The race featured a thrilling dice for victory between the No. 7 Porsche Penske Motorsport 963 of Felipe Nasr and the No. 31 Cadillac V-Series.R of Tom Blomqvist for Action Express Racing.
Confusion reigned when the white flag, signaling 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.
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.
“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.”
Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images
#7 Team Penske Motorsport Porsche 963: Dane Cameron, Felipe Nasr, Matt Campbell, Josef Newgarden
Nasr, who triumphed 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?” Nasr said.
“That’s what Tim Cindric said on the radio. I was confused, too.”