Event: 57th Rolex 24 At Daytona (Round 1 of 10)
Series: Daytona Prototype international division of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (3.56-mile, 12-turn speedway road course)
Pole Winner: Oliver Jarvis of Mazda Team Joest (1:33.685 at 136.792 mph)
Result: 6th by Jordan Taylor (1:34.479 at 135.642 mph)
The No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R will start the 57th Rolex 24 At Daytona Saturday from the outside of the third row after the season’s first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying session Thursday at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
Jordan Taylor, sharing the cockpit this weekend with full-time co-driver Renger van der Zande, as well as two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso and former Formula One driver and current World Endurance Championship regular Kamui Kobayashi, clocked a fast lap of 1 minute, 34.479 seconds at 135.642 mph around the 3.56-mile, 12-turn speedway road circuit. It was good for sixth among the 47 car-and-driver combinations that will take the green flag Saturday for the annual 24-hour endurance marathon.
“I think realistically we were racing for fifth-fastest time and we ended sixth by a half-tenth of the 31 (Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R of Felipe Nasr),” said Taylor, who won this event two years ago with then full-time co-driver Ricky Taylor, his older brother who’s since departed for Team Penske, along with veteran Italian Max “The Ax” Angelelli and four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon. “But, I think for us, qualifying was more of a practice session than anything. We made some big changes just to see what they would do between practice and qualifying just to get a read on it because we’ve had such limited running. We understand now what our changes did, and now we move to night practice with some more direction. We weren’t necessarily going for the pole, which we knew wasn’t realistic, but it was more race prep, and that’s the ultimate goal when it comes to getting the car just right here.”
The top-five qualifiers for this weekend’s Rolex 24 At Daytona are:
1. Mazda Team Joest (No. 77 Mazda DPi) Oliver Jarvis, Tristan Nunez, Timo Berhnard, Rene Rast (1:33.685 at 136.792 mph)
2. Acura Team Penske (No. 7 Acura DPi) Ricky Taylor, Helio Castroneves, Alexander Rossi (1:33.873 at 136.518 mph)
3. Acura Team Penske (No. 6 Acura DPi) Juan Montoya, Dane Cameron, Simon Pagenaud (1:34.095 at 136.196 mph)
4. Mazda Team Joest (No. 55 Mazda DPi) Jonathan Bomarito, Harry Tincknell, Olivier Pla (1:34.212 at 136.027 mph)
5. Action Express Racing (No. 31 Cadillac DPi-V.R) Felipe Nasr, Eric Curran, Pipo Derani (1:34.433 at 135.708 mph)
The green flag flies at 2:35 p.m. EST Saturday for this weekend’s 24-hour race, with live television coverage beginning at 2 p.m. on NBCSN.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!