Gonzalez Narrowly Wins Electrifying Mazda MX-5 Cup Opener at Daytona

Gonzalez Narrowly Wins Electrifying Mazda MX-5 Cup Opener at Daytona

27.01.2023: After 45 minutes of frantic, all-green flag running with nearly 30 identically prepared Mazda MX-5 Cup machines fighting for position on the high banks at Daytona International Speedway, it was all of 0.015 of a second that separated winner Tyler Gonzalez

After 45 minutes of frantic, all-green flag running with nearly 30 identically prepared Mazda MX-5 Cup machines fighting for position on the high banks at Daytona International Speedway, it was all of 0.015 of a second that separated winner Tyler Gonzalez (No. 51 Copeland Motorsports) and runner up Connor Zilisch (No. 72 Hixon Motor Sports) as the Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich® Tires delivered another thriller. The margin of victory is the fourth closest in series history.
 


Gonzalez was the victor in last year’s season opener at Daytona as well, but thanks to Mazda’s new per-race payouts, the Floridian came away with $8,000 in addition to a trophy.
 


Earlier in the day, qualifying was cut short to retrieve damaged cars and prevented Gonzalez from turning a representative lap time. As a result, he started 19th on the grid. His years of experience paid off, however, as he managed to charge to 11th after a single lap.
 


It wasn’t long before he was with the lead pack, but actually taking the lead at Daytona is a tricky prospect. Time it wrong, and you’ll go from first to 10th before you get to the start/finish line.
 


Gonzalez wasn’t sure he had timed it right until the checkered flag.
 


"Daytona is a draft track and you really have to have the experience to run up here at the front, especially like that last lap scenario,” Gonzalez said. “I mean, I've had so much practice over the years through this and Spec Miata, it shows it really does pay off, the experience.



You definitely have to set it up. You want to stay upfront throughout the race and then just figure out where you want to be those final two laps. I had my spotter helping me, and I really knew I didn't want to be up front where I was. I saw that train coming around the outside, but I am glad how it played out!"
 


The way it played out was with Gonzalez taking his fifth-career win in Mazda MX-5 Cup.
 


Polesitter Zilisch took control of the race early, leading a three-car train that eventually became eight in the closing laps of the race.
 


“Leading doesn’t guarantee anything on the last lap, here especially,” Zilisch said. “The first 44 minutes of the race are almost meaningless, as long as you can stay in that front pack. I just wanted to stay in the front pack. I like having control of the race and I was clearly trying to stay out front.”
 


After leading the first third of the 45-minute race, the 2022 Rookie of the Year bounced around within the lead group and on the penultimate lap he found himself clawing to stay in the top five.  
 


What the draft took from Zilisch, it paid back in the final moments as he made a slingshot move into second at the line.
 


“My Hixon Motor Sports car was super-fast through the infield, so obviously we had to play the games on the straightaway,” said Zilisch. “On that last lap I think we got pushed back to sixth and had to bring it back up to the front. I think I was second by like 15th thousandths of a second. I guess I just love second place. There’s something about me and second place, but there’s always tomorrow. Hopefully we can one up and get on the top step tomorrow.”
 


In addition to being the 2022 MX-5 Cup Rookie of the Year, Zilisch was also second-place in the overall championship. He is provisionally slated to start Friday’s race from pole.
 


No one was more surprised by Zilisch’s runner-up finish than third-place finisher Sam Paley (No. 28 McCumbee McAleer Racing). Paley, who started ninth, had a plan for the final laps of the race, but couldn’t make it play out as he intended.
 


“It is a weird track with this car because it's just back and forth,” Paley said. “No matter how fast you are you cannot get away, so it is a lot about strategy and how you position yourself.



I got up to the lead and then I fell all the way back to sixth and then I think I went like sixth to second and I didn’t really want to be second on the last lap, but I didn’t think Bruno [Smielveski] was going to go all the way high and when I was in second all I wanted was the bottom lane and I was just hoping someone would shove me. Nobody ended up shoving me so that is why I am third, but one day. We will take the $4k and third place, not bad.”
 


Mazda’s new per-race prize package pays out to all finishers in the top 10 plus $2,000 for the highest finishing female driver. In the season opener, that was Heather Hadley (No. 54 Spark Performance), a Mazda Women in Motorsports Initiative Scholarship winner. She finished 23rd.
 


