DIESTON BEACH, Fla. – To restore the film Meyer Shank Racing wins the 2022 Rolex 24 at DaytonaHelio Castroneves is Cole Trickle, and Simon Pagenaud is Harry Hyde.
Castroneves, a four-time Indy 500 winner, was leading on the final lap entering the Le Mans Chicane, when Mathieu Jaminet and Laurens Vanthoor collided on the front straight as they battled for the GTD Pro lead.
“There was a huge cloud of smoke and a huge moment,” Castroneves told NBC Sports. “It was like a day of thunder when the guy passed through the smoke and could not see anything. It was as it was said. But thank God, when I got out, one car was on the side, and the other car was on the other, I was able to go down, go and finish the lap.
Driving past former teammate Ricky Taylor in a flurry, Castroneves closed out his second consecutive Rolex 24 victory and celebrated with a repeated climb that he and the team of Pagenaud, his IndyCar teammate, who drove the first style crew, played part of the NASCAR grid. Whispering in the closing lap, coach Castroneves relied on his gym wisdom in anticipation of the GTD Pro battle.
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As Jaminet and Vanthoor watched nervously as the champions roared furiously, Pagenaud realized that No. 60 Acura Porsches driven by Castroneves will enter the “Bus Stop” tournament, nicknamed for the eye-catching turnstiles, which is the finest section of the Daytona International. Undercut
“I remember being the most excited, probably more than I’ve ever been in my running career, because I finished second in every big endurance event in my life,” Pagenaud told NBC Sports. “I told Thea that Helio should know what happened before so that he does not misunderstand the battle and can make the right decision. Luckily for us, Helio made the perfect decision. The two Porsches left the track, and he managed and still remained in the lead.
“He will stay with me for a long time because there was a high level of stress, but the team was open enough to listen and let me send that message to Helio, which is very unusual in the team at this level of stress. after the race.”
Castroneves said: “It is incredible to watch Simon fight. He told the spotters to make sure I knew and to shoot the unknown. And I’m glad they did because I started to back off even with Ricky on my tail. The most difficult mission was not being able to see her.”
It was the second victory in the Rolex 24 for Mike Shank (who also won the 2021 Indy 500 with Castroneves), and solidified the team’s ownership plan to appoint Castroneves and Pagenaud as their IndyCar drivers for the new season. Eight months later, MSR capped the 2022 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with its first title in the premier prototype category.
Shank said he likes to pull up YouTube to look back at the Rolex 24 victory, which also featured in the replay. from punctures on the right and rear tire which Castroneves took care to feed calmly at the pits.
“I think about all the times when I don’t think our team has been respected for being good,” Shank told NBC Sports. “I think about those times, and it feels like redemption, and I love it. Because we are a lot in the mind of the people, there are still small groups that can, and all this, which is really annoying (listen).
“We are not a small team anymore and we have won some of the biggest races in the world and we can compete against anyone. But this is a long time to think about how we have come and how proud I am of the people who have been in MSR for some 25-26 years, because we did it all together..
Despite the switch to a new hybrid engine in the Grand Touring Prototype category, MSR is off to a strong start in its title defense. Tom Blomqvist put no 60 in pole position to 61St* Rolex 24; which begins Saturday at 1:30 pm on NBC.
The team also added Colin Braun, a three-time winner of the Rolex 24 class, to join Blomqvist full-time for the team’s run to the championship. As in IndyCar as MSR teammates will for the second consecutive year, Castroneves and Pagenaud will return for MSR at Daytona for support both behind the wheel and on the pit box.
“When you’re in the design, that’s really cruel about sports car racing,” Pagenaud said. “And I’m not used to the IndyCar side because I’m always in the heat of the action. In sports cars, you usually put yourself in the car and in the head of the driver and at that moment I counted with Helio going to meet them at the Bus Stop, and if I am Jaminet or Vanthoor, I am not. thinking of someone who would win me over. So they don’t know what’s coming. There is no way to do that.
“It was very important for me to send this message, but I knew that Helio would be judged correctly because in these moments he got the Brazilian magic.”