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DragonSpeed Racing and Paul Miller Racing Take Class Wins At Rolex 24 At Daytona

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IMSA

DAYTONA BEACH, FL (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – DragonSpeed Racing made it back-to-back wins in the Le Mans Prototype 2 Class at the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

The No. 81 ORECA LMP2 07 driven by Ben Hanley, Henrik Hedman, Colin Braun and Harrison Newey finished ahead of the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07 driven by Ben Keating, Simon Trummer, Nick Boulle and Gabriel Aubry, which started on the pole position.

DragonSpeed and Mathiasen battled it out as the only two cars to lead laps in the class.  Mathiasen took off from the pole and led the opening 104-laps.  The teams traded spots out-front throughout the middle parts of the race with Braun passing Keating Sunday morning at the 17.5-hour mark to take the lead for good, leading the final 212-laps.

“Ben drove the wheels off the thing,” Braun said.  “The guys had great pit stops and great strategies all day.  When you execute like that and make no mistakes, you’re usually rewarded with a victory”.

PAUL MILLER LAMBORGHINI TEAM WINS FIRST ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA

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The GT Daytona (GTD) came down to a battle of Lamborghini’s as Paul Miller Racing’s No. 48 Lamborghini beat the No 44 GRT Magnus Lamborghini to the checkered flag by 21-seconds.  The victory was the first for Miller, the long-time team owner and former IMSA driver.  It was also the first victory for his drivers, Andrea Caldarelli, Madison Snow, Corey Lewis and Bryan Sellars.

Paul Miller Racing Celebrates In Gatorade Victory Lane After Scoring The GTD Class Win At The Rolex 24 At Daytona.

“A lot of years trying, a lot of years of pain and watching other people walk by you with the watch you want so bad,” said Sellars.  “It feels so good to have it all finally come together.”

“The last eight hours were like a sprint race.” said Calderelli, who passed his former teammate Marco Mapelli in the pits.  “I used to race with Marco in the same car, so we never really fought one-on-one.  I know him.  It was a very fair fight and we both represent Lamborghini as well.  So we didn’t do any stupid things.”

The No. 44 GRT Magnus Lamborghini, driven by Mapelli, John Potter, Andy Lally and Spencer Pumpelly, finished second followed by the No. 88 WRT Speedstar Audi Sport R8 LMS GT3.

The next race on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Advance Auto Parts is Saturday, March 21st.  The race starts at 10:40 am ET and will be televised by CNBC.  It will also be streamed on the NBC Sports App with authentication and TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.  IMSA Radio will have coverage available on IMSARadio.com, RadioLeMans.com and Sirius XM.

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Sports Cars

Chip Ganassi Racing wins 12-Hours of Sebring

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IMSA Wire Service

SEBRING, FL (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Chip Ganassi Racing’s Earl Bamber passed Richard Westbrook for the lead, not once, but twice in the final hour to win the 12-hours of Sebring with co-drivers Alex Lynn and Neel Jani.

Bamber was chasing down Westbrook and when the clock ticked just under an hour left in the event, the No. 02 Cadillac passed the No. 5 Cadillac. Seconds later Bamber and the No. 21 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 driven by Simon Mann got together, sending Bamber spinning.

All of the drama unfolded about a half hour after the final driver change between Lynn and Bamber.  Lynn came to pit road with a 30-second lead and handed the car over to Bamber who, on his out-lap, collided with the No. 13 AWA Duqueine D08 LMP3 car driven by Kuno Wittmer.  IMSA issued a drive-through penalty that gave the lead to Westbrook.

Bamber fell behind Westbrook by 6-seconds following the spin with Mann but ran down the former CGR driver and passed him with 435-minutes left in the event.

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“It was some of the best driving I’ve done and some of the worst at the same time, all in about one and a half hours,” said Bamber. “I’m just really happy that we could recover and get back to the front. It was a team effort, not an individual one. I could’ve probably made it a hell of a lot easier for everyone else, but hey, I made it.”

Tristian Vautier was able to cut into Bamber’s lead following the final round of pit stops to bring the No. 5 Caddy home in second followed by Pipo Derani in the No. 31 Action Express Cadillac.

“The 02 came out of the pits 7-seconds ahead and we entered the final lap 2.5 behind,” said Vautier. “Then I took it easy on the last lap. I knew it was over and we were tight on fuel. It’s a very solid day for the team. We were third at Daytona and second here. We can be proud.”