Aaron Jeansonne (No. 24 JTR Motorsports Engineering), a former Mazda MX-5 Cup Shootout Scholarship winner, kicked off his 2023 season with a strong performance at Daytona. Jeansonne was with the lead group for the entire race and made his way to the lead in some of the final laps but ended up fourth at the checkered flag.
 


The 2021 Mazda MX-5 Cup Champion Gresham Wagner (No. 5 Spark Performance) completed the top five after a strong charge from 11th on the grid.
 


The highest finishing rookie was Bruno Smielevski (No. 85 Hixon Motor Sports), who was the race leader as the pack exited the Le Mans Chicane, but the draft was too strong and he dropped to sixth at the finish.
 


Round Two of the Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup takes place Friday, January 27 at 10:15am ET. The race will be streamed live on RACER.com and IMSA.com/tvlive.







Sunday Group Management- photos Mazda



Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/gonzalez-wins-mazda-mx5-cup-opener-daytona---247035.html

27.01.2023 / MaP

More News

Winward Racing Statement Lucas Auer
27.01.2023
Lucas Auer, driver of the No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3, has been admitted to Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach. According to attending medical personnel, Auer has sustained significant fractured lumbar injuries in an incident earlier Thursday near the end of the first official IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice session of t more >>
24h Daytona Practice 3 results by class
27.01.2023
GTP1 7 M. Campbell / F. Nasr / M. Christensen Porsche Penske Motorsports Porsche 963 1:35.802 7 33 133.7762 10 R. Taylor / F. Albuquerque / L. Deletraz Konica Minolta Acura ARX-06 Acura ARX-06 1:35.974 31 42 more >>
IWTC 24h Daytona Practice 2 results
26.01.2023
ROLEX 24 at DAYTONADaytona International Speedway26-29 January 2023Thursday, January 26th 2023    1    1    Earl Bamber#02 Cadillac V-LMDh        more >>
IMPC Rolex 24 at Daytona TCR qualifying results
26.01.2023
ROLEX 24 at DAYTONADaytona International Speedway26-29 January 2023Thursday, January 26th 202337 M. Pombo / R. Eversley LA Honda World Racing Honda Civic FK7 TCR 1:56.837 6 7 109.6912 5 T. more >>
IMPC Rolex 24 at Daytona GS qualifying results
26.01.2023
ROLEX 24 at DAYTONADaytona International Speedway26-29 January 2023Thursday, January 26th 2023GS1 28 E. Filgueiras / S. McAleer RS1 Porsche 718 GT4 RS CS 1:52.157 3 6 114.2682 59 B. more >>
MX-5 Cup Daytona qualifying classification
26.01.2023
IDEMITSU MAZDA MX-5 CUP PRESENTED BY BFGOODRICH TIRES ROLEX 24 at DAYTONADaytona International Speedway26-29 January 2023Thursday, January 26th 2023   1 1 72 ND2 Connor Zilisch Hixon Motor Sports Mazda MX-5 2 more >>
IWSC Rolex 24h Daytona practice 1 results by class
26.01.2023
ROLEX 24 at DAYTONADaytona International Speedway26-29 January 2023Thursday, January 26th 2023GTP1 10 R. Taylor / F. Albuquerque / L. Deletraz Konica Minolta Acura ARX-06 Acura ARX-06 1:35.366 19 19 134.387 more >>
IWSC Rolex 24h Daytona practice 1 overall results
26.01.2023
ROLEX 24 at DAYTONADaytona International Speedway26-29 January 2023Thursday, January 26th 2023    1    1    Filipe Albuquerque#10 Acura ARX-06 &n more >>
IMPC Rolex 24h Daytona practice 2 results by class
26.01.2023
ROLEX 24 at DAYTONADaytona International Speedway26-29 January 2023Thursday, January 26th 2023GS1 42 H. Burton / Z. Smith PF Racing Ford Mustang GT4 1:52.766 5 28 113.651 more >>
IMPC Rolex 24h Daytona practice 1 results by class
26.01.2023
ROLEX 24 at DAYTONADaytona International Speedway26-29 January 2023Thursday, January 26th 2023GS1 27 A. Dias Perera / S. Andrews Lone Star Racing Mercedes-AMG GT GT4 1:53.625 6 26 112.792 more >>
Porsche 963, Porsche Penske Motorsport Technical data
26.01.2023
Technical baseline data Length/Width/Height: 5,100/2,000/1,060 mmWheelbase: 3,148 mmMinimum weight: 1,030 kgTop speed: >330 km/hTechnical data 9RD engine more >>
The technology of the new Porsche 963 hypercar/GTP prototype in detail
26.01.2023
The Porsche 963 banks on powerful DNA from RS Spyder and 918 Spyder Porsche 963, Porsche Penske Motorsport•    Maiden race outing for the new Porsche 963 after 33,000 test kilometres more >>
IMPC TCR Daytona Entry List
25.01.2023
