT Magnus entry steered by Andy Lally, Spencer Pumpelly, Marco Mapelli and John Potter.

The WRT Speedstar Audi Sport R8 of Mirko Bortolotti, Rolf Ineichen, Daniel Morad and Dries Vanthoor clinched the last step on the podium, ahead of the Porsche 911 GT3 Rs of Wright Motorsports and Black Swan Racing, and the Turner Motorsport BMW M6.

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