Acura was absolutely phenomenal in the Daytona 24-hour with them shushing some of the big names in endurance racing with their pure pace and reliability.
The car that lead the battle for Acura was the Meyer Shank Racing #60, which was consistently at the front of the field even with the most pit stops during the 24 hours. A mistake however on Saturday evening from Helio Castroneves, saw him slide off of the track on a restart.
It wasn’t as easy as it looked though with the car struggling with an overheating gearbox six hours into the race and having some battery issues near the end.
Overall, the Acura was the strongest car in the field. The sister Konica Minolta #10 car also had a mostly trouble-free race with it only coming in to replace an oil filler bracket, and for a penalty for the team working on the car when the pits were closed.
So from this first race, the Acura car seems like a strong favourite for the IMSA season, but you can’t rule out the Cadillacs which also had a strong running, with the only issue it faced was with the only issue faced for that car being rear suspension damage for the Whelen Engineering Racing #31 Cadillac after contact with a GTD.
It was an extremely disappointing weekend as a brand for Porsche in Daytona with results in both the GTP and GT categories that probably left them wanting to bury their heads in the sand.
The debut for the new Porsche 963 led to perhaps one of the worst races Porsche has had in top-level endurance racing, with the #7 car finishing 34 laps behind the leader after going into the garages for a battery change, and the #6 retired after unlapping itself in the morning with gearbox failure, which saw the teams hopes literally go up in smokes.
Porsche hasn’t suffered this bad of a result since the 2014 Le Man 24 hours, a race they also suffered from gearbox issues in.
Porsche will hope to learn quickly from these failures at Daytona, so they can implement positive changes for Sebring in the hopes of a better result.
Porsche’s bad weekend wasn’t only for its factory team with their GTD and GTD Pro competitors’ races ruined by the balance of performance the Porsche 911 GT3 R was given.
The highest-finishing Porsche in GTD Pro was the #9 Pfaff Motorsports car, which was 18.924 off the lead, and in GTD the #16 Wright Motorsports car was ninth and was two laps down from the class leader
A truly very disappointing result for the car’s debut IMSA meeting, compared to Porsche’s pace last year.
BMW was another team that had a really bad time at the 24 with them being visibly off of the pace at the start of the race, with both of the cars running at the back of the GTP field.
Things went from bad to worse for the #25 as it broke down just off of turn 12 and pulled into an escape road just off of the circuit, and when it reached the garages replaced the battery of the car, MGU, and gearbox, which was a replacement of the whole hybrid system.
Then with an engine alarm going off Sunday morning, it left the car 131 laps down from the leading Meyer shank car.
The #24 was more consistent the only issue it faced was with the brakes on the rear axle, putting the car 15 laps down from the leader.
But the team is said to be very happy with the result considering this is the first time the car has been run for 24 hours after the rumoured abandoned Sebring test that the car didn’t complete the 24 hours.
The LMP2 class stole the show at Daytona, with most of the highlights of the race coming from this class, with the main speaking point from this race coming from the #55 Proton competition car taking the win in the LMP2 class by 0.016s from the #04 Crowdstrike car in a photo finish which saw the proton car sweeping around the outside after slipstream the Crowdstrike car to the line.
The Corwdstrike LMP2 also had a great race with the #35 TDS racing LMP2 throughout with it playing a game of cat and mouse which saw the cars trade positions consistently in the race.
Will this be one of the last great battles of the LMP2 class though with the future of this great class now up in the air with the ever-increasing LMDH/Hypercar fields, along with the new GT3 premium class coming to WEC and ELMS in 2024? It does create the question of where will the LMP2 field fit in.