STRONG SHOWING FROM SUNENERGY1 RACING RUNNING A STRONG STRATEGY DURING THE 24 HOURS
When we spoke to Mikaël Grenier prior to the start of the race, he mentioned they would do everything to stay on the lead lap through the first 3/4 of the race to be in a position to maximize their chances to get the GTD win.
They did just that and more as they ran a strategy that allowed them to run amongst the top five and even top three through the night and into the morning so when the 18 hour mark came, they were in third place.
With the drivers rotation for the last part of the race, it was left to Luca Stolz and Raffaele Marciallo to bring the SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 to the finish line. And they gave their everything flirting with the lead for the rest of the race as they kept a gap of about one second until the last pit stop where they fell behind 11 seconds at the beginning of the stint to finish the race 16 seconds from #57 Winward Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 who proved to be very strong as they stretched their lead. Winward Racing drivers Philip Ellis, Maro Engel,Russell Ward, Indy Dontje have shown great consistency the entire race.
Third place went to #1 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of B. Sellers / M. Snow / C. Lewis / A. Caldarelli who were just 6.9 seconds behind the SunEnergy1 Racing team.
A great showing from The Heart of Racing with Roman De Angelis delivering a solid performance during his driving stints. The team slowly made their way up the order to placed themselves in contention by being on the lead lap in the last couple of hours of the race. They ended up finishing in fifth place 49 seconds adrift.
Alegra Motorsports had a rocky start to the race when they were given a drive through penalty for rule enfreignent because of not having revealed the replacement driver to Michael De Quesada who had been diagnosed with COVID-19 only hours before the Rolex 24. Already on the back foot, they ran into brake problems during the night. By the time they found the source of the problem, they had lost 3 laps. Daniel Morad at the wheel, put in the lap times to regain one lap in the early morning but that is where the team would stay. At the checkered flag, they were shown in ninth place with 3 laps down.
Pfaff Motorsports also had a difficult Rolex 24 after having started in second place. Early on by the time Zach Robichon, who had started the race, came into the pits from having completed his relay, they occupied eight place. During the night, they reported having had problems with front suspension following a contact with the wall while in pitlane, although they maintain a rhythm that kept them in contention. They then managed to make necessary repairs during a full course yellow mid-morning. Unfortunately, it was not the last problem they encountered. As Zach Robichon took over from Laurens Vanthoor and on his out lap, a drive axle let go forcing Robichon to bring the car straight to the garage for necessary repairs. Once the repairs were completed, Pfaff Motorsports brought the #9 car back on track although they had lost 44 laps at the time. Laurens Vanthoor took the last relay and brought the car back in 12th place, 43 laps down.
Hour 24 results here
Image courtesy IMSA
Photographer & Editor