Gradient Racing Forced to Abandon the Rolex 24 Just Over the Halfway Mark

January 29, 2024

5 min

Drivers retire from competition early due to technical issue

CHESTERBROOK, Pa., January 29, 2024

The 62nd running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona began as a promising event for Gradient Racing, as the team took the green flag from the second row thanks to a stellar qualifying performance from Pro-driver Katherine Legge. However, it evolved into a what-might-have-been scenario as the #66 JG Wentworth Acura NSX GT3 Evo22 was forced to retire with just over nine and a half hours remaining in the race as a result of an electrical system issue.  


The race started off on a strong note as Katherine Legge kicked off the 24 hour event by moving up to second position in class. As the 24 Hours of Daytona are not won on the first lap, Legge stayed out of trouble and handed off her Acura machine to Sheena Monk, who proved to be quick and competitive within the tightly packed field.  


Stevan McAleer then took over from Monk, with Tatiana Calderòn following suit afterwards. The event was set to be a success, as the historic driver line-up had a great Acura NSX GT3 Evo22 under them. The four drivers knew they had to keep out of trouble and put their heads down until the last few hours of the race.


Challenges began to arise when a loss of power occurred during one of Sheena Monk’s stints. The crew responded to address the issue on pit lane before the car was able to return to the track to continue the race.


However, further difficulties were compounded when debris from another competitor’s car struck Gradient Racing’s machine during Stevan McAleer’s following stint, causing significant bodywork damage to the Acura NSX GT3 Evo22 and requiring more repairs to be completed.


During Tatiana Calderòn’s stint, which started a little after 2:00 AM ET, the Colombian driver started experiencing discomfort in her seat, reporting a notable rise in temperature. it was then decided to bring Calderòn behind the wall to investigate further. The crew worked relentlessly to try to solve the problem and continue the race, but were inevitably forced to retire the Acura. 


“It’s hard to put the disappointment into words,” said Sheena Monk. “We had the team and the drivers to be able to take the fight to our competitors but unfortunately it just wasn’t meant to be. Regardless, I’m still incredibly proud to have driven alongside Katherine, Tatiana, and Stevan. I’m looking forward to a little time away to mend the heartbreak and regroup for Sebring with our #66 JG Wentworth Acura NSX GT3 Evo22.”   


“I’m absolutely gutted with this outcome,” expressed Katherine Legge. “We came into this event feeling very confident that we were equipped with a winning package. The car was fast, we had a great driver lineup, and the team were faultless in their strategy, pit stops, and overall execution. We don’t know what caused the failure, but after three attempts at trying to resolve the issue, we came to the conclusion that it was better to save our equipment so that we can go on to fight for another win in the future. Nevertheless, I am proud to have gone into battle with my team and my co-drivers. They did a wonderful job, and I look forward to trying again next year.”  


“First of all, I want to thank the team for all their efforts over the last two weeks,” echoed Tatiana Calderòn. “It is a dream for any driver to be a part of this amazing race, so although it did not end the way we had hoped, I will still focus on the positive takeaways. We had a quick car and I gained valuable experience for the remaining endurance races this season as it was my first time running the Acura NSX GT3 Evo22 in race conditions. We have unfinished business and I can’t wait to get back in the car for Sebring. Thank you to all the fans who came to support us!”

“This is a disappointing note to end on,” added Stevan McAleer. “We had a very fast car and the Gradient Racing crew was very hungry for a great result. Sheena, Katherine, and Tatiana did a phenomenal job and unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be this time around. It’s always a big task to get through the night portion of the race and remain on the lead lap by the time the morning comes in order to be ready for a sprint to the finish. We developed an electrical issue just before the halfway mark which was ultimately race ending. I’d like to extend a huge thank you to Gradient Racing and JG Wentworth for having me on board, I really enjoyed being a part of this team and I wish them the best of luck for the remainder of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.”

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About JG Wentworth

JG Wentworth is a consumer financial services company that focuses on helping Americans achieve their financial goals. Its services include Structured Settlement Payment Purchasing, Debt Resolution Services and Personal Lending (launching 2023). JG Wentworth was founded in 1991 and is headquartered in Chesterbrook, Pennsylvania. In 2023, JG Wentworth was the recipient of the Philadelphia Top Workplaces Award. 

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