In its first IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship endurance race attempt, TR3 Racing campaigned the 60th Running of the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona International Speedway with entries in the GTD Pro and GTD categories on Sunday.
The No. 19 Piloti Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo of Bill Sweedler, John Megrue, Jeff Segal and Giacomo Altoe represented the Fort Lauderdale-based team through the night with a 11th place finish in the GTD category.
The opening half of the Rolex 24 at Daytona challenged the TR3 Racing squad as door-to-door racing led to contact with a fellow GTD competitor. After coming all the way back to take the GTD lead, adversity struck again overnight as the No. 19 Lamborghini was issued a stop-and-hold penalty at the seven-hour mark.
Heads down, focused driving by Sweedler, Altoe, Segal and Megrue moved the No. 19 Piloti entry back up the running order to settle into sixth as the race clock clicked away. Altoe boarded the No. 19 Piloti machine for the final one hour, 30-minute stint but with 50 minutes remaining Altoe came to a halt in the International Horseshoe bringing out the final full course caution.
A transmission failure prematurely ended the day for the No. 19 Piloti Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo who was slated 11th at the completion of the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona.
“Unfortunately, we had to retire the car early,” said Altoe. “It was a race of ups and downs but it really came down to something we couldn’t control. I am so sorry to the entire TR3 Racing team that this is the way we ended after working so hard for the last two weeks. They deserved more.
Starting from the GTD Pro pole position, the No. 63 Lamborghini Miami Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo of Andrea Caldarelli, Mirko Bortolotti, Marco Mapelli and Rolf Ineichen were favored heading into the weekend and took the top spot after 24 hours of racing.
Drama ensued at the three-hour mark when Ineichen was caught in a competitor’s incident causing the No. 63 to brush the outside wall. The contact forced Ineichen to pit lane as the TR3 Racing squad quickly got to work but the damage cost the Lamborghini entry multiple laps to fix.
The team was set for a storybook comeback as Mapelli, Bortolloni and Caldarelli combined to return the car to the lead lap and to the GTD Pro lead. At the 14-hour mark, Caldarelli reported a mechanical issue while in the Le Mans Chicane to the TR3 Racing pit wall. After inspection it was determined that further assessment was required forcing the Lamborghini to the garage.
45 minutes later, the car was officially retired from competition as the entry was diagnosed with a terminal mechanical failure.
“I am quite sad to be honest,” said Caldarelli. “After we went two laps down we were able to come back and fight for the lead. After the contact that Rolf (Ineichen) had in the beginning, where he was just a passenger, the steering wheel did not feel correct but the TR3 Racing crew did a great job trying during pit stops to make it better. Unfortunately, the damage became too much while I was in the Le Mans Chicane and I had a big moment. Luckily, I was able to keep the car on track but there was already too much damage to mend. A sad way to end this race.”
Source. Sunday Group