DAYTONA BEACH – Porsche Penske Motorsport’s No. 7 team took the overall victory in this weekend’s Rolex 24, the 62nd annual running of the prestigious endurance race. The win was the first for car owner Roger Penske in 55 years and the first for Porsche in 14 years.
The winning driver team consisted of IMSA mainstays Dane Cameron, Matt Campbell, and Felipe Nasr plus defending Indianapolis 500 winner Josef Newgarden. Sunday’s checkered flag, secured by Nasr taking the final driving shift, marked the first Rolex 24 win for all four drivers.
The win was secured for Nasr and Porsche Penske Motorport when a full course caution was thrown with 43 minutes remaining in the race, and the leaders came down pit road for service. Tom Blomqvist, driving for Cadillac Racing, came in the leader but was overtaken by Nasr as the two pulled back onto the track. A fierce duel between the two drivers ensued for the last minutes of the race, but Blomqvist was unable to retake the lead.
“The race really came down to the wire at the very final stop,” Nasr told the media after the race. “It was pretty much all about the fuel numbers. Each one was the energy numbers we were reaching. I just have to say that was a great call from the team, from Porsche Penske Motorsports, just to give me the opportunity to be in the lead again in that final part of the race, and then it was down to me to hit the numbers and keep the 31 behind.”
For Penske, the Rolex 24 is the just the latest sign that his success as a team owner is not fading in his elder years. The 86-year-old car owner has won the last two NASCAR Cup Series championships, plus the 2023 running of the Indy 500. His 2024 Rolex 24 win calls to memory the most recent time his car took the victory in the event: the 1969 running. Mark Donohue and Chuck Parsons won in a Lola T-70/Chevrolet.
Despite winning one of motorsports’ most iconic races just last spring, Newgarden still hasn’t absorbed the personal achievement of driving on a winning Rolex 24 team. “I feel honored to just have been here,” he said. “I didn’t wreck the car. Like that’s how I feel. I’m so proud of these guys. It’s a very awkward feeling being a race car driver in this situation. I’m not used to it. I’ve driven open wheel cars for the last 12 years, and you’re very singular focused in a lot of ways in that sport, and over here I feel like I’ve got family that I’m just really proud of. I felt like that at the end of the race. I could cry thinking about it.”
In the LMP2 class the Era Motorsport team of Ryan Dalziel, Dwight Merriman, Christian Rasmussen, and Connor Zilisch took the win, with 17-year-old Zilisch being among the youngest winners ever at Daytona International Speedway. Risi Competizione won the GTD Pro division, with drivers James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi, Davide Rigon, and Daniel Serra. Lastly, the GTD class was won by Winward Racing and the driver team of Philip Ellis, Indy Dontje, Daniel Morad, and Russell Ward.