Press Release by Daytona International Speedway
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 29, 2022) – Cadillac cruised to the lead Saturday during the opening hours of the 60th anniversary Rolex 24 At DAYTONA.
Filipe Albuquerque started from the pole in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05, but Cadillacs driven by Tristan Vautier and Kamui Kobayashi passed him on the opening lap and a flat tire later sent the defending Rolex 24 winner two laps down.
“I was not expecting that speed from the Cadillacs at the beginning,” Albuquerque said. “I just couldn’t hold it. They were a little bit quicker than us on the cold tires in the beginning. Our car is really good, but at this stage of the race we don’t have so much pace for them. They’re completely controlling us, but it’s a long race.”
By the six-hour mark of the 24-hour race at Daytona International Speedway, the two Acuras in Daytona Prototype international (DPi) were sixth and seventh in the seven-car class. Six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon had the No. 01 Cadillac V-Performance Academy Cadillac DPi-V.R in the overall lead. Dixon shares the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing entry with Renger van der Zande, Sebastien Bourdais and Alex Palou.
The opening race of the 2022 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season also serves as the first of four IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup events where separate points are awarded at designated junctures in the race. Other class leaders who earned top Michelin Endurance Cup points at the six-hour mark were: the No. 20 High Class Racing ORECA LMP2 07 in Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2), the No. 54 CORE autosport Ligier JS P320 in Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3), the No. 2 KCMG Porsche 911 GT3 R in GTD PRO and the No. 27 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 in GT Daytona (GTD).
The opening hours were chaotic, with four caution periods and several incidents that caused damage.
Three and a half hours in, a tire went flat on the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura while Helio Castroneves was racing for the lead. He drove the car slowly into the pits under green for repairs but dropped a lap off the pace.
“It was very surprising,” Castroneves said. “I was trying to make sure it didn’t damage the bodywork. We have some damage right now, but we will fix it when we have a yellow and try to get our lap back.”
Great tickets are still available to witness Sunday’s (Adult Tickets At Gate: $35 – Unreserved Frontstretch Seating; Kids 12-and-under FREE) finish of the twice-around-the-clock finish at 1:40 p.m. ET and can be purchased at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.
About Daytona International Speedway
Daytona International Speedway is a state-of-the-art motorsports facility and was awarded the SportsBusiness Journal’s prestigious Sports Business Award for Sports Facility of the Year in 2016. Daytona International Speedway is the home of The Great American Race – the DAYTONA 500. Though the season-opening NASCAR Cup Series event garners most of the attention – as well as the largest audience in motorsports – the approximately 500-acre motorsports complex, also known as the World Center of Racing, boasts the most diverse schedule of racing on the globe. In addition to at least nine major event weekends, the Speedway grounds are also used extensively for events that include concerts, civic and social gatherings, car shows, photo shoots, production vehicle testing and police motorcycle training.
The iconic venue will be the site of a host of motorsports events early in 2022, beginning with AHRMA Classic Motofest and the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA in January, and the 64th DAYTONA 500, which will debut the first points race for NASCAR’s ‘Next Gen’ car as part of Speedweeks Presented by AdventHealth in February. The tradition-rich 81st Annual Bike Week At DAYTONA returns in March, featuring DAYTONA Supercross and the DAYTONA 200, and in May with the Heroes Honor Festival. Later in the summer during Independence Day weekend, the track, in association with Torneos, will host Soccer Fest before the NASCAR Cup Series returns for the final race of the regular season with the Coke Zero Sugar 400 on Aug. 27.