Daytona Beach, Fla. 29/01/18 - Cadillac V-Performance Racing team Mustang Sampling Cadillac with drivers Filipe Albuquerque, Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi won the 56th running of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Rolex 24 At Daytona today. The win is the second in as many years for the Cadillac brand. The Whelen Engineering Cadillac team finished second.
In the fastest Rolex 24 Hour At Daytona race ever run, thanks to just four full course caution periods, the Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R covered 2,876 miles on its way to victory lane at the World Center of Racing. The twice around the clock race was no drive on the beach. The team and drivers had to manage the car the entire race distance with changing conditions around the 3.56-mile modified oval at Daytona International Speedway. To win, they had to overcome flat tires, a spell of rain and some increased temperature in the Cadillac V-8 engine to claim the coveted winners Rolex watches.
The drivers of the Whelen Engineering DPi-V.R, Felipe Nasr, Eric Curran, Mike Conway, and Stuart Middleton also had to deal with a rash of tire issues that affected several prototype competitors. They were engaged in quite a battle over the last two hours with the No. 54 Core prototype that had them swapping the lead on pit stops. At the checker, Middleton drove the Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R across the finish line to claim the second step on the podium.
The Konica Minolta Cadillac and Spirit of Daytona Cadillac teams had a tough start to the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech Championship season.
The Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R suffered several tire issues which, just before midnight, caused the team to pull it into the garage to replace the radiator. The team continued, but following another issue, team owner Wayne Taylor decided to withdrawal the car for safety reasons at 8 a.m. The pole-sitting car was credited with 555 laps for drivers Jordan Taylor, Renger Van Der Zande and Ryan Hunter-Reay.
The Spirit of Daytona Cadillac team were running solidly in the top 10 all race. Tristan Nunez brought the Spirit of Daytona Cadillac DPi-V.R to the garage at 11:35 p.m. last night with an engine misfire that couldn’t be repaired at the track and retired from the race. Nunez, Matt McMurry and Eddie Cheever III completed 530 laps.