By on January 30, 2017

Rolex 24 Cadillac Victory

Cadillac took a definite “more is more” approach for its return to prototype racing. By handing over its engineering masterpiece, the V8 DPi-V.R, to the distinguished Wayne Taylor Racing, LeMans veteran Massimiliano “Max” Angelelli, and NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon, it assured itself the one-two victory at the Rolex 24 in Daytona.

However, despite an ideal finish, it wasn’t a perfect day for the team.

Gordon accidentally rammed the Number 70 Mazda RT24-P as it clumsily exited the pits on his first time out in the Cadillac, and Ricky Taylor made some bold choices behind the wheel of the Number 10 car in final minutes of the race. However, Taylor’s aggressive moves resulted in a victory after a forced restart and extremely tight grid, thanks to the Number 93 GT3 NSX suffering a fatal automotive stroke with only twenty-minutes left in the race. Taylor made contact with Number 5 Mustang Sampling Racing driver Filipe Albuquerque, spinning him out at the end of Daytona’s banked oval as the two entered the track’s infield. It was the maneuver that ensured Cadillac’s victory.

To the chagrin of the Mustang Sampling team, no action was taken against Team Taylor for the incident. Albuquerque screamed through the grid to reduce the gap with Cadillac to a mere 0.671 seconds in the final seven minutes, but was unable to regain the lead before the race’s end.

“Well, it was a good fight, until I got hit to be honest,” Albuquerque told the cameras. “There is not much to say. I had some [GT cars] ahead of me so I could not brake so late and I closed the door but then I got spun. There is not much to say, and yeah, the officials took the decision. That’s what it is. We finished second.”

Taylor wasn’t particularly apologetic over the contact.

“I was closer than I had been. He’d been struggling in turn one,” Taylor explained. “Their car didn’t look very good there and we were really strong on the brakes.”

“I think he saw me coming. He saw me committing and — like he said — I guess he closed the door … I wanted to win terribly. We were either going to make a move and do something and win or sit there in second and wait for — wait until next year, basically. I didn’t want to do that.”

While Cadillac took the overall victory, the Ford GT team that took its class at Le Mans last year earned first place in the GTLM class, while Alegra Motorsports’ Porsche 911 GT3-R scored the GTD class win.

“I haven’t been this emotional for a win and an experience like this for a very long time,” Gordon gushed after the race. “The reason is because I know what this means to this team. Oh my gosh! This is amazing. Daytona has always been special, but this one sent me over the top. I am just blown away right now.”

The victory makes Gordon forth driver ever to win the Daytona 500 and Rolex 24, joining racing legends A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, and Jamie McMurray. It also marks Max Angelelli’s official retirement from racing.

In a pre-race interview with SportsCar365, Angelelli said, “This is where everything started, and this is where everything will end for me as a driver. I made my name here, starting in Daytona, and now I’m going to greet the people and say goodbye in Daytona. I think it’s good. I thank Wayne for pushing me to do Daytona one more time.”

[Image: Daytona International Speedway]

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51 Comments on “Hey, Look – Cadillac Finished First In Something: The Rolex 24...”


  • avatar
    philadlj

    Nice win, cool car…but how many Cadillacs will this program actually sell? Not like there will be a homologation special of the, er…V8 DPi-V.R…

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    “…handing over its engineering masterpiece, the V8 DPi-V.R, to the distinguished Wayne Taylor Racing, LeMans veteran Massimiliano “Max” Angelelli, and NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon, it assured itself the one-two victory at the Rolex 24 in Daytona.”

    This should increase Cadillac sales by 0.000000000001%.

    Uwe & Melody Lee are planning to have the DPi-V.R mounted on a 45° platform and displayed outside Johan’s Haus du Coffee in SoHo for millennial hipsters to gaze at while walking by, bicycling by or riding by in ubers.

    • 0 avatar

      Just in time, Deady. How are you today?

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Tremendous.

        2017 is off to an incredible, really, really great, wonderful start, and it’s very, very impressive.

