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IMSA Daytona 24 Hours

IMSA admits to “officiating error” in premature Daytona 24 Hours chequered flag

Organisers of the IMSA SportsCar Championship have admitted they made a mistake in ending the Daytona 24 Hours too soon on Sunday afternoon.

The race featured a thrilling dice for victory between the #7 Porsche Penske Motorsport 963 of Felipe Nasr and the #31 Cadillac V-Series.R of Tom Blomqvist for Action Express Racing.

Confusion reigned when the white flag, signalling the final lap, was shown in error with three minutes of the 24 hours still remaining.

Effectively, it was shown first to the GTD class leader – who crossed the finish line to receive the checkered flag at 24h00m03.261s, which is the race time that the overall winner should have recorded.

But with the GTP leader having already passed the line as it was shown, even though the NBC TV ticker said there were two laps to go, Nasr was greeted with the checker with 1m35.277s of the 24 hours remaining.

PLUS: How canny Porsche strategy snatched Daytona spoils from Cadillac

This flag always ends the race, regardless of if it’s been shown in error. Nasr’s winning margin over Blomqvist was 2.112s.

IMSA’s statement read: “Due to an officiating error in race control, IMSA inadvertently announced and subsequently displayed the white flag with under three minutes remaining in the race.

“At the end of the lap, the race-leading No. 7 GTP car then received the checkered flag with 1 minute, 35.277 seconds still remaining, ending the race short of the planned 24 hours by effectively one lap.

#7 Team Penske Motorsport Porsche 963: Dane Cameron, Felipe Nasr, Matt Campbell, Josef Newgarden

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

#7 Team Penske Motorsport Porsche 963: Dane Cameron, Felipe Nasr, Matt Campbell, Josef Newgarden

“Based on Article 49 of the 2024 IMSA Sporting Regulations and Standard Supplementary Regulations, should the checkered flag be inadvertently or otherwise displayed before the leading car completes the scheduled number of laps or before the prescribed time has been completed, the race is nevertheless deemed ended when the flag is displayed.”

Nasr, who triumped along with team-mates Dane Cameron, Matt Campbell and Josef Newgarden, revealed that he was told by his strategist Tim Cindric to keep pushing until they were certain the race was over.

After the race, he said: “You gotta keep on the throttle until you know it’s over, right?

“That’s what Tim Cindric said on the radio. I was confused, too.”

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