Friday, January 19, 2024

ROLEX 24: 2023 Postscript – Race’s Final four Hours

With some Dancin’ Fool once again doing a victory Jig, Sigh!


Returned to the Rolex 24 via IMSA Radio with Four Hours and Eight minutes remaining, with Scott Dixon leading in the Chip Ganassi Racing #01 Cadillac V-LMDH by 52 seconds over Simon Pagenaud in the Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) Acura ARX-06, with the #02 Cadillac close behind in third. But it seemed All for naught. Since the nearly six hours og Green flag racing came to a Halt when going Full course Caution once again.


And the No. 60 MSR Acura never looked back again, Sigh! With Pagenaud “Jumping” Sebastien Bourdais who’d taken over the #01 Caddy’ during the Pit stops, as the MSR Acura just seemed to be able to pull away from the field every time there was a race restart, especially when Tom Blomqvist was at it’s controls…


This made for a somewhat Dull race for the Overall win. Yet it certainly wasn’t that way in the LMP2 and GT Daytona Categories.


Having resigned Thyself to Helio Castroneves scoring a Three-peat, I switched focus instead to my Homeboyz’ Heart of Racing’s No. 27 entry.


As the #27 Aston Martin Vantage had been leading for a long time, although Marcel Sorenson said He’d been Scared to Shit during a Pitlane interview when needing to recycle the Car’s electronics during one of His shifts. Nah, No Lucas Electronics Jokes Here, Hya!


As it was Fantastic having the No. 27 Heart of Racing not only win it’s first ever Rolex 24, but finished first Overall of All the GTD’s and GTD Pro entries!


As team Boss Ian James said it was a Dream after His 21st Rolex 24! May be my last? But what’s that saying about Old Racers who Never know when to Quit, Ahem Helio! As Heart of Racing led an Aston Martin 1-2 finish in GTD, ahead of the No. 44 Magnus Racing entry.


Although I’d been Rootin’ for the No. 35 TDS Racing in the LMP2 Class because Homeboy Josh Pierson was part of it’s Driving line-up, and they were leading in the late stages. Unfortunately “Guido the Dutchman,” Aka Giedo van der Garde got penalized for Speeding in the Pitlane and Had to serve a Drive-thru penalty, which essentially knocked them out of contention.


Thus I began Rootin’ for the new leader, the No. 04 Crowdstrike LMP2 entry. Since former DragonSpeed IndyCar Driver Ben Handley was part of it’s Drivers Quartet. Yet IMSA Radio’s lead Announcer John Hindhaugh Broke in upon Joe Bradley’s victory celebration with Mike Shank who was heard yelling Fuck Yeah On Air as His Car took the Chequered Flag!


With Hindhaugh noting how the “Double Nickel” #55 Proton Competition with James Allen behind the wheel had snatched away the LMP2 Class win from Ben Handley in the #04 Crowdstrike by 0.016 seconds at the Flag!


Whilst it was Jules Gounon bringing the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo home First in the GTD Pro Class after a Hard fought battle against the #3 CorvetteRacing C8.R and the Vasser Sullivan Racing’s Lexus RC F GT3, which I think was the finishing order for GTD Pro.


Tom “The Bomb” Blomqvist led by a fairly svelte 4.2 seconds at the Stripe over Felipe Albuquerque for an Acura 1-2 Sweep. With the Full season IMSA #01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac leading the #02 Home, after being instructed to finish in that order.


As Here’s Racer’s Marshall Pruett and Graham Goodwin talking with Mike Shank, plus a Class-by-Class rundown video recap from last year…


As should we really have been surprised that the two manufacturers who’ve been racing in IMSA for several years now, i.e.; Acura and Cadillac went 1-2, while the Newcomers Porsche and BMW had New Car Teething issues…


As the No. 25 BMW suffered worst of All with it’s early race MGU Failure, finishing 131-laps behind! While it’s Seester Car, the No. 24 also had some mechanical maladies late race. But it was the Porsche’s that Had the most dramatic problems, at least the No. 6! As Nick Tandy had a race to forget! As I believe it was Him who spun during the Wee Hours and damaged both ends of the Porsche 963? And then Tandy brought out a late race Full course Caution when He suffered what was deemed a Gearbox failure. Which would explain His Not being able to Whoa the Porsche down two laps in-a-row on the Turn 1 High Bank! As the No. 6 did finish the race, albeit some 34-laps behind.