With the 24 Hours of Daytona, the opening round of the IMSA SportsCar Championship 2023 and the first venue for the new GTP premier class for LMDh and LMH hybrid racing cars, a new era in endurance racing at the highest level began last weekend.
There were only LMDh racers on the track, fielded by Acura, BMW, Cadillac and Porsche and it was Acura, the only manufacturer to field a V-6 powered LMDh (the rest had V-8s), which came out above.
The number 60 Acura ARX-06 fielded by Meyer Shank Racing and driven by Tom Blomqvist, Colin Braun, Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaug crossed the finish line first. It finished 4.1 seconds ahead of the No. 10 Acura ARX-06 fielded by Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport and driven by Filipe Albuquerque, Louis Deletraz, Brendon Hartley. and Ricky Taylor.
Rounding out the top three places in the GTP class were the No. 1 Cadillac V-LMDh fielded by Cadillac Racing with Chip Ganassi and driven by Sebastien Bourdais, Scott Dixon and Renger van der Zande.
It was Acura’s third straight win at the Daytona 24 Hours and second straight 1-2.
The no. 60 ARX-06 started the race from pole position and dominated most of the race until a series of warning flags closed the field for the final eight hours. The two Cadillac V-LMDh cars put up a good fight but were simply overtaken in the end. BMW’s two M Hybrid V8s also lacked the pace but proved more reliable than the pair of Porsche 963s with the #7 Porsche losing several laps to battery changes and the #6 car retiring after running out in a puff of smoke .
The next round on the 2023 SportsCar Championship calendar is the 12 Hours of Sebring on March 18th.