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.
Wayne Taylor led Konica Minolta Cadillac team wins second Rolex 24 with Cadillac
Whelen Engineering Cadillac second, last year’s prototype champions
Hat trick for Cadillac, third Rolex 24 Hour victory in a row
JDC/Miller Motorsports and Juncos Racing, new to Cadillac, have quality starts
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. Soon 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 as the field was parked under a red flag to end the race.
The win by the Konica Minolta Cadillac team is the brand’s third 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, No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R, winner:
“I am very proud if the job we achieve 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:
“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.”
Renger Van Der Zande, No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R, winner:
“The win is a milestone for me. I’ve won at Nurburgring and Spa, this is an overall victory. Also racing with an iconic team and teammates. I am very proud. I came from having no drive in 2012 to winning the Rolex 24 in 2019.
Kamui Kobayashi, No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R, winner:
“Thank you to Wayne and the team and to Cadillac and Konica Minolta. The race was very difficult with the rain and the red flags. We also spent a lot of time behind the safety car. The team did a great job and the Cadillac ran great all race.”
Wayne Taylor, team owner, No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R, winner:
“A year ago, when I met Fernando and we chatted, there was a connection. I thought that in 2019 we needed the best of the best drivers. There are drivers that pop in and out of endurance racing, IndyCar and F1 drivers. Fernando won at Le Mans and we also looked at Kamui. I phoned Kamui at 3 a.m. in the morning. I put the phone down and he called me back. So, within a week we had a deal to run the 24. Renger did a great job helping us win at Petit Le Mans last year. I was a little nervous with Jordan, but he did a great job. Fernando’s first split on the first turn was as fast as everyone else in the Roar so I knew we had a strong team. He was great with everyone, the fans, our sponsor Konica Minolta, and the team.”
Mark Reuss, President, General Motors Company:
“What a performance by Wayne Taylor Racing to win the 2019 Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona. Congratulations to Jordan, Renger, Fernando, and Kamui on their performance behind the wheel of the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R as they battled intense competition and weather. Wayne and the engineers called an excellent race and the crew executed with consistency. The Cadillac teams and our race engineers and Propulsion engineers collaborated to give us a great start to the 2019 IMSA Prototype season.” Reuss added, “I am very happy for Wayne Taylor and the team for their continued success at Daytona.”
Steve Carlisle, Senior Vice President and President, Cadillac:
“Wow, a Rolex 24 Hour At Daytona hat trick! Wayne Taylor and his Konica Minolta team had the complete package on the track and on pit lane to put together a complete day of racing in the Cadillac DPi-V.R. Drivers Jordan, Renger, Fernando, and Kamui set the pace and never really put a wheel wrong all race in treacherous conditions. To win this event three times is a testament to the speed and reliability of Cadillac V-Performance power. Hats off to our development team internally at Cadillac, to Wayne, as well as our GM Propulsion engine team.”
Felipe Nasr, No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R, second:
“I thought we had a good car in both dry and wet conditions, and it was looking good until the rain really poured down. There was nothing I could do. I was the first car coming through and I just aquaplaned all the way and lost the lead. But, I wanted to go back racing. We had a good car. We did a good job all race, and everything we did went to plan. I think we had a winning car in our hands and I wanted to get the job done if I could. It was amazing, the hard work the team did in every single pit stop to handle all the tire changes, the work the mechanics did, and getting the fastest lap of the race – everything was perfect. Eric and Pipo did great. The team made great calls keeping us up front the whole time. It was great. But, I wanted to finish a better place than second.”
Devlin DeFrancesco, No. 85 JDC/Miller Cadillac DPi-V.R, fifth:
“It was quite tricky with the rainy conditions. When we first went green, it was OK. The conditions weren’t that bad as long as you pushed and had tire temp. It was bearable. Then, when the monsoon came, the conditions were extremely tricky. I was happy to survive. JDC/Miller took the challenge on very well. The first race with the Cadillac DPi-V.R, I think we showed well. We appreciate the support from everyone at Cadillac. I am encouraged to see how they do the rest of the year.”
Christian Fittipaldi, No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R, seventh:
“We had a lot of problems early with the Mustang Sampling Cadillac. We managed to fix all of them. We still tried our very best. A lot of things can happen, I have lost championships by a half or one point. Even if we pick up one position it may make a difference at the end of the year for the championship. We were many laps down early. We just wanted to keep our car clean and make it to the end of the race to get the maximum amount of points possible. I want to thank everyone on the team, Mustang Sampling, Whelen Engineering, Cadillac and IMSA. They have been a major part of my life. Thanks to the media for covering our events. I am not going to say I am going to miss you all, because I will be at all of the races.”
Agustin Canapino, No. 50 Juncos Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R, eighth:
“I would like to start by saying congrats to Ricardo Juncos and the whole Juncos Racing team. I would also like to congratulate Cadillac on their win today at Daytona. This race was a challenge for everyone from the drivers to the crew, however the chemistry we created as a group helped us battle our way until the end. We were faced with a lot of different factors throughout the 24 hours, but we also learned a lot and have gained a great experience. The crew did an amazing job each time getting the car back on track so that we were able to finish until the end. This race was very important to me and my career. I am very grateful for the chance to work with such a talented team and for them accepting me into their family. I hope in the future to be back with Juncos Racing, so we will be working hard to make this happen. I want to thank YPF, Banco Patagonia, Martino Sosa, and Chevrolet of Argentina for their support and making my dream of running in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.”
Juan Piedrahita, No. 84 JDC/Miller Cadillac DPi-V.R, classified tenth:
“On my second lap, of my first stint, a car spun in Turn 1. It is the only blind corner on the race track and he was right on the apex. I tried to avoid him but couldn’t. The car was messed up on the right side. We spent two hours in the garage fixing it. I am disappointed. It ruined our night. The Cadillac was good. We are back out, but we are having some temperature issues. We will try to keep going.”
The IMSA WeatherTech Sport Car Championship next heads to Sebring, Florida March 13-16 for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring
Source. Kyle Chura/Cadillac Racing