The victory was the second in the event for Chip Ganassi’s team, who also won the event in 2014 with co-drivers Marino Franchitti, Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas.

The WeatherTech Championship resumes April 8-10 with the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

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Sports Cars

Sebastien Bourdais win the pole position for the 70th Twelve Hours of Sebring

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IMSA Wire Service

SEBRING, FL (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Sebastien Bourdais will lead the 70th Twelve Hours of Sebring field to the green flag after winning the pole position with a fast lap of 1 minute, 45.166 seconds (128.025 mph) in the No. 01 Cadillac Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R.

Bourdais managed the notorious bumps of Sebring International Raceway’s 17-turn, 3.74-mile circuit Friday to break Pipo Derani’s track record that was set last year.

“Leave it rough, leave it natural, don’t touch it,” said Bourdais of Sebring. “It’s the motto of this place. It is very difficult, but overall, it’s the same. It’s a challenge for everyone.”

Derani was just 0.026-seconds behind Bourdais in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac.

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Row 2 of the Daytona Prototype International Class (DPi) has Ricky Taylor in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05 lined up third with Alex Lynn in the No. 02 Ganassi Cadillac.

Mike Rockenfeller in the No. 48 Ally Cadillac rounded out the Top 5 in the No. 31 in the Action Express Racing Caddy.

The green flag is scheduled to fly Saturday at 10:10 a.m. ET. Live flag-to-flag coverage is available on Peacock, with USA joining the broadcast on TV from 3:30 p.m. to 10:30. Live coverage also is available on IMSA Radio via IMSA.com and SiriusXM Radio.

12 Hours of Sebring

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IndyCar

Chip Ganassi to be Honoree at ‘The Amelia’ this weekend

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INDIANAPOLIS, IN (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Chip Ganassi is adding another honor to his considerable list of accomplishments, being selected as this year’s Honoree at ‘The Amelia’, the award-winning car show formerly known as the ‘Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance’.

Ganassi, 63, joins an exclusive list of previous Honoree’s that include Roger Penske, Bobby Rahal, Sam Posey, Johnny Rutherford, Bobby Unser, Hurley Haywood, David Hobbs, Brian Redman, Emerson Fittipaldi and Jochen Mass, to name a few.

“To be selected as the Honoree at ‘The Amelia’ this year, it certainly ranks among the high points of my career,” said Ganassi. “I’m truly honored to be respected by my peers in this way and join the likes of so many legends I’ve long admired. I’ve been fortunate enough to make this a career and I still feel that I have as much passion for the sport as I did 40 years ago, qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 as a rookie.”

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A select fleet of Ganassi’s legendary race cars will be featured as part of the show:

  • 1994 Reynard 94i that Michael Andretti scored Chip Ganassi Racing’s first win at Surfer’s Paradise.
  • 2000 Indianapolis 500 winner that Juan Pablo Montoya drove to victory and Rookie of the Year honors.
  • 2006 Lexus Riley Rolex 24 at Daytona Champion driven by Scott Dixon, Dan Wheldon and Casey Mears.
  • 2010 Chevrolet Impala that Jamie McMurray piloted to the Daytona 500 win.
  • 2010 Honda INDYCAR that Dario Franchitti drove to win the 2010 Indianapolis 500.
  • 2022 Cadillac DPi which recently competed in the 24 Hours of Daytona.
  • Ford GT Chassis 007 which won the 2017 Rolex 24 at Daytona, 2017 Road America, 2018 Watkins Glen and Lime Rock.

Ganassi is among the most successful race team owners in the world with 14 NTT INDYCAR SERIES Championships and eight IMSA Sports Car titles. Overall, his teams have 22 championships with more than 230 victories, including four Indianapolis 500s, a Daytona 500, a Brickyard 400, eight Rolex 24 at Daytona events, the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance was founded by car collector and businessman Bill Warner in 1996, who launched his career as a photographer and writer for Road & Track magazine in the early 1970s. Today, the event’s economic impact on Florida is estimated at nearly $30 million a year and has donated over $4 million to various charities since its inception.

The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance was recently acquired by Traverse City Michigan-based Hagerty, an American automotive lifestyle and membership company and the world’s largest provider of specialty insurance for classic vehicles. Hagerty rebranded the Florida collector car event as “The Amelia,” in 2021. Showcased throughout the event weekend are some of the rarest and most unusual collector automobiles from all over the world. For more information on ‘The Amelia’, visit: https://www.ameliaconcours.com/event.

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