Cameron, Pla lead Acura Effort in Rolex 24 Qualifying Race
Dane Cameron, Olivier Pla will start fourth in next weekend’s 24-hour contest
John Potter, Andy Lally bring their Acura NSX GT3 Evo home 12th in GTD
2021 IMSA season begins Saturday with the Rolex 24 at Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 24, 2021) – Two veteran sports car racing teams made their Acura debut this weekend at the “Roar Before the 24”, the official pre-season test prior to next weekend’s season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona, while the reigning GTD champion Meyer Shank Racing continues with Acura in 2021, but now in the premier prototype division.
Defending two-time Rolex 24 winner Konica Minolta Wayne Taylor Racing joins two-time Acura GTD series champion Meyer Shank Racing to field Acura ARX-05 prototypes in the 2021 IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship. Also joining the Acura lineup for 2021 is Magnus with Archangel, fielding an Acura NSX GT3 Evo in the production-based GTD class.
This weekend’s three-day test concluded Sunday with a 100-minute sprint race to set the grid for next weekend’s season-opening Rolex 24. Meyer Shank Racing with drivers Dane Cameron and Olivier Pla led the way for Acura Motorsports, finishing fourth overall in their SiriusXM AutoNation Acura ARX-05, earning the team the fourth starting position for the Rolex 24.
Finishing just two seconds behind in fifth were Ricky Taylor and Felipe Albuquerque in their Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05. In GTD, the Magnus with Archangel duo of John Potter and Andy Lally persevered after an early race penalty, for a caution flag infraction, to finish 12th.
Rolex 24 Qualifying Race Results
4th overall – #60 Dane Cameron and Olivier Pla, Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-05 DPi
5th overall – #10 Felipe Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor, Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05 DPi
12th GTD – #44 John Potter and Andy Lally, Magnus with Archangel Acura NSX GT3 Evo
Acura comes to this year’s Rolex 24 as two-time defending Manufacturers’ Champion in the premier DPi category with the Acura ARX-05 prototype, and defending Manufacturers’ Champion in the production-based GTD class with the Acura NSX GT3 Evo.
All three Acura teams at this year’s Rolex 24 are previous winners of the endurance racing classic. Wayne Taylor Racing won the Rolex 24 in 2017, 2019 and 2020; Meyer Shank Racing was victorious in 2012; and Magnus with Archangel have combined for three wins in production-based GT categories.
New for 2021 Type S graphics on the two ARX-05 prototypes are intended to reinforce the connection between Acura’s racing and productions vehicles, and our theme of Precision Crafted Performance.
Acura has recently announced production plans for Type S versions of the TLX performance sedan and MDX. Both models will be powered by turbocharged V6 engines, similar to the production-based engine used in the ARX-05 prototype.
Dane Cameron (#60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-05): finished 4th in qualifying race; Rolex 24 co-drivers include Olivier Pla, Juan Pablo Montoya and A.J. Allmendinger: “Yeah, the first ever qualifying race for the Rolex 24 at Daytona, so fourth for [Meyer Shank Racing] is not too bad on our first time out with the ARX-05 prototype. We’ll definitely take it. We’ve made some real strides in the last day or two [of testing], working to make the balance better. Today’s race was a chance for the drivers to do live driver changes, for the team to do live pit stops, and for Ollie [Pla, co-driver] to do a full stint in the car under race conditions, and get to understand the [chassis adjusting] tools and electronics a lot better. It’s a little different to have this type of [qualifying race], but for us it was super helpful.”
Felipe Albuquerque (#10 Wayne Taylor Racing ARX-05) finished 5th in qualifying race for next weekend’s Rolex 24; race co-drivers will include Ricky Taylor, Alexander Rossi and Helio Castroneves: “We finished fifth after starting seventh, and actually, I’m quite happy with my job in the car. I didn’t know what to expect [before the race], since it was my first time in the Acura on rain tires and in the rain, but we had the car up to P3 at one point. That’s pretty solid. We were putting up a strong fight [at the front]. After the driver change, Ricky [Taylor, co-driver] had a tough time, as he went out on slick tires on a still damp track. Now we’ll start the 24 hours from fifth. Now let’s learn more about the car and have a strong race next weekend.:
Andy Lally (#44 Magnus with Archangel Acura NSX GT3 Evo) qualified 12th in GTD for the Rolex 24; co-drivers include John Potter, Spencer Pumpelly and Mario Farnbacher: “For as much as this team had to do in preparing for this season, I’m thrilled with how the car ran this weekend. The preparation from the Magnus with Archangel crew was nothing less than extraordinary, this is a brand-new chassis and there was a lot to accomplish in a very limited amount of time. They used their experience and ingenuity to come up with methods to get us through this test is good shape for next weekend.”
David Salters (President, Honda Performance Development) on today’s qualifying race: “I’m grateful for the effort our new teams and our associates at HPD put in to get their new Acura’s so well prepared during what was an incredibly brief off-season for everyone. It was a huge undertaking on the part of Wayne Taylor Racing, Meyer Shank Racing, Magnus with Archangel and HPD. But we didn’t quite get the results in today’s qualifying race that we were hoping for prior to the start of the test. So now, we need to have a good look at everything, understand it, and come back fighting next weekend.”
Where to Watch the Rolex 24 at Daytona
Television coverage of the 59th Rolex 24 at Daytona starts Saturday, January 30, at 3:30 p.m. EST on NBC, and continues on the NBC Sports Network from 4:30-8 p.m.; 11 p.m.-3 a.m.; and 6 a.m.-2 p.m. Coverage concludes with the final hours of the race on NBC from 2-4 p.m. Sunday. Live flag-to-flag race coverage also will be available on the NBC Sports App and NBCSN Gold with NBCSN Trackpass authentication.
Fans can listen to audio commentary via IMSA.com, RadioLeMans.com and Sirius XM Radio; and follow the race live via in-car cameras, IMSA Radio and timing & scoring available worldwide on IMSA.com and the IMSA mobile device App.
Acura Motorsports social media content and video links from Daytona are available on Instagram (www.instagram.com/hondaracing_hpd), Twitter at (twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD).