Joao Barbosa put the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R prototype on pole position for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship 55th running of the Rolex 24 Hour At Daytona. Teammate Dane Cameron in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac will start alongside making it an all Cadillac front row. The Konica Minolta Cadillac driven by Ricky Taylor will start fourth.
The No. 5 Mustang Sampling/Cadillac DPi-V.R, driven by Joao Barbosa, put in a lap of 1:36.903 good enough for the overall pole position for the start of Rolex 24 Hour At Daytona. Barbosa shares the Cadillac with Christian Fittipaldi and Filipe Albuquerque. Backing up their performance from the two free practice sessions today, the Cadillac DPi-V.R trio were among the top cars on the time sheet all day. Once the green flag dropped, for the 15-minute qualifying session, Ricky Taylor was the early pole sitter putting in a fast time on just his second lap. Soon after Barbosa took the top spot with teammate Cameron following in second. Barbosa turned his fast lap on his sixth and last circuit of the 3.56-mile modified oval layout. The pole is the first for Cadillac in prototype sports car racing and the first for the new-era of prototypes in IMSA competition
“The pole is a little unexpected,” Barbosa said. “It is great to get Cadillac the first pole position of this new porotype era. The car was really stable and fun to drive. It feels good, but doesn’t really matter where you start, but where you finish. It was really the first time that I pushed the car for a time and reacted getting the pole. To get both Action Express Cadillac DPi-V.Rs on the front row is a great result for the team. It is always good to know that you have someone you trust starting next to you for a big race like this. We will have a team strategy for the start to get through the first laps trouble free. We have a fast car and I think a really good car for the race.”
Dane Cameron had the controls of the No. 31 Whelen Cadillac for the 15-minute qualifying session. Cameron posted a lap of 1:36.73 completing the all Cadillac DPi-V.R front row. Cameron is partnered with Eric Curran, Mike Conway and Sebastian “Seb” Morris.
“It is always a bit disappointing when you lose pole by a fraction of a second,” Cameron said. “It was a great effort for the team to have the new Cadillac DPi-V.R on pole for the first time. We made a few changes to the Whelen car from this morning and it reacted, so I am very pleased with that aspect. We are now focused on having a good race car. The two teams work well together. We have been really working to prove the systems on this new car as we have to go for 24 hours. Having two cars is an advantage to get our hands around these new prototypes before the next team.”
The No. 10 Konica Minolta/Cadillac DPi-V.R was piloted by Ricky Taylor for qualifying. The youngest Taylor put in a lap of 1:37.169 good for fourth. Ricky is teamed with brother Jordan, Max Angelelli and NASCAR Champion Jeff Gordon.
“I think we’ve got a really good car for the race,” said Ricky Taylor, who also qualified fourth here last year en route to the team’s third runner-up finish in the last four Rolex 24s. “It’s disappointing to not get the pole, but it’s nice to see Cadillacs one, two and four in their debut – so strong. I think we’ve got a proven team and crew and driver lineup for the race and I’m very optimistic. We know we have a fast car, but being a brand new car, the only question left on the minds of our fans and followers, I guess, is how the new Cadillac is going to hold up for 24 hours. I can say that I don’t think we could’ve done any more than we’ve done in terms of preparation. I’d go so far as to say we’re the most prepared of all the teams here, knock on wood. We’ve worked out a lot of bugs during all the testing, and I think we’ve got all the confidence we can expect. So, anything that happens from this point forward is out of our control.”
Source. Kyle Chura/Cadillac Racing