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.
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, said: “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.”
Mark Reuss, President, General Motors Company, said: “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.”
Steve Carlisle, Senior Vice President and President, Cadillac, said: “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.”
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. The Cadillac DPi-V.R teams won every title in the inaugural season of the IMSA DPi formula including:
- Cadillac wins DPi manufacturer championship
- Jordan and Ricky Taylor 2017 IMSA WeatherTech DPi driver champions
- Konica Minolta Cadillac team champions
- Whelen Engineering drivers Dane Cameron and Eric Curran finish second in the driver’s championship
- Cadillac teams combine to win seven races in 2017: Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, Twelve Hours of Sebring, Long Beach, Circuit of the Americas, Detroit, Watkins Glen, and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
- Cadillac won the IMSA Prototype Manufacturer Championship
- Whelen Engineering Cadillac drivers Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr win IMSA Prototype Drivers’ Championship
- Whelen Engineering Cadillac wins the IMSA Prototype Team Championship
- Cadillac wins Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup (TPNAEC) Manufacturer Championship
- Whelen Engineering Cadillac drivers Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr win TPNAEC Drivers’ Championship
- Whelen Engineering Cadillac wins TPNAEC team championship.