Meyer Shank Racing has won the great Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona thanks to Castroneves and colleagues Simon Pagenaud, Tom Blomqvist, and Oliver Jarvis.
In the Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-05, Helio Castroneves, Tom Blomqvist, Oliver Jarvis, and Simon Pagenaud won the Rolex 24 on the 10th anniversary of MSR’s previous victory at Daytona.
Castroneves, driving the No. 60 Acura, held off Ricky Taylor in the last hour of the twice-around-the-clock race — an ironic finish considering Castroneves won his first Rolex watch as Taylor’s teammate in the No. 10 Acura 365 days ago.
At Daytona International Speedway, Castroneves denied Wayne Taylor Racing a fourth consecutive victory, which he celebrated by climbing the fence with his squad. Taylor, the owner of a rival team, went to victory lane to congratulate Castroneves.
Acura has won the Rolex 24 for the second year in a row, a significant race that they had failed to win in their three years as factory partners with Team Penske. Acura used a unique approach of two semi-factory cars: two one-car entries, when Penske went on to Porsche two years before their debut season actually racing together. Last year, the Wayne Taylor Racing Acura won Daytona. It was the Meyer Shank Racing team’s turn this year. Castroneves had a hand in both victories.
Helio Castroneves is a 46-year-old racing driver. He didn’t start racing sports cars full-time until 2018, when he was switched from IndyCar to the Acura ARX-05 factory program. He won the Indianapolis 500 with Meyer Shank Racing in May, proving the great Roger Penske wrong. With a race-winning drive at Daytona, Castroneves has proven Penske’s prediction that he would be a sports car great right. Meyer Shank Racing, too.
In four of the five classes at Daytona, the 24-hour race came down to the closing minutes. The IndyCar Series also had a big day, with five drivers winning Rolex watches.
DragonSpeed USA’s Colton Herta, Pato O’Ward, and IndyCar rookie Devlin DeFrancesco rallied from many laps behind to win the LMP2 class, with Herta going door-to-door with Tower Motorsport in the final minutes. When the two cars almost collided and Louis Deletraz veered off course, Herta emerged victorious.
A close duel between two Porsches decided the new GTD Pro class, and Pfaff Motorsports, which enlisted IMSA reigning co-champion Felipe Nasr as its endurance driver, won.
Riley Motorsports won the LMP 3 class while Wright Motorsports won the GT Daytona class. There were 61 vehicles in the grid, the most since 2014, and the race was held in record-low temperatures.