Home ยป Cadillac Racing #31 Runs Out Of Time At 2024 Rolex 24

Cadillac Racing #31 Runs Out Of Time At 2024 Rolex 24

Cadillac Racing #31 Runs Out Of Time At 2024 Rolex 24

The 62nd running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona put both Cadillac V-Series.R teams to the test. The #01 Cadillac Racing car, fielded by Chip Ganassi Racing and co-piloted by Sabastian Bourdais, Renger van der Zande, Scott Dixon and Alex Palou, along with the #31 Action Express Racing fielded by Whelen Engineering and co-piloted by Pipo Derani, Jack Aitken and Tom Blomqvist, showed speed in practice and qualifying with hopes that their success would continue into the main event.

Derani in the #31, took the field to the green flag from the pole position after recording a record-setting lap in qualifying. Posting a time of 1 minute 32.656 seconds around the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway, Derani destroyed the previous record by an entire second, which in terms of a sport that measures in the thousandth, is a landslide. In the opening hours, both Cadillac racing teams were setting the pace on the field, working up a 19 second advantage over third place #25 BMW. A full course caution in hour five allowed the field to bunch up and the #7 Porsche driven by Matt Campbell to take the lead.

Over the next few hours, the #31 Action Express Cadillac and the #7 Porsche traded the lead back and forth through pit strategy and the transition into night. The #01 Cadillac Racing V-Series.R driven by Van der Zande and Bourdais were running top five until 15 hours remained, when Bourdais hit debris on the racetrack resulting in a blown tire, shuffling the #01 car back in the running order. At the halfway point, the #31 Cadillac driven by Aitken maintained the lead with the #7 Porsche hot on his tail.

In the 14th hour, the #01 Cadillac driven by Van der Zande encountered drivetrain issues, leaving the car as dark as the night sky, erasing any hopes of the win for the Chip Gannasi Racing team. Throughout the nighttime grind, the #31 Action Express Racing machine driven by Pipo Derani became the car to beat in the closing stages of the race.

As daylight emerged over the speedway, the #31 Cadillac team had to contend with three Porsche Racing teams on its tail. Cadillac Racing driver Jack Aitken and the #7 Porsche, driven by Matt Campbell, developed a 40 second lead over third place. With six hours remaining, it turned into a classic heavy weight bout with Campbell in the Porsche and Aitken in the #31 Cadillac, using slower GTD traffic to aggressively overtake each other.

In the final stint of the event, Tom Blomqvist piloted the #31 to the lead, holding it until pit stops allowed the #7 Porsche, driven by Felipe Nasr to exit in front of the Cadillac. Despite a gallant effort, Blomqvist was not able to run down Nasr as the clock ran out and race control threw the checkered with one lap remaining, earning Porsche Penske Motorsport their first Rolex win since 1969.

The #01 Chip Ganassi Cadillac Racing team, completed 423 laps until the aforementioned drivetrain issues halted their efforts, while the #31 Whelen Engineering / Action Express team completed 791 laps finishing second. Both teams will be back on track March 13th-16th for the 12 hours of Sebring.

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