        Donald J. Trump

        @TheRealDonaldTrump:

        “May be forced to annex some or all of Canada soon due to Trudeau’s lack of support. Maple syrup, ice hockey, poutine, Tim Horton’s & Justin Bieber are all over super over-rated. Ontario is in deep decline. Sad! NAFTA renegotiated soon! Blow me!”

        • 0 avatar
          mikey

          Annex some or all of Canada ?…Make it soon….I want to move to the U.S South West .

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Donald J. Trump

            @TheRealDonaldTrump:

            “Regarding earlier tweet, Canadians would have to leave any land annexed & be barred from entry into expanded U.S.A.! Gordon Sinclair & Kevin O’Leary will be exempt! ”

          • 0 avatar
            SCE to AUX

            So do I; I think you’d be a great neighbor. But I can’t retire for a long time.

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            Well …..So I guess that rules out a move to New Mexico or Arizona eh ?

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Annex Canada?

          But where will Canada’s Muslim community go?

          It is predicted that by 2036 30% of our population will be immigrants. 20% of Canadians will have one parent that was an immigrant. Christianity will see a decline from 90% to 67% but that is predicted to be caused by “loss of faith”. 8% will be Muslim.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Presumably we’d be annexing the white Christian part of Canada. Minus Nickelback. And Celine. But we’ll take Neil Young if he promises not to write any protest songs.

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            @ Sorry …Neil Young is a naturalized American now.

        • 0 avatar
          Domestic Hearse

          @TheRealJohnnyGentlePresidentofONAN:

          “We’ve been forced to expand the Great Concavity to now include all of Quebec, generating increased infrastructure spending for Empire Waste Disposal Land Barges and Waste Displacement Catapults in this, The Year of the Non-Flamable Completely Safe Samsung Note 7.”

          @RodTheGod

          “What I may add to is that both cabinet members, the Presidents of Mexico and Canada, agree with me, er, President Gentle, and that we shall also be further stimulating the economy with the purchase of hundreds more ATHSCME fans to assure the toxicity remains 100% Canadian owned.”

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        DeadWeight,
        I heard different.

        Quebec is taking over and French will become the National language.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      DW,
      Didn’t you hear? Book clients receive their fifth Skim Machiatto Catera for free at the Cadillac Cafe.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      No Ubers allowed. Something, something, something Trump refugees. But Peter Thiel is a big time investor in Lyft. What is a modern hipster man (or woman) to do?

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      It was also GM racing that developed the car, about all Cadillac contributed was the branding experience.

    • 0 avatar
      Snooder

      Eh, if they market it right (I suspect they wont) it could.

      The main problem is that while Cadillac is trying really hard to reinvent itself as sporty and fast for people who want a premium/luxury sports car, but want to buy American, it’s not doing enough to shed the old image.

      When it mag got my ATS, the first thing I did was hit Google to see if there were any cool hats or gear. Nope. Any Cadillac Car Club that maybe rolls by cars and coffee? Also nope. There just isnt that “lifestyle” component that gives you an extra kick in your step. And having to explain that your caddy coupe really isnt for old people, honest, gets old. It’s a douchey thing, but let’s be honest here, buyers like me have a little douche in us.

      I was looking at a BMW before, and I suspect when the ATS lease is up, I’ll be getting a 2 series. It’s a shame, but it is what it is.

      • 0 avatar
        tjh8402

        I was at the race and I didn’t check, but I wonder if Cadillac had reserved corral parking for owners, at least of the V cars. While that wasn’t the reason I bought a BMW, one of the parts of the ownership experience I enjoyed with both mine and my dad’s was taking advantage of the BMW’s owners corral parking whenever we went to the 12 Hours of Sebring. it was a fantastic perk to enjoy. I know that Corvette and Porsche go all out with their reserved spaces for their owners clubs.

        GM really does seem to use the Corvette racing program to great affect to drum up excitement and enthusiasm among Vette owners. The Corvette racing fans are always among the most visible and enthusiastic at the races, and once you recognize Jake, Corvette Racing’s mascot, you’ll start to notice him a lot of places and on people’s cars. He makes for a nice bit of swag, and probably kind of functions as a secret identifier for other Corvette Racing fans when you see them out and about.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “… joining racing legends A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, and Jamie McMurray.”

