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The Meyer Shank team is the main champion of the 2022 24 Hours of Daytona, with the foursome of Helio Castroneves, Tom Blomqvist, Simon Pagenaud and Oliver Jarvis. But getting to the top of the stage was not easy. The #60 Acura had a tough fight with the #5 and #31 Cadillac cars, but were able to finish the race with the Acura 1-2, as the team of three-time champion Wayne Taylor was close behind.
At the start of the 60th edition of the long-distance race, Kamui Kobayashi, who shared the #48 Cadillac with Mark Rockenfeller, Jimmie Johnson and José Maria López, took advantage of the mention from Filipe Albuquerque, with the Acura of Wayne Taylor. #10 – three-time champion and most recent Daytona winner in 2021 – which moved up to third, to also pass Tristan Vautier to take the lead. The Japanese was the leader in the first hour, which was also marked by a yellow flag after Dwight Merriman, from the LMP2 class, with the #18 Oreca from Motorsport Era, missed the closing step and ended up in the protective barrier.
But in the third hour of the race, one of the winners of Daytona 2021, Brazilian Helio Castroneves, took the lead in the Acura #60 of Meyer Shank. After Kobayashi, it is true that López took the helm and took the lead. But, even after a clash with Sébastian Bourdais in turn 1, the Argentine could not warm up the tires properly and lost the position.
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Ganassi had a lot of problems during the race (Image: Disclosure / IMSA)
Thus, Ganassi in the hands of Renger Van der Zande led, while Will Stevens, from Wayne Taylor, took second place. Castroneves, however, took advantage of the two yellow flags to stop in front of many drivers and take the lead. But he ended up having a problem with his left rear tire, which caused him to come back to the pit and thus lose the lead.
During the remaining nine hours of the race, the Acura teams continued to get the win from Ganassi, who in turn faced many problems. Kevin Magnussen, partner of Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn and Marcus Ericsson, led the race by 30 seconds in Cadillac #2, but suffered a mechanical failure in his car.
That meant Ally Cadillac’s Brazilian, Pipo Derani took the lead. But the chain was fraught with problems for the brand’s North American vehicles. After several yellow flags, the lead was being changed to Acura #10 and #60, by Ricky Taylor and Castroneves. When Bamber took Cadillac #2, he climbed the pack in a threatening manner and even led the race in the 12th hour, but lost the position again to the Brazilian driver. However, Castroneves was penalized for speeding in the pit lane, giving Richard Westbrook’s #5 Cadillac the lead.
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Acura cars led most races at Daytona (Photo: Disclosure / IMSA)
In the hours that followed, there were more problems for Ganassi. Bamber even made it to second place in the race but, due to car #2’s fuel pump failure, he had to go to the pits. The most fortunate were the Acura cars, which maintained a comfortable lead for more than six hours of the race: Wayne Taylor in front, and Meyer Shank in the rear.
With less than three hours remaining, Cadillac and Acura were locked in a fierce battle. Cars #10 and #60 of the Japanese brand, against #5 and #31. Ally Cadillac’s Mike Conway and Wayne Taylor’s Alexander Rossi had technical problems and, as a result, changed positions several times.
Finally, in the final minutes, Castroneves took the wheel of car #60 and led the rest of the race. The Brazilian, who was champion at Daytona in 2021, repeats the victory this season. To close out the 60th edition, Wayne Taylor’s squad put the No. 10 car in second place, marking Acura 1-2.
The LMP2 class was won by the DragonSpeed team in the #81 Oreca, driven by Colton Herta, Eric Lux, Devlin Defranceso and Patricio O’Ward. The quartet faced several battles at the start of the long race, but eventually crossed the finish line with ease.
The LMP3 category was won by the #74 Riley Motorsports car. The model had Brazilian Felipe Fraga at the wheel, along with Gar Robinson, Kayvan Berlo and Michael Cooper.
In the GTD PRO category, the battle between cars #2 and #9 continued until the final minutes. But it was the Pfaff Porsche team that came out on top, with three stars Mathieu Jaminet, Mapp Campbell and Brazilian Felipe Nasr. In GTD AM, the Wright Motorsports team of Jan Heylen, Richard Lietz, Ryan Hardwick and Zacharie Robson crossed the finish line in first place.
Other Brazilians at Daytona
Augusto Farfus Jr., who competed in the RLL BMW long-distance race with Jesse Krohn, Connor De Phillippi and John Edwards, finished 31st overall and seventh in class. Daniel Serra, who raced for Risi Competizione Ferrari alongside Davide Rigon, Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado, was 20th in the final standings and second in class. Both drivers competed in GTD PRO.
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