Acura: First GTP win, third consecutive win at Daytona

Colin
By Colin Wood
Jan 30, 2023 | Acura, Daytona, IMSA, Rolex 24 at Daytona, rolex 24, Daytona International Speedway

Photography by Chris Tropea unless otherwise credited

Does less equal more? Acura makes a convincing case after winning first and second at the 2023 Rolex 24 At Daytona as the only GTP team using a V6–BMW, Cadillac and Porsche all used V8s.

[The details about the GTP hybrid engines]

The winning car, the No. 60 ARX-06 of Meyer-Shank Racing, crossed the finish line with a 4-second lead ahead of the second-place finisher, the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-06.

Third, fourth and fifth were all secured by Cadillac’s V-LMDh–No. 1, No. 02 and No. 31., respectively.

Both BMW and Porsche had issues with their GTP prototypes. Although BMW M Team RLL had both M Hybrid V8s finish the race, only the No. 24 car managed to crack the top 10, crossing the line in sixth. The other car, No. 25, completed 131 laps off the pace.

Porsche only had one of its 963 prototypes finish the race–coming in seventh–with the No. 6 car retiring after 690 laps.

Having only one GTP car not finish the race, however, marks an impressive first outing for the all-new hybrid racers.

One of the most exciting moments in the race, however, took place in the last seconds of the event in LMP2. In the midst of all the cheering for the ARX-06, the No. 55 Proton Competition Oreca was side-by-side with the No. 04 Crowdstrike by APR Orecea as both machines sprinted towards the checkered flag.

When both crossed the line, the No. 55 car won by just 0.016 seconds–quite literally a photo finish.

In LMP3, the No. 17 AWA Duqueine D08 finished first in a field of cars seemingly plagued by issues. Out of the 9 cars that entered, only five made it to see the checkered flag.

The No. 17 car also held a sizable lead by the end of the race with the second-place finisher, the No. 33 Sean Creech Motorsport Ligier JS P320, crossing the line 12 laps behind the class winner.

The No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG won GTD Pro after a long battle with the No. 3 Corvette Racing C8.R in second and the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC-F in third.

The win also marked a well-deserved Rolex watch for Cooper MacNeil’s final start in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

GTD also saw a historic win. Although Aston Martin has been competing in endurance races at Daytona for nearly 60 years, the manufacturer finally secured its first Rolex 24 win with the No. 27  Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage, which even finished ahead of the GTD Pro class winner.

Photography Credit: J.A. Ackley

Off the track, our annual GRM Experience at The Rolex 24 At Daytona gave Grassroots Motorsports readers and race fans alike a home base throughout the Rolex 24 race weekend.

Photography Credit: J.G. Pasterjak

GRM Experience Infield Ticket Package holders were treated with a hot dinner on Saturday night plus a cash bar in our hospitality tent. Those who purchased the Grassroots Motorsports Venue Package enjoyed a hot breakfast Sunday morning in a Midway Suite. Both ticket holders had the chance to win a Golden Ticket, which offered exclusive behind-the-scenes track experiences.

The fun wasn’t just exclusive to GRM ticket holders, though, as we once again held our popular midnight tour that allowed anyone with a Rolex 24 ticket with garage access to get up-close with teams working through the night, watch tires get mounted at breakneck speeds and even get an exclusive Q&A session with special guests like IMSA President John Doonan.

A special thank you goes out to our sponsors and you, our fans, for making the GRM Experience possible.

 

The Grassroots Motorsports Experience at the Rolex 24 At Daytona is presented by Sunoco and Hagerty, in association with IntercompSpec, Inc., and Team O'Neil Rally School, with help from WireWheel Classic Sports Cars and Fields Autoworks.

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Comments
racerfink
racerfink UberDork
1/30/23 1:06 p.m.

All that tells me is that IMSA has to tweak their BoP.  Acura controlled that race too easily.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
1/30/23 2:01 p.m.