    You have just made Jamie McMurray’s day.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Next year, Gordon and Taylor will be racing on the FCA RAM team.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    A win is a win – congratulations to Cadillac.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      As they say, “Win on Sunday; watch Lexus sell on Monday.”

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        Definitely not Acura NSX. Both cars werebso far off the pace in the class, like the Lexus, they kept getting run into.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          One note: the Acura NSX is an actual car – you could buy an NSX at an Acura dealer and it’s an incredible drive.

          Where is the equivalent from Cadillac? It doesn’t exist because all the engineers are designing a coffee bar.

          • 0 avatar
            tjh8402

            @Vogo – it’s two totally different classes and philosophies of racing. The Cadillac (as well as the Mazda and Nissan) are prototypes. They are unabashedly unashamedly purpose built racecars not intended to be related to anything street legal (although to Cadillac’s credit, they at least use a GM smallblock, whereas I think both Mazda and Nissan use bespoke race engines).

            The NSX is a GT class car, so by rule it’s a car you can actually buy. It is worth noting that the NSX race car is still rather different than the street car. most significantly, it isn’t a hybrid and doesn’t have 4wd.
            Cadillac has had a great record competing in production based race classes, just not in this series. They’ve had a factory Pirelli World Challenge program for well over a decade with racing two generations of CTS-V and then the ATS-V. I’m not sure if they will be returning in 2017 or not with the DPi program now going.

            The PWC ATS-V is designed to GT3 rules and would actually compete in the same class as the NSX if they raced it in IMSA. however, GM’s IMSA program is focused on the GT-LM Corvettes, and the GTD class is designed for privateers, not works teams like what Cadillac has run in PWC. Not sure if that’s the reason they don’t compete there or not, but I don’t think they’ve sold those cars to privateer teams. Pretty sure they’ve only been run by the factory.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Thanks, tjh,
            That’s great background.

  • avatar
    stuki

    Note to Cadillac: The projects competent car guys are in charge of, result in a win…..Who would have thought, at a car company…

  • avatar

    Yes, but as with the Corvette racing team, GM marketers won’t know how to exploit this successful Cadillac branded effort and translate it into sales.

  • avatar
    scrubnick

    The problem with the entire series is the artificial “balance of performance” nonsense. We saw this at Le Mans last year. Sandbag at the pre-race test and convince the sanctioning body you need “help.” You get less weight, more boost, etc. Show up to the actual race and suddenly you’re 4 seconds a lap faster. There is no point in improving the performance of your car if it just gets nullified through balance of performance.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    I want to see all races reflect the cars we drive, which means that racers should be based on SUV/CUVs. I’d much rather watch a race between a CT5 and X5 and Q7 and GLE and Cayenne and MDX and RX and F-pace, and etc. Maybe bring back a Daytona beach race to test out the 4WD capabilities on the sand.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    Actually Cadillac should be a little upset with how the win went down. The No. 5 Mustang Sampling car leading the class that had the contact with WTR’s car was, was another Cadillac, so Cadillac already had their 1-2 sewn up. So no, to correct the author, this wasn’t “the maneuver that ensured Cadillac’s victory”. if anything, it was the maneuver that was jeopardizing that victory. The close fight between the two was putting both Cadillacs at risk. Of course, they are different teams, so team orders couldn’t really be enforced and WTR really really really wanted this win.

    It’s a lovely race car though. Looked and sounded great going around the track. Very cool the way all three Cadillacs in the race (the two Action Express cars and the WTR) all used a variation of the Cadillac livery and patterns. I just wish they had the crest and cursive “Cadillac” more prominently displayed.

    Ford also deserves credit for their GT-LM effort. They clearly wanted this win, entering 4 cars (twice as much as any of the competition), and impressively, all 4 cars actually managed to finish the race. With that many, you’d expect at least one DNF. Credit to Ford, Multimatic, and Chip Ganassi racing for building an apparently quite strong race car and operating it well.

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      Last year, GM let the Corvettes race each other hard which earned them kudos. No reason they would have asked the two teams to do other wise.

      Curious that on the GM press site there is no mention of Cadillac winning or even racing. Is Melody slacking on her job?


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