Cadillac DPi-V.R. win 1st 2nd 6th at 2017 IMSA Daytona 24 Hours
Twenty-four hours of racing came down to ten minutes for the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R of Wayne Taylor Racing. Ricky Taylor made a move with just three laps of racing remaining to “finish the business” that his father started with Cadillac back in 2000 as the team won the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship 55th running of the Rolex 24 Hour At Daytona today.
◾First win in the top rung of professional sports car racing for Cadillac
◾First win for the all-new Cadillac DPi-V.R prototype
◾Wayne Taylor finishes the business
◾A 15th win at Daytona for Jeff Gordon, four-time NASCAR Champion (fourth to win both the Daytona 500 and the Rolex 24 hour; first NASCAR Champion to win 24 H Daytona
The Cadillac DPi-V.R prototypes were at the top of the timing sheet all through free practice on Thursday. Later that afternoon Joao Barbosa put the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R on the overall race pole, a first for Cadillac in top-level sports car racing and the first for IMSA’s new-era of prototype race cars.
At the 2:30 p.m. ET start yesterday, the Cadillac prototypes were a fixture at the front of the field. The Cadillac DPi-V.Rs’ endurance and agility is credited to the almost two-years of development by Cadillac, Dallara, ECR Engines, Wayne Taylor Racing and Action Express Racing.
As the race progressed from early sunshine and 70 degrees Fahrenheit to rain and 45 degrees overnight, the Cadillac teams had to negotiate 52 other race cars on the track and Mother Nature. Just 20-minutes into the race, Ricky Taylor took the lead in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac. Since that time, the Wayne Taylor led team had only a few hiccups during the 24 hours, one for a fire bottle pit lane infraction and a few late on-track miscues. Other than those minor racing incidents, the No. 10 Cadillac DPi-V.R never came to the garage and only needed gas, oil, tires, and a fresh driver.
Meanwhile, the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R team used strategy and speed to get to the back of the No. 10 in the early morning hours. At 10 a.m., Joao Barbosa filled Max Angelelli’s mirrors. As the raced progressed into the last hour the combination of Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi and Filipe Albuquerque made it a two Cadillac DPi-V.R battle for the coveted Rolex Daytona watches. With 16-minutes left, Ricky Taylor made a run at Albuquerque into Turn 1. The two had their Cadillac DPi-V.R prototypes touching side panels as they put the power down from the 6.2L V8 Cadillac engine.
With 10-minutes remaining Ricky Taylor drove his Cadillac DPi-V.R to the apex of Turn 1 to make a pass on Albuquerque in the Mustang Sampling Cadillac. Taylor and Albuquerque touched, Abuquerque spun and Taylor went on to win the 55th running of the Rolex 24 Hour At Daytona.
At the finish, the Mustang Sampling Cadillac team of Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi and Filipe Albuquerque finished second making it a Cadillac DPi-V.R one-two at the World Center of Racing. The second Action Express Racing entry, the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R soldiered onto a sixth place finish.
Johan de Nysschen, executive vice president, General Motors, and president, Cadillac Division:
“Victory at the renowned Rolex 24 At Daytona is never easy. To do so in our debut, with a new car dominating the race, is a tribute to the efforts of our engineers, teams and drivers.”
“Cadillac’s return to endurance racing represents a tangible expression of our new product philosophy, in which technology and superlative engineering meet to challenge conventions and end the trade-off between luxury and performance.”
Mark Reuss, executive vice president General Motors - Global Product Development and Purchasing:
"It is hard to bring a brand back into racing. I was just over-the-moon to come down to Daytona for the first time and drive a brand new car, and a brand new chassis. Dallara did a great job with that chassis, and our engines were strong. ECR Engines really hit is out of the park with our new Cadillac 6.2L engine.
"It was one of those historic things. You are witnessing it in a historic place, and you are watching Jeff Gordon get into a prototype for the first time, and you watch him win it with Ricky and Jordan. You watch Max in his last race and watch him win it. Those are times you never forget, and that is what Daytona is all about. That is why this place is so special, because every time we come here for these races, special things happen.
"The battle was good. We had the good and the bad, and this weekend a lot of good. It was stuff we will never forget for the rest of our lives."
"I was particularly happy for Wayne Taylor and his sons because we've come here and run hard and finished second in this race - this is a hard race to win. To come here for the first time, with all the things he has done for Cadillac and now in the DPI class to bring that back with a new manufacturer, he won it through his efforts. I really express my extreme joy and gratitude to him because I know how passionate he is and puts his whole life in it. And now his sons are in thecars, so to watch them win it for us with our new car. To watch them convincingly win it was great."
Wallpapers of the GM Cadillac DPi-V.R. win 1st 2nd 6th at 2017 IMSA Daytona 24 Hours (click on image to enlarge)
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