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January 27, 2019 —
Whelen Engineering Cadillac second Cadillac has won the 57th running of the Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona. The Konica Minolta Cadillac team soldiered through 24 hours of start and stop racing to give the Cadillac brand a Rolex 24 hat trick with their third win in as many years.
Rain played a major role in the race At the start of the twice-around-the-clock classic at Daytona International Speedway, the six Cadillac DPi-V.R teams had their individual challenges throughout the event. Cool temperatures during the day Saturday and into the evening turned to rain at 5:30 a.m. The rain ignited the two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso behind the wheel of the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac as he passed the two Acura prototypes ahead of him to take the lead some 35-minutes later. Soon after, IMSA WeatherTech Championship officials flew the red flag. The race was stopped for 1:45.
When the race restarted, the Wayne Taylor led Cadillac team kept the lead after Alonso turned the controls over to Jordan Taylor. With three hours remaining, it was Jordan Taylor versus Felipe Nasr driving the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R. The duo drove their V-Performance powered prototypes head-to-head in rainy conditions, to the delight of the large but damp crowd at Daytona. After Taylor handed the car back to Alonso, the race was red flagged and stopped again at 12:40 p.m.
At 2:26 p.m. IMSA waved the checkered flag to end the race as the field was parked under a red flag.e. The win by the Konica Minolta Cadillac team is the brand’s third win in as many years. The Taylor led team won in 2017, the first year of the IMSA DPi cars. Then, Mustang Sampling Cadillac took the win last year.
Fernando Alonso, the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R, winner said,”I am very proud if the job we achieved today. It was not a one day job it was a one month job, receiving the documents about how the car works and how the team works. We had a quick lesson at the Roar and had a good test. We were racing in cooler temperatures that we run so far. We had a plan to execute the race and followed it step-by-step. We made some changes to conditions, but there was a plan for that too. I’ve won races around the world, to add one here in America is great. I am proud of the team. I want to thank Wayne Taylor Racing, Konica Minolta and Cadillac.”
Jordan Taylor, No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R, winner added, “All four drivers did great in their own right. We all drove the Cadillac to the lead. We had the right game plan, no car damage and no one went off of the track. That is how you win these races. The team had a great strategy and did a great job to adjust things when the rain came. We actually had a low downforce setup that we kept on the car during the rain. That helped us to pass some cars in the rain.”
The IMSA WeatherTech Sport Car Championship next heads to Sebring, Florida March 13-16 for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented By Advance Auto Parts.