The 58th Rolex 24 at Daytona, the first round of the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, saw the first race for the new Corvette C8.R, the participation of an all-female driver line-up, 2019 NASCAR champion Kyle Busch’s first start in a 24-hour race and Ben Keating at the wheel of two different cars.
A NOTEWORTHY DEBUT FOR THE NEW CORVETTE C8.R
The #3 Corvette C8.R finished the first 24-hour race of its career in fourth place in GTLM (the equivalent of LMGTE Pro at the 24 Hours of Le Mans). Drivers Antonio García, Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg encountered zero problems with the car and completed 785 laps (nearly 5,000 kilometers). Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the #4 Corvette C8.R of Gavin-Milner-Fässler. As the car was in the top 5 in its class going into the ninth hour, an oil leak caused the car to return to its garage. The leak was found to be in an area that forced the mechanics to remove the engine for repair and the work took almost nine hours. The #4 was then able to hit the track again and finished the race in 36th place.
Much like the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 24 Hours of Daytona is an extremely challenging race. To make it to the checkered flag with an all-new car is already a major accomplishment for Corvette Racing. The American team’s next stop is the 6 Hours of the Circuit of The Americas on Sunday 23 February in Austin, the fifth round of the 2019-2020 FIA World Endurance Championship season.
AN ALL-FEMALE DRIVER LINE-UP
All-female driver line-up Christina Nielsen, Katherine Legge, Tati Calderon and Rahel Frey shared GEAR Racing powered by GRT Grasser’s Lamborghini Huracan GT3 in the GTD class, but the car was forced to retire after a fire.
KYLE BUSCH ENJOYS HIS FIRST ENDURANCE RACE
2019 NASCAR champion Kyle Busch took the start in his first Rolex 24 at Daytona at the wheel of the AIM VASSER SULLIVAN team’s Lexus RC-F GT3. Along with teammates Parker Chase, Jack Hawksworth and Michael de Quesada, Busch finished 26th overall and ninth in the GTD class. The American driver pulled off a double and a triple stint without the slightest mistake and said after the race he really enjoyed the experience and hopes to return for the overall win.
BEN KEATING DOUBLES DOWN
Ben Keating participated in his 10th Rolex 24 at Daytona at the wheel of not one but two cars: the #52 ORECA 07 fielded by PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports in the LMP2 class and the #74 Mercedes AMG-GT3 fielded by Riley Motorsports in GTD. Both cars crossed the finish line, the #52 ORECA 07 in 10th place overall and second in its class two laps from the winners, and the #74 Mercedes AMG-GT3 in 29th place overall and 11th in its class. This was the fifth time Keating participated in the race with two different cars.
Source: 24H LE MANS
Formula 1 is going to see a bunch of changes in 2021. The series is implementing some major shifts to the rules, with new car designs and a budget cap for teams, all with the goal of increasing competition and making races more exciting. For the first time, we’re able to see what the 2021 F1 cars will look like.
Formula 1 revealed the finalized car design at a press conference today, outlining all the new rules and regulations that will go into effect come 2021. The cars will be slightly heavier, and wear 18-inch wheels, which should allow for bigger brakes.
The aerodynamic package is what’s most important, however, because it’ll reduce disruption through the air, allowing for closer battles and more passing opportunities, which should mean more exciting racing. There are major changes to the front and rear wings, as well as the floor of the car. The suspension has been simplified, and wheel-wake control devices have been added to smooth out flow. In August, Formula 1 said this new design will have a 45-percent decrease in airflow disruption.
One thing that isn’t getting a significant update is the powertrain layout—2021 cars will still be using a 1.6-liter hybrid-assisted turbo V-6.
Of course, the car isn’t the only thing that’s been overhauled. The series is standardizing more parts, while restricting how many times certain components can be replaced or upgraded during a race weekend. There’s also a budget cap for every team for how much can spend on performance development, set at $175 million per season. The series says it’s contracted an independent regulator to make sure the spending limit is enforced.
That’s not all. There are changes being made to the race weekend schedule as well, with the pre-race press conference now happening on Friday, right before the first practice session. Furthermore, all teams must run at least two practice sessions per year with drivers who have completed two Grands Prix or fewer. This is done to give new drivers a change to show their worth.
Formula 1 has uploaded a video summarized all of the changes in a video below.
Source: Brian Silvestro, Road&Track