Team Penske IMSA Race Report - Rolex 24 at Daytona
Track: Daytona International Speedway
Race: Rolex 24 at Daytona
Date: January 27-28, 2018
No. 6 Acura ARX-05 DPi – Dane Cameron/Juan Pablo Montoya/Simon Pagenaud
Overall Finish: 10th
Class Finish: 10th
Laps Completed: 793/808
- The famed No. 6 made its return to sports car racing at Team Penske as Dane Cameron, Juan Pablo Montoya and Simon Pagenaud teamed to compete in the No. 6 Acura ARX-05 in this weekend’s 56th running of Rolex 24 at Daytona.
- Dane Cameron, the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech Prototype Champion, qualified the ARX-05 in the 10th position on Thursday and he began the race when the green flag waved at 2:40 pm ET on Saturday afternoon.
- The trio quickly began to progress the No. 6 forward and by the sixth hour of the race they were in the fifth position with Montoya and Pagenaud following Cameron, respectively, behind the wheel.
- As the race crossed the halfway point with Cameron as the pilot, the No. 6 Acura team assumed the lead for the first time during the race.
- Just prior to 4 am the No. 6 car lost one of its headlamps, leading the team to diagnose the problem as an alternator malfunction. Cameron brought the car to the garage to change the part and, as a result, the team returned to the track 24 laps down to the race leaders.
- Despite the setback the team showed no quit as they were determined to finish in the top 10 in the overall standings, which they accomplished by turning some of the fastest laps over the final 10 hours of the race.
- The No. 6 team is tied for third with their No. 7 Acura teammates in the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup standings, four points behind the leaders. The next endurance race is March 17 at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway.
“It was really enjoyable to get that first start for Roger Penske and Acura Team Penske, but it was also a little disappointing. We had great pace the entire race. We had one issue with the alternator and that was it. It feels like one potentially got away from us here and it would have been nice to have been in a fight for the win at the end. It was still not a bad way to start off the year. We know we have a strong Acura ARX-05 and we are gearing up to make a run at the championship. While one race may have gotten away we still have a lot of ‘big ticket’ races to win this year, along with the championship.”
No. 7 Acura ARX-05 DPi – Helio Castroneves/Graham Rahal/Ricky Taylor
Overall Finish: 9th
Class Finish: 9th
Laps Completed: 793/808
- Utilizing an all-star lineup of Helio Castroneves, Ricky Taylor and Graham Rahal, the No. 7 Acura ARX-05 started the weekend off strong, turning the single fastest lap in Thursday’s practice sessions and followed it up by earning an outside-front row starting spot for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
- Castroneves began the driver rotation at the start of the legendary 24-hour event and held serve in second, but slipped back to the back half of the top-five for the event’s first 50 laps.
- The No. 7 ARX-05 became a mainstay in the top-three and took the lead for the first time three hours in with Rahal behind the wheel.
- Between hours five and 11, Castroneves, Taylor and Rahal kept the No. 7 in first on second except for a handful of laps during pit cycles.
- The No. 7, along with the No. 6 team car, ran first and second through the early positions of Sunday morning, including at the halfway mark of 12 hours.
- At hour 15, Castroneves made contact with another machine while running second. The damage forced Castroneves and the Acura Team Penske team to take the No. 7 ARX-05 behind the wall.
- The Acura Team Penske team was able to make repairs to the machine, but not before losing a total of 22 laps to the leaders.
- Despite the setback, Castroneves, Taylor and Rahal were able to run their race for the remaining nine hours, making up a number of laps in the process.
- The No. 7 finished the race in the ninth position, both overall and in class.
- The trio is tied for third with their No. 6 teammates in the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup standings, four points behind the leaders with the next event coming March 17 at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway.
“Overall, it was a good comeback weekend for Acura Team Penske. We qualified up front, ran strong the whole day and finished the race. There is something to be said about finishing a 24-hour race. It wasn’t without our problems that is for sure. It’s too bad that both of our cars were running one-two into the early hours of the morning and we both ran into problems. First, the other car had alternator problems and then we got run into by another car while running second. I feel like we had a legitimate shot to win this race, which tells you how prepared we were coming into today. We have nothing to hang our heads about.” – Helio Castroneves