IMPC TCR categoryRolex 24 at DaytonaDaytona International Speedway1 - T. Hagler/M. Lewis (Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb Agajanian, Hyundai Elantra N)5 - R. Block/T. Lewis jr. (KMW Moto more >>
PR1/MATHIASEN Motorsports to start on pole for the 61st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona
25.01.2023
PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports will start the 61st running of the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona in the top starting position, having secured the first spot on the grid after winning the Motul Pole Award 100 at the Roar 24 Before the 24 yesterday at Daytona International Speedway. more >>
Risi Competizione pre- 61st annual Rolex 24 at Daytona notes and quotes
24.01.2023
61ST ANNUAL ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONARisi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3 No. 62:       James Calado (GBR)  Alessandro Pier Guidi (ITA)  Davide Rigon (ITA)  Daniel Serra (BRA) more >>
Mazda MX-5 Cup Returns to Racer.com for 2023 Livestreams
24.01.2023
Fans will be able to catch some of the best racing in the country live from their computers or phones as the Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich® Tires will once again be streamed live at more >>
Nolan Siegel Joins Sean Creech Motorsport for the Rolex 24 At Daytona
24.01.2023
Young Californian to contest his second 24-hour race at Daytona Sean Creech Motorsport (SCM) officially completed its Rolex 24 at Daytona driver lineup today with the addition of more >>
General Motors President Mark Reuss Named Grand Marshal of Rolex 24 At DAYTONA
24.01.2023
Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board for BMW Group, to serve as Honorary Starter for IMSA season opener  The 61-car field for the 61st running of the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA will come to life under the command of General Motors pre more >>
2023 ROLEX 24 at Daytona - The dawn of a new era for Endurance Racing
23.01.2023
This week’s Rolex 24 At DAYTONA, from Saturday 28 to Sunday 29 January, will launch Rolex’s 2023 international motor sport season and marks a pivotal moment for endurance racing. The Swiss watchmaker has supported America’s l more >>
Mazda MX-5 Cup Prepares to Astound Fans in Season Opener at Daytona
23.01.2023
Bigger per-race payouts, large class of rookies and new Mazda Scholarship winners set to do battle with a large roster of returning Mazda MX-5 Cup winners and champions to launch 2023 season  more >>
Mercedes-AMG driver quotes after Daytona qualifying
23.01.2023
 Maro Engel, Driver – No. 79 WeatherTech Racing/Proton Competition Mercedes-AMG GT3: "We definitely have an amazing car, that’s for sure. The Mercedes-AMG GT3 is well adapted to all of the forms of racing we do in GT racing. From the long distance races as well as the sprint rounds. more >>
Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing Teams Secure Double-Pole Sweep and Top-Three GTD Lockout
23.01.2023
...in Qualifying Sunday for Next Weekend’s 61st Rolex 24 At Daytona  WeatherTech Racing, Winward Racing, SunEnergy1 Racing and Team Korthoff Motorsports Combine for Perfect Qualifying and Pole-Winning Mercedes-AMG GT3 more >>
Front Row Rolex 24 Start for The Heart of Racing
23.01.2023
  When the green flag drops on the 61st Running of the Rolex 24 Hour At Daytona next Saturday (live coverage on NBC, 1:30 PM), The Heart of Racing (HOR) will start the 2023 IMSA championship from the front row of the GTD PRO field with the No. 23 Aston M more >>
Paul Miller Racing to start P11 for 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona
23.01.2023
After a productive week of testing and qualifying at Daytona International Speedway, the Paul Miller Racing team is set to roll off 11th for the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona. The No. 1 Quartz Engine Oil-backed BMW M4 GT3 will be piloted by full-season drive more >>
Jr III Racing Scores Fifth in VP Racing SportsCar Challenge Race 2
23.01.2023
Jr III (“Junior-Three”) Racing finished fifth in Race 2 of the VP Racing SportsCar Challenge after taking the series first-ever pole and then finishing on the podium in Race 1 on Saturday, Bijoy Garg once again got back beh more >>
Ellis Leads Mercedes Domination in Rolex 24 GT Qualifying
23.01.2023
