2015 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona: Review – Chip Ganassi Racing take Daytona honours

Le Mans Prototype Class

The #02 Ganassi Riley-Ford Ecoboost DP took victory in the 2015 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona from the #5 Action Express Racing Coyote-Chevrolet Corvette DP by just 1.3 seconds at the end of 740 gruelling laps.

Scott Dixon took the Chip Ganassi Racing entry to victory lane along with team-mates Tony Kanaan, Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson, while Sebastien Bourdais was second for Action Express Racing alongside his team-mates Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa as the Daytona Prototypes dominated the LMP2 entries.

The #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP was third, but had been in contention throughout the 24 hour event, taking the lead on numerous occasions, but an apparent oversight by the team meant a late driver change as Jordan Taylor, close to exceeding the maximum allowed driver time (four hours in any six hour spell), had to vacate the seat for his brother Ricky. Before the stop, the car that the brothers shared with Max Angelelli was on the tail of the race leader, but finished over a minute adrift at the flag.

The second Ganassi entry was also in contention before being forced to retire with two hours to go with clutch problem, but Sage Karam had proved in that time that he is certainly one to watch in the future as he show prestigious speed alongside team-mates Scott Pruett, Joey Hand and Charlie Kimball.

The best placed LMP2 car in class was the pole-sitting Michael Shank Racing Ligier-Honda JSP2 of Oswaldo Negri Jr, AJ Allmendinger, John Pew and Matt McMurry down in eleventh after overnight issues cost them valuable time.

The #52 PR1/Mathiasen Oreca won LMPC class (Credit: Richard Dole/LAT Photo USA)
The #52 PR1/Mathiasen Oreca won LMPC class (Credit: Richard Dole/LAT Photo USA)

Le Mans Prototype Challenge Class

The #52 PR1/Mathiasen Oreca FLM09 entry of Tom Kimber-Smith, Andrew Palmer, Mike Gausch and Andrew Novick took victory in the LMPC class as the leading #54 CORE Autosport Oreca-Chevrolet FLM09 entry crashed out with just twenty minutes remaining on the clock.

Colin Braun was the villain, hitting the wall hard and ending the teams’ race, with team-mates Jon Bennett, Mark Wilkins and James Gue all ending disappointed and heartbroken on pit wall.

The #16 BAR1 Motorsports Oreca of Johnny Mowlem, Tom Papadopoulos, Tomy Drissi, Brian Alder and Martin Plowman was second in class, a lap behind the winning class entry, while CORE Motorsports still claimed the third step on the podium despite their retirement.

The #3 Corvette Racing entry won the GTLM class (Credit: Richard Dole/LAT Photo USA)
The #3 Corvette Racing entry won the GTLM class (Credit: Richard Dole/LAT Photo USA)

GT Le Mans Class

It was a great battle throughout the 24 hours for class honours in GTLM, but it was the #3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R of Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen and Ryan Briscoe who came out on top.

Garcia saw a thirty second lead disappear when the eighteenth and final full course caution slowed the pace, but was able to hold off the #25 BMW Team Rahal Letterman Lanigan Z4 GTE of Dirk Werner, Bill Auberlen, Augusto Farfus and Bruno Spengler.

The BMW had been the GTLM class leader before the penultimate round of pit stops, but an issue with one of the wheels cost the car over half a minute that became vital at the end.

The class pole-sitting #4 Corvette of Oliver Gavin, Simon Pagenaud and Tommy Milner could only finish third, seven laps back on the two ahead of them.

The #93 Riley Motorsports machine won the GTD class (Credit: F. Peirce Williams/LAT Photo USA)
The #93 Riley Motorsports machine won the GTD class (Credit: F. Peirce Williams/LAT Photo USA)

GT Daytona Class

The #93 Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R of Ben Keating, Kuno Wittmer, Dominik Farnbacher, Al Carter and Cameron Lawrence took the victory in the GTD class, claiming the spoils from the #22 Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America of Shane van Gisbergen, Leh Keen, Andrew Davis and Cooper MacNeil.

Farnbacher brought the car home a little over seven seconds clear of van Gisbergen, while the #58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT America of Philipp Eng, Madison Snow, Jan Heylen and Patrick Dempsey was third two laps further back.

Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona Race Result (Top 20)

1 P 02 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates 740
2 P 5 Action Express Racing +1.333s
3 P 10 Wayne Taylor Racing +1m07.074s
4 P 90 Visitflorida.com Racing +6 Laps
5 GTLM 3 Corvette Racing +15 Laps
6 GTLM 25 BMW Team Rahal Letterman Lanigan +15 Laps
7 P 31 Action Express Racing +19 Laps
8 GTLM 4 Corvette Racing +22 Laps
9 PC 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports +26 Laps
10 PC 16 BAR1 Motorsports +27 Laps
11 P 60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Abajanian Retired
12 PC 54 CORE Autosport Retired
13 GTD 93 Riley Motorsports +36 Laps
14 GTD 22 Alex Job Racing +36 Laps
15 GTD 58 Wright Motorsports +38 Laps
16 GTLM 24 BMW Team Rahal Letterman Lanigan +39 Laps
17 PC 85 JDC/Miller Motorsports +39 Laps
18 GTD 49 AF Corse +39 Laps
19 GTD 48 Paul Miller Racing +45 Laps
20 GTD 63 Scuderia Corse Retired

2015 Rolex 24 Hourly Reports