Heavy rain and resulting low visibility descended upon the Daytona International Speedway just past the mid-point in this weekend’s Rolex 24, resulting in frequent accidents, two race stoppages and a constantly jumbled order.
For the first time in history, the race was red flagged twice due to wet conditions, first for an hour, 45 minutes early Sunday morning; and a for second and final time at 12:39 p.m. Race officials waited for conditions to improve enough to resume competition, but eventually displayed the checkered flags to end the race 10-minutes shy of the scheduled 24 hours.
When the opening round of the 2019 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship had concluded, Acura Team Penske scored a third-place result overall and in the Daytona Prototype International category.
The Acura Team Penske ARX-05 prototypes featured throughout the first half of the 24-hour endurance contest, running 1-2 at the end of the first hour, and again at the eighth and ninth hours. Each car took additional, individual turns at the front of the field through the first half of the contest.
The #7 Acura continued to challenge for the lead through the second and final race stoppage, taking the final Red Flag – and eventual checkers – in third for the driver lineup of Helio Castroneves, Ricky Taylor and Alexander Rossi.
However, with less than five hours remaining, the #6 ARX-05 of Juan Pablo Montoya, Dane Cameron and Simon Pagenaud went to the garage to repair an external oil system issue. The Acura returned to the track, but was now 18 laps off the pace. The rain, frequent cautions and race stoppage left them sixth at the finish.
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The 2019 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship now moves to central Florida for the 67th annual 12 Hours of Sebring, March 16 in Sebring, Fla.
Video recaps from this weekend’s Rolex 24 endurance race at Daytona International Speedway are being posted on the "Honda Racing/HPD" YouTube channel. Produced by the Carolinas Production Group, the video packages can be found in the 2019 HPD Trackside Video Playlist at: https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV and HPD's social channels
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