- Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti #40 Acura ARX-06 finishes third in a tough Rolex 24 at Daytona
- #10 WTRAndretti Acura fights back from multiple issues to finish ninth as the 2024 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship opens in Florida
- Electricals problems blunt Gradient Racing's challenge for GTD honors in the Acura NSX GT3 Evo22
The quest for a fourth consecutive Acura victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona came up just short this weekend, as Wayne Taylor Racing with Andrettti finished third in the 2024 season-opening, 24-hour IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship endurance contest.
Louis Deletraz started fifth aboard the #40 DEX Imaging ARX-06, with the sister #10 Konica Minolta Acura of Filipe Albuquerque slotting in right alongside in sixth. Despite a few minor issues through the night, the Acura piloted by Deletraz, Jordan Taylor, Colton Herta and Jenson Button remained in the fight for a podium position through the night. One of five cars on the lead lap in the closing hours, Deletraz brought the #40 home third.
Trouble for the second, #10 WTR Andrettti Acura, began in the ninth hour as the third-place #10 ARX-06 with Albuquerque at the controls rolled to a stop on course with an electrical issue.
The problem was soon isolated to a failure in the wiring harness, but repairs took approximately 90 minutes to complete, taking the #10 ARX-06 of Albuquerque, Ricky Taylor, Brendon Hartley and Marcus Ericsson out of contention for the victory. An additional long stop for brake repairs in the 11th hour dropped the #10 further down the field, resulting in a 9th place finish in GTP.
Acura NSX GT3 Evo22
In the production-based GTD category, Katherine Legge started the #66 Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo22 after qualifying third in class last weekend. Legge and co-drivers Sheena Monk, Tatiana Calderon and Stevan McAleer remained in position to contend for the class victory until their own electrical issue in the ninth hour resulted in a series of pit stops for repairs, followed by another long stop for repairs after the NSX struck debris on track during the night, damaging the right front fender and bodywork.
The car was eventually retired when the electrical issues returned in the early morning hours, dropping the J.G. Wentworth-sponsored NSX to an unrepresentative 19th-place finish.
Rolex 24 Acura Results
- 3rd GTP and overall - #40 Louis Deletraz, Jordan Taylor, Colton Herta and Jenson Button; Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Acura ARX-06
- 9th GTP - #10 Filipe Albuquerque, Ricky Taylor, Brendon Hartley, Marcus Ericsson; Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Acura ARX-06 [not running – retired]
Rolex 24 Acura Results (con't)
- 19th GTD - #66 Katherine Legge, Sheena Monk, Tatiana Calderon and Stevan McAleer; Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo22 [not running – electrical]
- Acura returned to Daytona International Speedway and the IMSA season-opening Rolex 24 as three-time defending race winners. In the debut of the hybrid GTP era, Meyer Shank Racing led a 1-2 result for Acura last year. The electrified #60 Acura ARX-06 of Tom Blomqvist, Colin Braun, Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud claimed the overall honors for the second year in a row; ahead of the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing's Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque, Louis Deletraz and Brendon Hartley.
- This was Acura's 10th Rolex 24 as a prototype manufacturer (1991-93, 2018-24). In addition to the overall wins in 2021, 2022 and 2023 – and in 2016 under the HPD/Honda banner – Acura won the Camel Lights class at Daytona in 1991 and again in 1992.
Louis Deletraz (#40 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Acura ARX-06) 3rd overall and in GTP: "I think we should be very happy with the result as a team. These last 10 days have not been easy. Acura, HRC and the whole WTRAndrettti organization have been working amazingly. We made the most of the situation. The #31 and the #7 cars were obviously quicker than us, but we never gave up. We lost a few laps, but we always came back and gave them a fight to the last minute. It was great. I am very grateful for everyone's hard work and it is a great start to the championship with strong [championship] points today. We're looking toward [winning] the season-long championship and hopefully scoring a few victories along the way for the #40 DEX Imaging Acura ARX-06 team."
Marcus Ericsson (#10 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Acura ARX-06) 9th in GTP: "Congratulations to my teammates in the #40 car, it's great to get a podium [result] at such a tough race. Of course, we always want to win, but a podium finish is a great success for the whole WTRAndretti team. I think for us in the #10 car, we had a really good race going, the car was feeling really good, and the Acura power was excellent. It felt like we were making progress, but then unfortunately we had the [electrical] issue that put us out of contention [for the victory]. The team did a tremendous job getting the car back on track and I got the chance to do quite a lot of laps, which was a ton of fun. I really appreciate the opportunity to come here and race with WTRAndretti and Acura. It's been a blast, and I hope to do it again."
Tatiana Calderon (#66 Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo22) 19th in GTD: "First of all, I want to thank the team for all the effort over the last two weeks! It's a dream for any driver to be part of this amazing race, so even though we did not finish, I will take the positives. We had a quick car and I gained valuable experience, as it was my first time driving the Acura NSX GT3 Evo22. We have unfinished business and I can't wait to get back in the car for Sebring. Thanks to all the fans who came to support us, the atmosphere here was amazing!"
David Salters (President, HRC US) on this weekend's Rolex 24 at Daytona: "A great debut for HRC-US with a podium finish at the Rolex 24. I think, all things considered, that [third-place finish] was the most we could get out of today. So thank you very much to the brilliant men and women of HRC, WTRAndretti, ORECA, Gradient Racing and everyone involved who makes our racing possible. They do the actual, hard work and ‘well done' to them. We maximized what we had; and we move on with the lessons learned."
The 2024 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship now moves to central Florida for the 72nd annual Mobil-1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Saturday, March 16 in Sebring, Fla.
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