A brand-new season of the United SportsCar Championship commenced this weekend at the Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida as the lights went green for the 53rd Rolex 24 at Daytona. The victory went to the No. 02 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Target/Ford EcoBoost Riley DP driven by Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Jamie McMurray, and Kyle Larson. The Ford EcoBoost-powered car completed 740 laps and covered 2,634 miles. That’s 45 laps more than last year’s winner, a statement to this year’s incredible pace at Daytona, in spite of 18 cautions, two more than in 2014.

Chip Ganassi Racing came on top after a three-way battle with Action Express Racing and Wayne Taylor Racing, with both Chevrolet Corvette DP racers finishing within the same lap. Action Express’ Sebastien Bourdais crossed the finish line 1.3 seconds behind the No. 02 Ganassi car, with Wayle Taylor Racing’s Corvette DP a minute behind in third. The next Prototype car, also a Chevrolet Corvette DP, came in six laps behind the winner.

The battle for the Prototype Challenge class was less enticing this year, with the only event occurring toward the end of the race. After leading the PC pack for most of the race, the No. 54 CORE Autosport Oreca FLM09 was forced to retire after hitting a wall due to damaged suspension. The car caught on fire on its 704th lap, handing over the lead to PR1/Mathiesen Motorsports (Oreca FLM09). The latter went on to win the class ten laps later, with BAR1 Motorsports (Oreca FLM09) taking second place.

Moving over to the GTLM class, it was the No. 3 Corvette Racing who took the checkered flag ahead of the No. 25 BMW Team RLL, while also scoring an impressive 5th place overall. The Corvette C7.R of Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia and Ryan Briscoe completed 725 laps, with the BMW Z4 GTLM of Bill Auberlen, Dirk Werner, Augusto Farfus and Bruno Spengler crossing the line only a half second behind. Third place went to the No. 4 Corvette and fourth to the No. 24 BMW. Porsche North America and Aston Martin Racing had to settle for fifth and sixth, with less than 650 laps completed.

Lastly, the GTD class saw the No. 93 Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper GT3-R climb atop the Porsches, Ferraris, Audis and Aston Martins. Dominik Farnbacher, Al Carter, Kuno Wittmer, Cameron Lawrence, and Ben Keating completed 704 laps to bring the Snake’s first win after Dodge decided to axe the Viper motorsport program in late 2014. Second and third place went to the Porsche 911 GT Americas ran by Alex Job Racing and Wright Motorsports with 704 and 702 laps, respectively. AF Corse and its No. 49 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 finished fourth, while Paul Miller Racing’s No. 48 Audi R8 LMS crossed the line in fifth.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 24 Hours of Daytona.

2015 Rolex 24 at Daytona Class Winners

Prototype

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Winner - Chip Ganassi Racing Ford Riley DP (Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Jamie McMurray, Kyle Larson)

2nd - Action Express Racing Corvette DP (Joao Barbosa, Sebastien Bourdais, Christian Fittipaldi)

3rd - Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP (Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor, Max Angelelli)

Prototype Challenge

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Winner - PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports (Mike Guasch, Andrew Novich, Andrew Palmer, Tom Kimber-Smith)

2nd - BAR1 Motorsports (Johnny Mowlem, Tom Papadopoulos, Tomy Drissi, Brian Alder, Martin Plowman)

3rd - CORE Autosport (Jon Bennett, Colin Braun, Mark Wilkins, James Gue)

GTLM

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Winner - Corvette Racing (Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia, Ryan Briscoe)

2nd - BMW Team RLL (Bill Auberlen, Dirk Werner, Augusto Farfus, Bruno Spengler)

3rd - Corvette Racing (Tommy Milner, Oliver Gavin, Simon Pagenaud)

GTD

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Winner - Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper SRT (Ben Keating, Dominik Farnbacher, Al Carter, Kuno Wittmer, Cameron Lawrence)

2nd - Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 (Cooper MacNeil, Leh Keen, Andrew Davis, Shane van Gisbergen)

3rd - Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 (Patrick Dempsey, Madison Snow, Jan Heylen, Philipp Eng)

What’s Next?

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The 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship resumes on March 21st with the 12 Hours of Sebring, followed by the Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase on April 18th and the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix on May 3rd. As a brief reminder, the events at Kansas Speedway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway have been discontinued for 2015.

The third and forth races of the North American Endurance Cup, the Six Hours of the Glen and the Petit Le Mans, are scheduled on June 28th and October 3rd, respectively.

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Press Release

Ford’s EcoBoost®engine powered Chip Ganassi Racing drivers Scott Dixon, Kyle Larson, Jamie McMurray and Tony Kanaan to victory in the grueling Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday.

This means that now, in only its second season, Ford EcoBoost technology has won the two most important endurance races in North America – the 2014 12 Hours of Sebring and the 2015 Rolex 24. The EcoBoost program has now racked up four Prototype victories overall with Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, including the 2014 Long Beach and Circuit of the Americas events.

“It was a great day for Ford and a great day for Ganassi,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development, who accepted the manufacturer’s trophy on behalf of Ford. “We had a great car and great drivers. And, of course, we had really great power, reliability and fuel economy out of the EcoBoost engine. This is a great testament to the entire team. I couldn’t be prouder of them.”

Led by Dixon, who took the first and last stints in the No. 02 Target Ford EcoBoost-Riley, the team battled through lead change after lead change in the premier Prototype class. The efficiency of EcoBoost in the closing laps of the 24-hour race led to a fuel stop strategy that helped clinch victory.

“You have to look out for the car so you have the speed in the end to compete for the win,” said Dixon. “I can’t emphasize how big of a team effort this was – it’s not one person who wins this race, it’s everybody involved. This weekend, everybody on the No. 02 team did their best job, and that’s obviously enough to get a victory.”

Ford EcoBoost is available in every new Ford car, utility and light-duty pickup in North America beginning this year. And EcoBoost technology will continue to power race cars on the track in 2015, competing for a championship title with Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates in the No. 01 Ford EcoBoost-Riley prototype. The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season continues March 18-21 with the 2015 12 Hours of Sebring.

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