|Date: Jan. 5-7, 2018
Event: Roar Before the 24 Test Days (Round 0 of 10)
Series: Prototype division of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (3.56-mile, 12-turn road course)
Fastest Overall: Felipe Nasr of the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R (1:35.806 at 133.764 mph)
Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R Best Lap: 4th by Renger van der Zande (1:36.481 at 132.828 mph)
The No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R trio of full-time co-drivers Jordan Taylor and Renger van der Zande and third driver Ryan Hunter-Reay closed the annual Roar Before the Rolex 24 Test Days by clocking the fastest lap among the 50-car field Sunday afternoon for the second time this weekend. They will open defense of the team’s 2017 Rolex 24 At Daytona victory and 2017 driver and team championships when competitors return to Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway for the traditional season-opening endurance marathon Jan. 25 to 28.
Taylor, who with older brother Ricky Taylor co-drove to last year’s Rolex 24 victory alongside veteran Italian Max “The Ax” Angelelli and four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon, was fastest overall in today’s last of seven test sessions for the weekend, as well as during Saturday’s first of three test sessions. The Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R clocked top-three times in each of the seven test sessions with each of its three drivers accounting for the team’s fastest lap in at least one session.
Van der Zande, the Dutch driver who came to the team for the 2018 season after Ricky Taylor left to join the new, two-car Team Penske Prototype-class team, clocked the Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R’s fastest lap of the weekend during a new 15-minute qualifying-style session that was added this season to the Roar test days weekend schedule. It was used to determine each team’s pit stall and garage locations during Rolex 24 race weekend three weekends hence. Van der Zande’s lap of 1 minute, 36.481 seconds at 132.828 mph around the 3.56-mile speedway road course was fourth-best overall for the session and for the weekend.
The No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R logged 178 total laps during the three-day test, covering 633 trouble-free miles.
Rolex 24 race weekend begins with practice and qualifying Thursday, Jan. 25, with the twice-around-the-clock event set to begin at 2:40 p.m. EST Saturday, Jan. 27, with live television coverage beginning on the FOX broadcast network at 2 p.m.
|JORDAN TAYLOR, driver, No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R:|
“I think it was a productive weekend. Obviously, last year we won the event but we came in without doing much setup work. So, I think what we learned all throughout 2017 we’re kind of putting on the car now to see what works and what doesn’t work. I think we’re going to leave here knowing a lot more about what we want to bring back for the race weekend but I think, looking at the whole, big picture, we have a comfortable car. All three drivers are comfortable and the team’s the same as it was last year, so I think we have all the pieces in the right place to repeat.”
|RENGER VAN DER ZANDE, driver, No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R:|
“We had a few days of testing and it was interesting for me to get a feel for the car and the proper feel for the setup changes that we applied a few times. We got some driver change practice in, worked with the team and all that, blending in, I would say. I did qualifying and got P4. For me, that was a bit of the limit, so we need to find what the actual time is, what the other teams found, and that’s what we’re going to work on before the race.”
|RYAN HUNTER REAY, Driver, No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R:|
“It was a productive test. We came out with a new driver lineup for the team and we’ve all jelled really well, working on the car the entire time and checking off some boxes that we really wanted to get done before the Rolex 24 weekend. I think we’re all pretty happy with where we stand. Now, it’s all about consistency and execution. This team’s done a remarkable job. You can’t say enough about the professionalism and hard work they put in. We’ll go out there and hopefully have a flawless race weekend.”
|WAYNE TAYLOR, Owner, No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R:|
“Well, it looks like it’s going to be the most competitive year, ever – big names, lots of chassis, lots of engines, Penske, Zak Brown’s team from Europe, Joest, and now four Cadillacs. I think there’s still some balance of performance stuff I’m sure they’re still working on. But I think the cars are all pretty good right now. They should leave it alone and go to the race. We got a lot done this weekend and were at or near the top in every session. But, as everyone knows, you don’t win this race by getting fastest lap in qualifying for a garage spot. Our focus is on winning the race overall.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!