By Josh Farmer, IndyCar Reporter
Seven months removed from their historic win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller and Sebastien Bourdais claimed the win in the GT Le Mans class at the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Mueller took the lead for good from James Calado in the Risi Competizione Ferrari on the race’s final restart with 30 minutes remaining and held off a few charges by Porsche factory driver Patrick Pilet to take the win.
Bourdais admitted and he was on the edge of his seat as Mueller kept the lead over the course of the final 30 minutes.
“All I knew was I was dreading the moment that I was going to come to the pits,” Bourdais said.
“As soon as I arrived there it was about 20 minutes left and I started to look at Joey and he was about as pale as I was.”
I just couldn’t be more proud of these guys – Ford and Chip Ganassi Racing. My spotter messaged me and said that he (Dirk) is a stud. Unbelievable job he did at the end to make it stick.”
Wayne Taylor Racing claimed their second overall Rolex 24 win with brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor along with retiring veteran Max Angelelli and 4-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon driving the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadilac DPi-V.R.
Controversy lingered over the win as Ricky Taylor spun Action Express Racing’s Filipe Albuquerque in turn one with less than 10 minutes remaining. IMSA officials reviewed the incident and took no action.
Tony Kanaan, driving the No. 69 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT, was the second highest IndyCar driver and ended the day 5th in the GTLM class. The Brazilian also set the fastest lap among his teammates Harry Tincknell and Andy Prialux.
Ryan Hunter-Reay and Graham Rahal, driving in Michael Shank Racing’s new Acura NSX GT3s, both managed to lead some laps overnight as rains soaked the 3.56 mile infield road course.
Hunter-Reay ended up 5th in the GTD class along with co-drivers Jeff Segal, Ozz Negri and Tom Dyer. Rahal came home 11th in class after his No. 93 NSX came to a halt with 28 minutes remaining while Andy Lally was driving.
2015 overall winner Scott Dixon saw his day hindered by mechanical woes that sent his No. 67 Ford GT behind the wall for many laps and relegated him to 10th in class, 27th overall.
Spencer Pigot and James Hinchcliffe also faced mechanical problems in their Speedsource Mazdas which relegated them to 40th and 46th overall.
Conor Daly’s day ended 45th overall after Starworks Motorsport co-driver James Dayson collided with a Prototype car just past the six-hour mark.