- LA Honda World #73 Honda Civic Type R TCR comes home second at Daytona
- Teammate #37 Civic takes pole position for four-hour enduro
- Bad luck for other Honda teams in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season opener
DAYTONA BEACH, FL (January 28, 2023) – Honda kicked off the 2023 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season with a pole and a podium finish Friday at the four-hour Endurance Challenge at Daytona International Speedway.
It was a second-place finish for LA Honda World #73 drivers Mike LaMarra and William Tally aboard their Honda Civic Type R TCR. The duo started eighth and overcame an early drive-through penalty to fight for the win in the closing stages of the race. Ultimately, the duo would cross the line in second, starting the year with a much-desired podium finish.
Their teammates, in the #37 LA Honda World Honda Civic Type R TCR, started from pole in the hands of Mat Pombo—his second consecutive pole position following his P1 start at the season-closing Petit Le Mans event in 2022. Unfortunately, Pombo and teammate Ryan Eversley would sustain a power-steering issue that ended their day early.
Similarly, the #99 VGRT Honda Civic Type R TCR of Victor Gonzalez and Karl Wittmer would see their day come to an unfortunate early end with a drivetrain issue. After working his way to the lead in the first two hours of the race, Gonzalez handed over to Wittmer just as the steering issue occurred. Though the team worked hard to attempt to repair the #99, their day would end behind the wall.
The #89 HART (Honda America Racing Team) machine also made its way to the front of the field before an issue, but this time it was unavoidable contact that ended the day for the team comprised of Honda employees. A GS class car spun in front of their Honda Civic Type R TCR, and with nowhere to go the #89 made contact, suffering race-ending damage.
Endurance Challenge at Daytona Race Results
- 2nd TCR - #73 William Tally and Mike LaMarra, LA Honda World Honda Civic Type R TCR
- 9th TCR - #37 Ryan Eversley and Mat Pombo, LA Honda World Honda Civic Type R TCR – Not running
- 10th TCR - #99 Victor Gonzalez and Karl Wittmer, VGRT Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR – Not running
- 12th tTCR - #89 Chad Gilsinger, Mario Farnbacher and Steve Eich, HART Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR – Not running
- William Tally (#73 LA Honda World Honda Civic Type R TCR) finished 2nd: “It was great coming back to this locale, where I’ve had success before, and find success again aboard this Civic. My co-driver Mike LaMarra and I, it’s our first race together and we were able to get it done! My job as the starting driver is just to keep the car healthy and keep us close, and I was able to do that. Four hours [racing] is a long time, so there’s a lot of opportunities for things to go awry, but I avoided all that carnage and gave Mike a healthy car that he was able to take to second place.”
- Mike LaMarra (#73 LA Honda World Honda Civic Type R TCR) finished 2nd: “It’s a great way to start the season! We’re super excited, obviously. We had a mistake early, which cost us a drive-through penalty but luckily it was early and we were able to make it up. I can’t say enough about our crew, my gosh, these guys worked so hard over the last week to give us a great Honda Civic Type R TCR. It was really fantastic after all the work we’ve done. It was a great battle out there. I was a little disappointed to not bring home the win, but I’m happy to be here in second. It’s a great way to start the season and hopefully we’ll see a few more of these podiums.”