Inception Racing claim third-place finish at the 61st running of the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona
Finishing any 24-hour race is remarkable in itself, but to also finish on the podium puts Inception Racing in good stead towards their championship bid.
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opener, the Rolex 24 at Daytona kick-started the week prior with the ROAR Before The 24.
Marvin Kirchhöfer was on qualifying duties for the #70 crew, placing the McLaren 720S GT3 sixth on the grid during the 15-minute qualifying session.
Come lights out on Saturday afternoon (28 January) Marvin lined up fifth in class as Winward Racing’s Pole-sitting #57 Mercedes-AMG fell to the back of the grid following an incident in Thursday’s practice session which saw the team compete with a new chassis.
After a stellar opening 50-minute stint, Marvin had jumped up to third (in class) before handing over to Brendan. During his stint, the American catches Montecalvo ahead in the #12 Lexus as he pits for Ollie to make his race debut.
Cycling through their usual pit-stop routine as night began to fall over the Speedway, it wasn’t until the eight hour mark that Frederik jumped into the car. It was game on for the Dane as he made and advantage on the Heart of Racing’s #27 Aston Martin Vantage to move up into the top five and eventually take the top spot into the class lead come the 10-hour juncture.
As the race hit the mid-way point, Marvin was back in at the wheel as running in second, just behind the #32 Mercedes-AMG, to claim four points. It was a cycle between Marvin, Fred and Ollie during the night stints, to which it was the latter in the car during sunrise.
A lap down on the leaders and it was a hunt to catch up to the pack. With four hours left on the clock it was down to a three-way battle between Inception Racing, the #93 Acura and Magnus Racing’s #44 Aston Martin Vantage for the final spot on the podium.
Three hours remained on the clock and with the action beginning to intensify, contact and full course yellow flag periods became more and more frequent. Fred boxed however, left the pitlane just as the pit exit light turned red - seeing the team receive a 60-second stop-and-go penalty to which was served a lap later.
With just under 120-minutes to go (and still under full course yellow conditions) Marvin jumped into the car primed for the restart in sixth. As racing was resumed it was a matter of laps before the McLaren Factory Driver had leaped up into third.
Marvin boxed under the yellow flag with 45 minutes to go and rejoined the pack whilst under yellow flag conditions in sixth - the hunt was on to get that final podium spot which ultimately, Inception Racing claimed.
“We were so close to getting that watch, but it was still an incredible result. I’m super proud of the whole team and such an awesome job by my co-drivers to keep us in the fight right to the end.”