After two hours in the Rolex 24 in Daytona, Cadillac holds the first four places, with Renger van der Zande in the Chip Ganassi Racing DPi-VR No. 01 leading Felipe Nasr in 31st place, Simon Pagenaud in 48th place and Loic Duval in No. 5.
In LMP2, Cetilar Dallara, class leader Antonio Fuoco, is followed by the ORECAs of Eric Lux (No. 82) and Ben Keating (No. 52).
Tommy Milner leads GTLM in the No. 4 Corvette, followed by James Calado in the No. 62 Ferrari and John Edwards in the No. 24 BMW, while Aaron Telitz continues to drive the GTD in the No. 14 Lexus, followed by Jan Heylen in the No. 16 Porsche and Misha Goikhberg in the 19 Lamborghini
Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson presented Action Express ally Cadillac DPi-VR No. 48 to IndyCar star Simon Pagenaud. The car finished second in the middle of the second hour of competition.
« What a car and what an opportunity, » said Johnson. « There was no way I wanted to break the toy in the first few hours, so I was a bit more conservative than I had to be. We got that caution right. »
Johnson will be saying goodbye to standard cars this year and IndyCar in The DPi was the perfect step in the transition.
« This is the closest car I can drive to an IndyCar in the US, » said Johnson, who last appeared in 2011 in the Daytona prototype era drove the Rolex 24.
« Braking is much better now than the car I drove 10 years ago, » said Johnson of the DPi Cadillac. « The speeds have increased, but the brakes are a big difference. The last car I drove here had steel brakes; this car is carbon fiber and the shape of the body is very different which creates more downforce. The car is cornering and you have no grip and you have to fight the car to drive it . That goes a lot better with my NASCAR days. In IndyCar, I notice that the sliding window is so narrow! «
Leading just before the 1-hour mark in GT Daytona, problems for the Vasser Sullivan No. 12 Lexus RC F GT3 sent the car two laps down to last place. At the end of the hour the car was still 19th, but won a lap due to caution.
A moment later, Rob Hodes hit the wall at Turn 1 in the ORECA LMP2 07-Gibson No. 81 DragonSpeed USA. Hobes hobbled back into the pits and lost several laps to replace the damage to the front right and to the splinter. The debris of the incident also spawned the second warning of the race, a long slow 34 minutes.
The race had only turned green for eight minutes when Frits Van Eerd marked a tire lock, which caused significant damage to the No. 29 Racing Team Nederland ORECA on the left front, resulting in the third warning of the race.
J.J. O’Malley became Chris Economaki’s news editor in 1977 and embarked on a career spanning all facets of motorsport in many ways. He worked for Watkins Glen International for 14 years in public relations. followed by four seasons at Homestead-Miami Speedway; News Editor at ISC Publications (now Edgeset Marketing); and communications manager for Grand-Am and IMSA. He is currently completing his 13th book on racing – A History of the Daytona Prototype – and reporting on events for RACER.com, Edgeset Marketing and Sunday Group Management. O’Malley is an honorary member of the renowned Road Racing Drivers Club.
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