PENSKE.COM - Utilizing an all-star lineup of Helio Castroneves, Ricky Taylor and Alexander Rossi for the second year in a row, the No. 7 Acura ARX-05 was looking for a win at this year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona. Taylor, the 2017 winner, quickly moved into the top five following the first pit cycle of the day before Helio Castroneves took his turn in the No. 7 Acura. He would be the recipient of some of the worst luck of any driver in the race.
With just over 20 hours left in the 24-hour endurance race, Castroneves was contacted from behind by the No. 55 Mazda entry while entering the "bus stop" chicane, sending him around and into the tire barrier. After spending 37 minutes in the garage for repairs, Castroneves returned to the track in the 38th position overall. The No. 7 Acura was able to turn quick lap times and began to move up the scoring chart with each passing hour.
Caution flags could have helped the No. 7 team get some of their laps back, but those were few and far between on a day that saw the record number of completed laps for the Rolex 24. All three drivers were able to keep pace with the leaders and eventually got back into the top 10 overall, but ultimately finished 22 laps down to the race winners.
"It was a long day and a very long weekend,” said Taylor. "We had drama from the very beginning, but I think the drama just showed the fight in the Acura Team Penske guys. It really gives us confidence going into the rest of the season that no matter what we face the guys will bring us out of it. As a driver that is great for your confidence. The No. 7 Acura was so fast today, and that is what seems to always happen. When you are out of contention you have the car of your life. That is encouraging though, and hopefully we can come back here next year and finish it off."
The trio is eighth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 12 markers out of the lead and is tied for sixth in the Michelin Endurance Cup standings, 11 points behind the leaders with the next event coming March 21 at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway.