He’s the first Frenchman to score a back-to-back win and only the second to win the iconic American endurance race more than once (after Bob Wollek in 1983, 1985, 1989 and 1991).
For the 61st edition of the legendary American IMSA Series race, Simon Pagenaud shared the #60 Acura ARX-06 car of Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) with Tom Blomqvist, Colin Braun, and his IndyCar teammate Helio Castroneves. In a new era in American sports car racing, the team took its second consecutive victory at Daytona with the hybrid-powered No. 60 from pole position.
The 61st running of the American classic came down to four restarts during the final 94-minutes. Last year, MSR won the 60th Running of Daytona with an Acura in the DPi category. This year, the top class showcased the new LMDh prototypes.
Anticipated as a 24h learning curve for the new technology, the race quickly turned into a 24-hour sprint race. MSR was in the fight all the way, leading a race-high 361 of the 783 laps.
Pagenaud ran a great triple-stint Sunday morning as he passed the No. 02 GTP car in Turn 1 for the lead with three-hours, 45-minutes remaining, and the No. 60 Acura stayed out in front for the remainder of the race. Blomqvist took over with one-hour, 48-minutes to go, and brought the car home in first despite a number of late-race restarts.
Simon Pagenaud: “What a race, I am so proud to be a part of this amazing team and I feel so lucky to be able to share my first two Daytona victories with such special people. That final stint felt great and that all comes from the environment that I am in – the teammates that I have and what Mike (Shank) and Jim (Meyer) have put together. I have to thank Acura for giving me a car that suits me well and I really enjoy driving. Overall it was a lot of fun, especially in that last stint.”