Wins Record-Setting Rolex 24

Taylor Ballantyne

Castroneves and Taylor's skills will be put to the test in their first race together at the Rolex 24 at Daytona on Saturday and Sunday.

"We were really close [last year]", Castroneves said, throwing his hands in the air.

For Chip Ganassi, the ease of the start made the finish that much more hard.

"It was one of the most nerve-racking races". "It's one thing not to win the race".

Multiple teams in the Prototype field at this year's Rolex 24 have suffered mysterious tire failures throughout the night and into the morning.

For the winners, Barbosa and Fittipaldi now have three Rolex watches for overall victories while Albuquerque earned his first.

Christian Fittipaldi in a Cadillac for Action Express Racing led the race when daylight broke at Daytona International Speedway.

To become a champion, you have to start at the beginning as a rookie. I don't know. I'm just blown away, the race was ideal.

Helio Castroneves made contact with another vehicle and it put the Team Penske entry 22 laps off the pace.

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The auto driven by two-time Formula One world champion is down 26 laps because a brake master cylinder failed about 11 hours into the race. The No. 66 Ganassi Ford GT shared by Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller and four-time Indy vehicle champion Sebastien Bourdais finished second, 11 seconds behind the No. 67.

Roger Penske's two new Acura's are leading the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the team's return to full-time sports vehicle competition.

The race was clean and fast, except for the traditional attrition of an endurance race. "It knocked us back just enough, with no cautions and we were behind the No. 5 vehicle for hours on end". "Everyone thrives on the winning culture of this team".

BC-CAR-IMSA-Rolex-Taylor-Flu, 130 Ricky Taylor battling flu before his Team Penske debutAP Photo DBR102, DBR127Eds: APNewsNow. He recovered in time to take his place in the driver rotation as Taylor attempts to win the race for a second consecutive year.

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The former class leaders, the #29 Montaplast by Land Audi R8 LMS, are now in eighth and working their way back up the field after being hit with a stop and hold for five minutes penalty relating to the refueling rate. The auto had a one lap lead over the competition in the GT Daytona class. "It's a very long and very hard race with a quality 50-car entry". The Audi was brought to pit road and held for five minutes.

The top 3 cars were the only ones to finish on the lead lap.

In the GT Daytona class, GRT Grasser Racing Team won in a Lamborghini, the first for the manufacturer at the Rolex.

Alonso at least got enough sports-car racing experience that he should feel more comfortable when he runs the 24 Hours of Le Mans, whether that is 2018 or 2019 or beyond.

He drove a triple stint to start his race, and was due to get back in the auto around 5 a.m.

"It worked out, but it was tense at the end", said Johnson, who has won this race three times since 2010.

He's retiring after this race as the winningest driver in American sports auto competition with a record 60 victories.

"They are within our specifications and have had a number of issues", said Travis Roffler, director of marketing at Continental. "It happened two times in the first corner - you're right there at 300-310 kilometres an hour then you hit the brakes and there's no brakes".

Taylor agreed that that either of the two Penske Acuras could have won but for their problems. The vehicle was damaged as van der Zande tried to get it to pit road. We came from last position to win this race. An alternator issue put the other vehicle in the garage.

Two-time Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso, who is making his IMSA debut this weekend, qualified 13th in the No. 23 United Autosports Ligier LM P2. They swap with teammates-Dirk Mueller, in Hand's case-get some rest and repeat. Alonso has two wins in Monaco, and impressed at the Indy500 on his debut past year.

- And Ryan Briscoe all by himself climbs out of the auto.

Dixon and his teammates, Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook, won the GTLM class of the race, racking up 783 laps. The Ganassi organization is seeking its 200th victory in major auto racing. The team of Nasr, Eric Curran, Mike Conway and Stuart Middleton finished second as the team and Cadillac went 1-2 overall.

The McLaren driver took to the track in Florida this weekend to gain experience for racing Le Mans. The No. 11 topped the GT Daytona class.

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