Mercedes-AMG Drivers Log Four Fastest Laps, Sweep GTD and GTD PRO Poles   Tried and true trumped new and unproven Sunday at Daytona International Speedway in qualifying for the GT Daytona (GTD) and GTD PRO classe more >>
Pino Procures First IMSA Pole in LMP3
23.01.2023
Eighteen-year-old Nico Pino scored his first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship pole with a blistering lap of 1:43.197 (124.189 mph) in the No. 33 Sean Creech Motorsport Ligier JS P320. Pino leapfrogged past Dakota Dickerson (No. 36 more >>
Keating Earns Fourth Daytona Pole With LMP2 Flyer
23.01.2023
Veteran driver Ben Keating took Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) pole honors in the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07 with a lap of 1:40.541 (127.470 mph). While the conditions seemed ideal for fast laps – sunny skies, mild temperatures – Keating said the windy surroundings made it a bit treacherous.  more >>
Blomqvist Puts No. 60 Acura in Record Book as First GTP Hybrid Era Pole Winner
23.01.2023
A Sizzling Last Lap Takes the Meyer Shank Racing Entry to the Top   The first “official” marks of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s 2023 season were set Sunday in Motul Pole Award qualify more >>
Porsche Driversí comments after the qualifying
23.01.2023
Nick Tandy (Porsche 963 #6): “First of all, I want to thank the team for putting a great car on the track for me today. The new Porsche 963 has never felt so good under such conditions with an open track and the proviso to go max attack. It was simply o more >>
Porsche 963 tackles the 24 Hours of Daytona from the front row
23.01.2023
Qualifying, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar ChampionshipRoar Before the 24, Daytona (USA)•    First qualifying for the new Porsche Penske Motorsport factory team•    Works driver Felipe Nasr qualifies a close second in the GTP class •    Bad luck for Nick more >>
Sean Creech Motorsport earns Rolex 24 at Daytona pole
23.01.2023
Florida-based team paced in the top three in every practice session at the Roar Before the Rolex 24Jupiter, Florida-based Sean Creech Motorsport (SCM) scored its first pole position at the track it considers home, taking the top spot in the more >>
Acura, Meyer Shank Racing Claim Pole for Rolex 24 at Daytona
23.01.2023
    Tom Blomqvist’s final-lap effort secures the Rolex 24 pole for the hybrid-powered Acura ARX-06 in first event of new GTP era    Ricky Taylor qualifies third in the Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autos more >>
BMW Quotes after the "Roar before the 24"
23.01.2023
  Brandon Fry (Technical Director BMW M Team RLL): "We worked very hard on both cars in all the sessions here at the Roar. The focus was always on race performance. We had a lot of good runs and were able to collect a lot of data. We are improving s more >>
"Roar" Before the 24 Hours of Daytona: BMW M Hybrid V8 prototypes start from the fourth row
23.01.2023
- Philipp Eng and Nick Yelloly finish qualifying for the "Rolex 24 at Daytona" in seventh and eighth place. - The focus of the three-day test one week before the 24-hour race was to complete as many kilometres as possible with the new cars. more >>
Roar before the Rolex24 Daytona Qualifying GTD results
22.01.2023
ROAR BEFORE THE ROLEX24 at DaytonaDaytona 20-22 January 2022Sunday, January 22nd 20231 57 R. Ward / P. Ellis / I. Dontje Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 1:46.093 6 7 120.799L. Auer2 75 L. St more >>
Roar before the Rolex24 Daytona Qualifying GTD PRO results
22.01.2023
ROAR BEFORE THE ROLEX24 at DaytonaDaytona 20-22 January 2022Sunday, January 22nd 2023   GTDPRO1 79 C. MacNeil / D. Juncadella WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-A more >>
Roar before the Rolex24 Daytona Qualifying LMP3 results
22.01.2023
ROAR BEFORE THE ROLEX24 at DaytonaDaytona 20-22 January 2022Sunday, January 22nd 2023LMP31 33 L. Willsey / J. Barbosa / N. Pino Sean Creech Motorsport Ligier JS P320 1:43.197 5 9 124.189D. more >>
Roar before the Rolex24 Daytona Qualifying LMP2 results
22.01.2023
ROAR BEFORE THE ROLEX24 at DaytonaDaytona 20-22 January 2022Sunday, January 22nd 2023LMP21 52 B. Keating / P. Chatin / A. Quinn PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07 1:40.541 4 6 127 more >>

Kategorien

2001-2023 automobilsport.com full copyright