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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.

Sports Cars

Acura Partners With Meyer Shank Racing and Wayne Taylor Racing For 2021 DPi Effort

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Acura Motorsports

TORRANCE, CA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Acura Motorsports is partnering with Meyer Shank Racing and Wayne Taylor Racing to field a pair of Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototype International entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, beginning in 2021.

Meyer Shank Racing is the defending IMSA GTD class Champion and are the current leaders in all three major GTD title championships plus the Ohio-based team played a key role in the development of the successful Acura NSX GT3 Evo, parking it in victory lane in four consecutive seasons.

Wayne Taylor Racing has raced to two IMSA driver Championships and one IMSA team Championship in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype class. WTR has also captured eight IMSA manufacturer championships and has scored multiple victories in endurance racing’s most iconic events: The Rolex 24 At Daytona, Twelve Hours of Sebring, Petit Le Mans, and Six Hours at Watkins Glen.

The Acura ARX-05 to be fielded by Wayne Taylor Racing in 2021 IMSA Competition.

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“It is a pleasure to announce that Wayne Taylor Racing will be joining the Acura ARX-05 IMSA program in 2021, along with Meyer Shank Racing, which will build on our very successful partnership by moving up to the prototype ranks,” said Jon Ikeda, Acura Brand Officer. “We’re confident that both teams will help us build on the successes we’ve achieved to date in IMSA competition, as we continue to apply Precision Crafted Performance to all of our activities – on the race circuits of North America, in our production vehicles and in the marketplace.”

“When Acura and HPD chose Meyer Shank Racing to debut the Acura NSX GT3 in 2017, it was a big moment in our history. I’m really proud of building a championship-winning program and everything that we’ve been able to accomplish together with the NSX,” said Michael Shank, co-owner of Meyer Shank Racing. “As a team, we’ve been working toward the opportunity to go and fight for overall wins for a long time, and I am eager to get going with this program. But we have some work to do first, and we are 100 percent focused on bringing another IMSA championship home with the Acura NSX in 2020.”

“I am extremely excited to have this opportunity given to me by HPD and Acura Motorsports,” said Wayne Taylor, owner of Wayne Taylor Racing. “Since getting to know everyone at HPD and Acura Motorsports, I feel that they have a lot of respect for the Wayne Taylor Racing family. What I really like is that they have the same passion and vision as I do. I am looking forward to running the DPi for the next few years. I am equally excited to be able to bring my long-term partnership with Konica Minolta, Rick Taylor and Michael Mathe to the program. We all can’t wait to get started.”

The Acura NSX program will continue in IMSA 2021.

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Local Racing

Weekend Racing Notebook

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Paul Arch

PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The weekend winners from around the world of motorsports including Local tracks plus the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions, and IMSA.

Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All-Star Circuit of Champions Weekend:

  • Cory Eliason picked up his first Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions victory Sunday night at the reopening of Huset Speedway.  Dominic Scelzi finished second and Kerry Madsen rounded out the podium.
  • Kyle Larson won his seventh straight Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 feature on Saturday night at Knoxville Raceway, setting a record with the series. Rico Abreu finished second and Gio Scelzi rounded out the podium.
  • Larson also picked up the win in Friday night’s feature at 34 Raceway.  Eliason finished second and Tucker Klaasmeyer finished third.
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Acura, Corvette, Lexus Claim IMSA Wins At Road America:

  • Helio Castroneves found traction with his Acura ARX-05 where others could not, as he and his Acura Team Penske co-driver Ricky Taylor prevailed in monsoon-like conditions in the final hour to win in the Daytona Prototype International Class in Sunday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Road America.
  • DragonSpeed USA’s Ben Hanley and Henrik Heeman took home the victory in LMP2.  Hanley switched from slick tires to rain tires as the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA, which was leading went off course due to the wet conditions.  They rallied to finish fourth behind the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA and the No. 18 Era Motorsports ORECA.
  • Corvette Racing scored a 1-2 finish at Road America in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class.  The No. 3 Vette with Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia finished first with the No. 4 of Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner coming home in second place.
  • Frankie Montecalvo and Townsend Bell parked the AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus in victory lane in the GT Daytona (GTD) class.  The victory was the third straight for the team. Mario Farnbacher and Matt McMurry finished second in their Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo.

Mother Nature Wins At Tri-City, PPMS, Jennerstown and Port Royal:

  • Rains throughout Western Pennsylvania forced several area race tracks to cancel their programs.  Tri-City cancelled their Sunday program while Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway (PPMS) and Port Royal had to throw the red flag on their programs Saturday night.

Norris, Flick, King Jr & Schneider Win At Lernerville:

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IndyCar

Chip Ganassi Racing Begins “Best Paint Scheme” Contest

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Ford Motor Company

CONCORD, NC (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Chip Ganassi Racing is starting a cool contest where fans can pick the “Best Paint Scheme” that has appeared on one of the CGR cars over the 30-year history of the organization.

The contest started Wednesday on Twitter and features 32-paint schemes that have appeared on the teams NASCAR, INDYCAR and IMSA race cars.

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Fans can vote on their favorites in a bracket style elimination tournament where one paint scheme will be crowned the winner.

Cars involved include some favorites driven by Scott Dixon, Alex Zanardi, Juan Pablo Montoya, Sterling Marlin, Kyle Larson, Kurt Busch, Scott Pruitt, Felix Rosenqvist, Memo Rojas, Steve Arpin, Jamie McMurray, Joey Hand, Richard Westbrook, Ryan Briscoe and Dirk Mueller.

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