Relive the Daytona 24 Hours


A long 24 hours, made even longer by 12 hours of cold temperatures, steady rain and 21 caution flags – though not even close to a record, actually – combined to make the night hours of the most prestigious sports car race in North America miserable for drivers and crew. But the 55th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona was one of the most exciting, and certainly most important endurance races in recent memory.

And those last seven minutes – wow.

The wild card in the Prototype class, which featured all-new cars this season, was probably the three Cadillac DPi-V.R entries: The No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing and No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing cars, which, with Chevrolet power, have taken all three IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championships so far, plus the No. 10 car. Would the teams be as fast as last year?

In a word, yes – in fact, the No. 5 Cadillac DPi of regular drivers Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi, helped out for this long race by Filipe Albuquerque, battled long and hard with the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi of brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor, longtime co-driver Max Angelelli in his final race, and four-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon, in his first Rolex 24 since his debut here in 2007.

With seven minutes to go, Albuquerque was leading in the No. 5, with Ricky Taylor on his tail. At the end of the long frontstretch, leading into a fast left turn, Taylor took the No. 10 car low and inside of Albuquerque. When the No. 5 set up for the left turn, Taylor hit the car in the rear, spinning it out. Albuquerque recovered quickly and at the end, finished only 0.671 seconds behind the No. 10.

The incident was reviewed by IMSA officials who decided to take no action against Taylor, which did not go down well with Albuquerque. “I don’t race like that, to be hit in the back. He didn’t even wait for me, he just took off,” Albuquerque said. “Clearly I was hit in the back. It was not a clean move. I think everyone saw that.”