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The people of this year’s 57th Rolex 24 at Daytona

January 29, 2019

It’s easy to go out and shoot tons of car pics during the Rolex 24 at Daytona. After all, you’ve got 24 hours to get it right, right?

I thought I’d share some people pics I shot throughout the race weekend – and tell you why I chose them.

Over the years I’ve been able to do a lot of work with Corvette Racing, who were hoping for the hat-trick this year. Unfortunately for them, it didn’t happen. Their GTLM category was filled with talent equal to their own. Here are Gary Pratt (Sr VP Pratt & Miller), #3 crew chief Dan Binks, #3 car drivers Jan Magnussen and Mike Rockenfeller, photographed during the Thursday night practice session.

gary pratt of corvette racing copydan binks copyjan magnussen of no. 3 corvette copymike rockenfeller copy

The winning #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac featured four drivers but none received the media attention of two-time F1 champ Fernando Alonso. I would dare to bet he’s not had to suffer through so many interviews in his life, but ‘Nando took it all in stride throughout the weekend. He was gracious in the face of some very stupid questions, delightful to work with and, as expected, magic on the track.

fernando alonso copy

Austin Cindric is taking a master class in racing. He’s done just about everything, including help wipe down the Lexus GTD race car in his – and its – first appearance at Daytona International Speedway two years ago. Since then, he’s matured and, with new management from AIM Vasser Sullivan, the Lexus gained a podium result on Sunday. Getting rid of previous management helped. Here’s a shot of Austin in the media center before he raced the #14, followed by a pic of 1996 CART champ/team co-owner Jimmy Vasser and a shot of Townsend Bell, who co-drove the #12 in this race.

austin cindric copyjimmy vasser copytownsend bell copy

The media center became a second home to Alessandro Zanardi during practice, qualifying and race days at the Rolex 24. No matter the request, the two-time CART champ was ready to tackle it. Riding a tricked-out scooter without his prosthetics, racing the #24 BMW M8 GTE GTLM without his prosthetics, keeping a great attitude no matter the obstacles, yep, that’s Alex. Some call him an inspiration – he’s all that and more.

alessandro zanardi copyZanardi’s #24 BMW didn’t win the race this year but his #25  team car from BMW Team RLL sure did, featuring Bryan Herta’s son Colton on the four-driver squad. Colton Herta is about to undertake his first full season of NTT IndyCar Series competition with Honda-equipped Steinbrenner Harding Racing. Watch him – this kid has the goods!

colton herta copy

Rick Mayer has engineered Risi Competizione’s Ferrari entries in endurance racing for much of its existence. The team does its preview press releases by discussing the challenges of the upcoming contest with him, not the drivers. My kind of info, for sure, and Rick is amongst the best in his business. Risi’s #62 Ferrari 488 GTE finished second behind the #25 BMW.

rick mayer copy

Oliver Jarvis was magnificent behind the wheel of the #77 Mazda Team Joest RT24-P DPi on Thursday afternoon, earning pole position and breaking PJ Jones’ 26-year-old record, set in Dan Gurney’s All American Racers’ Toyota prototype. Mazda seems star-crossed in its endurance racing, first using rotary power, then diesel and now a former Le Mans-winning LMP2 engine in its DPi prototype. Results at Daytona were the same for both the #77 polesitter and its #55 stablemate: both failed to finish due to mechanical issues. Got to feel for Mazda – they try so hard.

no. 77 oliver jarvis broke track record in q copy

Four standout women racers drove the second of Meyer Shank Racing’s #57 Caterpillar Acura NSX GT3 entries in the competitive GTD class. Katherine Legge was one of them, joining Simona de Silvestro, Ana Beatriz and Christina Nielsen. Team owner Jackie Heinricher sat out the race. Here’s Kat looking at some info prior to the race. The racing gods weren’t with them – they were still classified as running in the monsoon conditions that called this event 10 minutes early, albeit in 33rd place (there were 47 starters).

katherine legge copy

When Acura Team Penske joined the IMSA DPi wars last year, much was expected of this team. So far, one win at Mid-Ohio last May is the best they’ve had for the two-car team. This year, Team Penske brought Jon Bouslog on as manager; the Indy car veteran should be able to wrench some results – the #7 car finished third at Daytona (it’s also the car that won Mid-Ohio) while the #6 finished eighth. Shown here are Bouslog and #6 driver Simon Pagenaud, the latter returning to some of his roots.

jon bouslog copy

simon pagenaud copy

The weather actually won this race, but these are a few of my favorite people that were involved in the contest. I hope you enjoy?

By Anne Proffit

 

 

 

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