Ally Cadillac and drivers Jimmie Johnson, Kamui Kobayashi, Simon Pagenaud, and Mike Rockenfeller are leading the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Rolex 24 At Daytona eight hours into the race.
At the drop of the green, Felipe Nasr showed the speed of the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R by leading throughout his first stint. As the raced progressed through the first eight hours, each of the four Cadillac DPi-V.Rs led laps. The race pace is fast, interrupted by four caution periods so far.
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Ally Cadillac DPi-V.R, running first:“It is just so much fun. To have an opportunity to drive for Action Express Racing is a great experience. I miss the fans not being here, but there was still great energy in prerace. I had the honor to start, lots of memories and emotions on the grid. There were a few close calls with spinning cars, the dirt and the dust, I picked the right lane and squeezed by. For me, it is about keeping the car safe and working on lap times. I am in the second bracket of our drive
Simon Pagenaud,No. 48 Ally Cadillac DPi-V.R, running first:“Very good start. Very impressed with Jimmie’s start. He did a brilliant job. The group is doing a great job. The Ally Cadillac is beautiful. It handles well in traffic and is very good out of the corners. It allows you to really attack. It is very exciting racing. It is like an IndyCar race the fast pace and we are only four hours into the race. You have to be on your toes every single breaking zone and especially in traffic. I am jacked, a lot of adrenaline. I am having a blast.”
Kevin Magnusson, No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R, running second:“It was a fun first stint. It is very intense with all of the traffic. You try to keep your pace, while not taking too much risk. It is a long race and I need to remember that. I was happy to hand it over to Dixon and he is doing a good job now. It is way more intense with all of the traffic compared to what I have tried before. I get in a different kind of zone than what I am used to. You never really get into a fast rhythm. I knew what to expect from watching past videos. I felt very comfortable. We had a slow pit stop. I made a rookie mistake. I didn’t plug my radio in. I lost the lead, went from P1 to P2 with a five-second too long pit stop from me not plugging the radio in. I won’t make that mistake again.”
Felipe Nasr, No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R, running fourth:“It was nice to be upfront for a while. Overall, the speed and balance of the 31 Whelen Cadillac is pretty good. When the track went cooler we did some tire pressure adjustments. We got caught up at the end and had to do an emergency pit stop for gas. You just get shuffled back. The way the track conditions are, it suits our Cadillac. The track keeps changing. The cooler temperatures will change the cars again. Right now, I am very happy with the Whelen Cadillac.”
Tristan Vautier, No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R, running sixth:“It is a fast race. Loic had a very good start to the race and gave me a good car. I managed to keep the lead, but they are taking out a big chunk of the gap. In traffic, it is a lot of work, but the JDC-Miller Cadillac is handling great at the moment. Let’s see what happens with four hours to go.”
Cadillac running order at eight hours:
1. No. 48 Ally Cadillac DPi-V.R, Jimmy Johnson, Simon Pagenaud, Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Rockenfeller
2. No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R, Kevin Magnussen, Renger Van Der Zande, Scott Dixon
4. No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R, Felipe Nasr, Pipo Derani, Mike Conway, Chase Elliott
6. No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R, Tristan Vautier, Loic Duval, Sebastien Bourdais
Source. Kyle Chura/Cadillac Racing/Photo. Richard Prince