Once again, Latin American motorsport was the winner in the 24 Hours of Daytona endurance event with the Colombian Sebastian Saavedra as champion in the LMP2 modality, while the Brazilian Augusto Farfus was the champion in the the GTLM (GT Le Mans).
Both were at the wheel of the cars of their respective teams, DragonSpeed and BMW Team RMG, when the 57th edition of the 24 Hours of Daytona ended without resuming after the second suspension that was given by rain.
Saavedra, 28, made a brilliant career in the most difficult moments of the torrential rain that began to fall on the Daytona International Speedway circuit during the night and the rest that lasted the test.
Before the great Saavedra ride, his teammates, the Mexican Roberto Gonzalez, the Venezuelan, exFormula 1, Pastor Maldonado and Ryan Cullen also completed an exceptional job.
“It was the triumph of the whole team, we knew how to maintain our composure at all times, although the weather conditions in the second half were very complicated and difficult,” said Saavedra, who piloted the ORECA LMP2 N.18.
“In the end the team work paid off and it was exceptional.”
Brazil’s Farfus, of the BMW Team RMG, also triumphed, with the BMW MB GTE 8 No.25 car that was on the track and in front of the wheel when the second suspension arrived and was proclaimed champion in the GTLM (GT Le Mans) modality. to his teammates Connor De Phillippi, Phillipp Eng and Colton Herta.
But if there were Latin American drivers who shone and stayed at the gates of the great triumph were the Brazilians Felipe Nasr and the veteran Helio Castroneves, three-time Indianapolis 500 champion, both the great rivals who fought with the Spaniard Fernando Alonso to get the victory.
Nasr, the current IMSA champion, was within minutes of achieving the victory had it not been for the run-off he suffered before the red flag made an appearance for the second time to suspend the race, which never resumed with 593 completed rounds.
The Brazilian driver, a great wet track expert, committed the rush that would cost his Wheler Engineering Racing team with the car Cadillac DPI lost the lead in favor of Alonso who remained calm after the incident that starred Nasr, who He finished second along with his teammates the American Eric Curran and the Brazilian Pipo Derani.
“The conditions on the track were very complicated and in the end any oversight was going to cost you some mistake, but the problem was that we did not have the option of resuming the race,” said Nasr. “There is a lot of frustration inside the team because we had a great race.”
He also fought to the end with his Team Penske team and the Acura DPi No.7 car, Castroneves, which took third place in the standings.
Castroneves, who was provisional leader during his “stints” at the wheel, starred in one of the most interesting duels in the first half of the race with the Spaniard Fernando Alonso who was proclaimed champion of the test with the Wayne Taylor Racing team.
“It was very funny and spectacular to be able to maintain a great duel with my great friend Helio (Castroneves),” said Alonso when he finished his first driving turn and brought his team from ninth to first place in the professional classification.
Castroneves was always with the maximum possibilities of fighting for the final triumph with his teammates the Americans Ricky Taylor and Alexander Rossi.
In the end the rains and the genius of Alonso prevented him.
Another veteran was not lucky, the Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya, who along with the American Dane Cameron and the French Simon Pagenaud, his teammates Team Penske and the Acura DPi No.6 car, were the direct rivals of Alonso until the final phase of the race, when they began to have mechanical problems and had to enter the pits to lose any option to win. (EFE).