IMSA has released a statement explaining the confusing finish to the 62nd Rolex 24 at Daytona, which resulted in winner Felipe Nasr taking the checkered flag before the race had reached the 24-hour mark.
The official results showed the time of the race as 23 hours, 58 minutes, 24.723 seconds.
In a Monday statement, IMSA said, “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.
“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.”
Asked about the finish in a postrace interview, Nasr said he and the team also were unsure if he’d won the race.
“Yeah, you’ve got to keep on the throttle until it’s over,” Nasr said. “That’s what (Team Penske president) Tim Cindric said on the radio. I was confused, too. I don’t know if there was two white flags. I don’t know. I really don’t know. I was just focused on each corner, each braking and just clearing traffic and making sure there was no mistakes and taking the car to the end. … I think at the start-finish, the team just said, ‘I think now it’s the final lap.’ That’s when I knew I think for the second time it was the final lap.”