Rear View Mirror 1-30-18
Welcome to Rear View Mirror, we have a lot to discuss so let’s get right to it.
Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona
The 56th running of the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona brought a new record number of laps and the most miles ever. The new record utterly shatters the 36-year-old record of 719 laps, or some 2,070 miles set by John Paul Jr., Rolf Stommelen and John Paul Sr. in a Porsche 935 in 1982. The track was 3.84 miles long then. A later record of 762 laps set in the Nissan R91 in 1992 went down as well.
The new record of 808 laps, or 2,876 miles was set by the race winning #5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R co-driven by Joao Barbosa, Filipe Albuquerque, and Christian Fittipaldi. The race was mostly unhampered by cautions with only four full-course yellows affecting only 20 laps. In fact, the top 15 finishers all broke the existing lap record this year. That includes four GTLM cars.
Check out a lap around Daytona with Andy Lally.
The field of fifty cars included 19 P- Class cars, nine GTLM cars, and 22 GTD cars. The fastest lap in P-class was set by Filipe Nasr in the Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi at 1:37.475, in GTLM by James Caldado in the Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE at 1:44.008 and in GTD it was Robby Foley in the P1 Motorsports Mercedes- AMG GT3 at 1:40.842.
Those numbers make the GTD cars actually look faster, but it was in fact just an outstanding lap by Foley. Now let’s take a look at how the race went down by class to get some more perspective.
This year brought a diverse field of Prototypes, with representations of all four eligible chassis’ and drivetrains from Cadillac, Acura, Nissan, and Mazda. Sadly, both of the Mazdas were out by around the halfway point having lost laps to a lost wheel and a later engine fire. The highly-touted debut of Formula One champion Fernando Alonso resulted in a 38th place finish due to mechanical problems. However, Alonso’s United Autosport Ligier, was competititve before problems set in. Alonso says it’s a 50-50 chance he will compete in the 24 again next year.
The Cadilac DPis of Action Express Racing dominated the race. Along with setting the all-time record, the #5 Mustang Sampling DPi won by more than a minute. The #31 Whelen Engineering sister car, took second place. All this, despite engine cooling problems and a steering wheel that was “lit up like a Christmas tree,” according to drivers, for much of the race. Third place was the #54 CORE Autosport team, that stepped up from its previous role in the Prototype Challenge that no longer competes in the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Challenge.
The Ford GTs of Chip Ganassi Racing were so fast, it raised the ire of other teams who claimed the Fords had sandbagged their pre-qualifying performance at the Roar Before the 24. The GTs led all but nine of the 783 laps they ran. The #67 and #66, respectively, swept the top tiers of the podium and this win marks not only the 200th win for Ganassi Racing, but a bookend win for the 2017 GLTM class winner.
The #66 led the majority of the race, but a late race driver change that resulted in a slight delay gave the lead to the #67. The question of team orders came into play, but the Ganassi team says it was just strategy that played out over an intense 24-hour race. The #3 Corvette C7.R finished third, a full two-laps behind the Fords.
GTD is the largest field of cars and where you have Porsche, Ferrari, Lexus, Mercedes-AMG, BMW, Audi, and Lamborghini competing. After a rough debut last year, the Lamborghinis took not only the win but a double podium. In 2016, the Huracán GT3s were accused of sandbagging in pre-qualifying, this year they set the fastest laps at the Roar Before the 24.
It was Lamborghini’s first ever win at the haloed endurance race. The winning #11 Grasser Racing Team Huracán GT3 was driven by European racers Rolf Ineichen, Franck Perera and Rik Breukers and led the final 52 laps of the race. The second-place finisher was the #86 Acura NSX GT3 of Alvaro Parente, Katherine Legge, Trent Hindman, and AJ Allmendinger. They were about 16 seconds behind. The #48 Paul Miller Racing Huracán GT3 rounded out the podium.
From the looks of the 2018 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona which kicks of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Challenge, it is going to be an amazing season. Bring on Sebring!
January Bounty Hunter
After putting in a few more laps Sunday night I am currently sitting at 2.23.826 in the January Bounty Hunter Challenge of which I am the bounty. To get here was no easy road and I have learned a lot about Mugello, about the 2014 Fiesta ST, and how to put in a fast lap.
I will be putting in one more session Monday to see if I can knock it down a little more because I still haven’t put in the one lap that I feel represents the best I can do. I either blow out one corner or am impeded by traffic in my best attempts. This gives an extra day (I was going to run until end of day January 30) for those of you who have beaten me to rest easy, or for those still chasing my time to beat me.
Either way I have had a lot of fun competing against you all and hope you have had fun either beating me easily or chasing my ghost and cursing my existence.
Kudos to DJ Kustoms who has stayed ahead of me while doing a stylish 360-degree spin on the front straight until my most recent time. Absolutely amazing DJ!
What Forza Means to You
I was going through my t-shirts and had to give up a couple Forza shirts among the myriad I have collected over the years. I asked Forza fans who follow me on Facebook to tell me why they love Forza to earn these shirts. Among the many inspiring responses, these two were the winners.
“Many moons ago in a life time I shan’t forget... Forza saved my life!!! I Worked a dead-end job and drank to excess nightly. Forza Renewed my love of auto sport and gave me something to do other than go looking for [trouble]. I'm now part of a multiple time track championship winning team in real life, [the] "Lefthanders" and secured 2nd place in points in my Rookie Season.” – ROSCOEpCOTRAIN
“The community. Fellow gamers have become family, sharing a common love of racing and gaming. And when the community unites, magic is created, time after time. Tuners, racers, painters, drifters, photographers, regardless of age, race or location, we are all gamers first and foremost. It's Forza Motorsport that makes us a community.” – PTG Stuzib85
Thanks to everyone who posted about why they love Forza, it was an inspiring little contest.
Come join us on the #TuesdayDrive where we will discuss the January Bounty Hunter event watch some replays and give some shout outs to some of the many participants. Then we will get down to business with some racing of our now traditional Spec Miatas. We will also get our drift on and explore some of the cars from the Totinos Car Pack.
I have yet to set a good time in the January Lotus Elise GT1 Rivals event, so that will have to happen at some point, as well as the usual shenanigans and good times we have every week on Mixer and Twitch at 1 p.m. Pacific.
Weekly photo contest winner by HarperXo