Why were they making such a big deal of the name GTP?  That label has been gone long enough that if you know what it was, you know that the new cars are nowhere near what those cars were.  And for the new people, it's just 3 letters put together.  It's a good three letters, sure, but pretending that there's some kind of tie back to Dan Gurney's last winning GTP car 30 years ago was odd.

j_tso
j_tso Dork
1/30/23 3:00 p.m.

man, what happened to Porsche? All eyes were on them since they've been doing the majority of the testing.

dannyp84
dannyp84 Reader
1/30/23 3:10 p.m.

In reply to j_tso :

One of the Porsche prototypes had a hybrid system issue, I was watching the race from the infield while a friend was walking the pits, and he said one of the Porsche engineers looked at the car's battery pack, threw a wrench at it and walked away defeated. 

Toward the end of the race, it was pretty obvious that in GTP the Acura had more straight-line speed than the Cadillacs, same with Mercedes vs the Corvette. I was impressed that Lexus, whose car is sort of a dinosaur in the series compared to some of the competition, was running toward the front all day. The big surprise for me was how massive the spectator crowd was. Last time I went, in 2014, spectators were fairly sparse. This year, there were people absolutely everywhere. I suspect that Drive to Survive has generated interest for motorsports in series beyond F1. 

 

J.A. Ackley
J.A. Ackley Senior Editor
1/30/23 3:25 p.m.

In reply to dannyp84 :

More on the hybrid issues here: The details about the GTP hybrid engines | News | Grassroots Motorsports

More on the Lexus GTD car soon. laugh

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 PowerDork
1/30/23 3:33 p.m.
dannyp84 said:

In reply to j_tso :

One of the Porsche prototypes had a hybrid system issue, I was watching the race from the infield while a friend was walking the pits, and he said one of the Porsche engineers looked at the car's battery pack, threw a wrench at it and walked away defeated. 

Toward the end of the race, it was pretty obvious that in GTP the Acura had more straight-line speed than the Cadillacs, same with Mercedes vs the Corvette. I was impressed that Lexus, whose car is sort of a dinosaur in the series compared to some of the competition, was running toward the front all day. The big surprise for me was how massive the spectator crowd was. Last time I went, in 2014, spectators were fairly sparse. This year, there were people absolutely everywhere. I suspect that Drive to Survive has generated interest for motorsports in series beyond F1. 

 

I've been going to this event since like 1998 as a tween to now. I have never seen a crowd like that there. I've camped on and off in the Caveman Campgrounds area as well and some of the people were very hostile about "their" space. This shiny happy person tried telling me that I would get towed for camping where I was camping, the group got very lippy with my gf and I, who were literally sleeping in my Sequoia and not setting up anything other than a canopy tent to cook and hang out under. They got frustrated that we were dismissing their argument, went and got track officials in an effort to forcibly remove us from this open space we found, and they ended up having to move their whole camp because they setup in a fire lane like the morons that they are. 

Other than that we had a great time and the racing was awesome. Made some new friends, got some cool swag, and my gf survived her first IMSA race weekend. "This was way cooler than the dirt track or Champcar stuff you've dragged me too"

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
1/30/23 4:21 p.m.

In reply to j_tso :

It definitely felt like Porsche was the team to watch–like they were going to blow everyone else out of the water.

J.A. Ackley
J.A. Ackley Senior Editor
1/30/23 4:45 p.m.

I've been thinking. The Acura is a V6 and there's a minimum engine weight of 180 kg.

I'm sure Acura's powertrain matches the prescribed power curve in the rule book.

Maybe the advantage is in how they place the weight with a smaller package (e.g. down low, toward the center of the car). Pure speculation.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/31/23 9:27 a.m.

Another wow on the crowd. It's like everyone brought a friend this year. 

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 PowerDork
1/31/23 10:11 a.m.
Colin Wood said:

In reply to j_tso :

It definitely felt like Porsche was the team to watch–like they were going to blow everyone else out of the water.

I felt like they were sandbagging a bit, then started going full speed, and problems ensued. Sebring will be an interesting watch for sure. 

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