Sunday, January 31, 2016

Speedgeek's Daytona Wrap Up

Sorry for the disappearing act there right around the end of the Daytona 24. As soon as the checkered fell, family duties had to take over for a few hours, meaning that I'm just now getting around to digesting what all we saw over the last two days and getting something down here.

What a finish, huh? Sure, the Prototype and overall finish was kind of in the bag for the #2 ESM Ligier-Honda through the final stint, as nobody had anything for Pipo Derani (he led a race-high 149 laps out of the 736 run). And the LMPC race was basically toast with a half an hour to go, as the #85 JDC-Miller Motorsports car won by four laps (though it was touching to see a visibly choked up Kenton Koch tell the Fox Sports crew, "we frickin' won it!" in victory lane). But the other two classes made up for that comparative lack of drama.

In GTLM, the two Corvettes cleared the #912 Porsche in the last half hour and then went to work on each other. Antonio Garcia in the #3 Corvette tried multiple times to get around Oliver Gavin in the #4, even getting around briefly once into Turn 1, only to leave his braking a touch too late, slide wide and Olly to slip by again. Eventually, the #4 car crossed the line about 3/4ths of a car length ahead of the #3, an impressive finish by one of the most storied teams in American sports car racing history.

And in GTD, Rene Rast in the #44 Magnus Racing Audi was nursing his fuel through the last stint, allowing the #28 Konrad Motorsport Lamborghini to get by with about nine minutes remaining. This situation flipped on its head five minutes later, though, as the Lambo sputtered and ran low on fuel through the infield, allowing the Magnus Audi back by. But, the question was whether the Magnus car would make it to the end or similarly sputter and have to come in as well. The tension on the Magnus webcast was incredibly high, with Sean Heckman chattering non-stop, obviously nervous but also not wanting to jinx anything. The scene in the Magnus pitbox as the #44 wheeled through the tri-oval for the last time was incredible, with the entire team erupting at once into ecstatic screaming and hugging. Nobody was quite sure if the car would make it until it was literally within sight of pit lane. What a finish. And anybody who saw the Magnus Racing 2016 video (have I talked about that at all here?) should be thrilled for those guys to be so richly rewarded with a great result after a horrible 2015.

So, we had a great finish to a fantastic 24 hours of racing. And to boot, we had an outstanding Blogathon here at GBS. Thanks to Mike and Allen for everything here all weekend, and I can't wait to do this again next year. Or maybe before then. I suppose we'll have to see. But perhaps I should just start with post #1 of my 584 part series about the best racing video games I've ever played...

See you all again soon.

1 comment:

Mike said...

Watching my 4 and 44 do so well have me pretty excited about adding class points to our challenge next year. But of course, I'll never pick winners again once we do that.