Michael Shank Racing Dominates The Rolex 24 At Daytona

Danny Choy
by Danny Choy

A grid of 58 vehicles at the 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24 at Daytona made this year’s event one of the most competitive races in the history of the franchise. It was so competitive, in fact, NASCAR star racing driver AJ Allmendinger of the Michael Shank Racing #60 Ford/Riley car only beat Starworks Motorsport’s pole-sitter Ryan Dalziel by 5.198 seconds after 24 hours of heated competition.

After Allmendinger had won the Rolex 24, he described his last stint as, “the most fun three hours of racing I’ve ever done.”

Struggling for a race win at the Rolex 24 ever since 2004, Michael Shank Racing’s remarkable victory got even sweeter when its second Daytona Prototype crossed the line to clinch third and close out the podium. However, the battle between Allmendinger and Dalziel in their last stint was so relentless that the Michael Shank No. 6 sister car driven by Felipe Nasr couldn’t stay with the battle and fell back, finishing the race almost a minute behind. The top-three finishers were all Ford/Riley prototypes.

The #60 Michael Shank Racing Ford Riley was brought to the checkered flag by A.J. Allmendinger and co-drivers Justin Wilson, John Pew and Oswaldo Negri Jr. Starwork’s impressive 2nd place finish was thanks to the valiant driving performed by Ryan Dalziel and co-drivers Enzo Potolicchio, Lucas Luhr, Allan McNish and Alex Popow. Finally, in third place, the sister Michael Shank car was driven by Felipe Nasr, Michael McDowell, Jorge Goncalvez and Gustavo Yacaman.

In the GT class, Magnus Racing’s #44 Porsche GT3 driven by Rechard Lietz was the first of the Porsche podium sweep, followed by the TRG #67 Porsche driven by Wolf Henzler and the Brumos racing Porsche of Marc Lieb. Overall, the three 911 GT3 Cup cars finished 11th, 12th, and 13th.
Magnus Racing’s driver Andy Lally said, “We had the potential to do this. The people assembled by John to start Magnus Racing just two years ago were top0notch guys and he took direction from some really well-seasoned vets. He steered the ship in the right direction and basically put together a really solid, strong effort.”
All in all, the 50th anniversary Rolex 24 at Daytona was an eventful day for all racing teams as well as for all the spectators that filled up Daytona’s infield grandstands to maximum capacity.
Danny Choy
Danny Choy

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