No. 01 Cadillac Forced to Retire in 62nd Rolex 24 At DaytonaIMSA
Sebastien Bourdais, Scott Dixon, Alex Palou and Renger van der Zande combined to lead 91 laps in the race. After jumping out front again in the ninth hour of the race, the No. 01 first faced an unfortunate setback with a punctured tire that forced them off of the lead lap.
Nonetheless, the team persevered and worked tirelessly through the night to fight their way back to the lead lap and secure the fourth position. Their race was then cut short due to a mechanical powertrain issue shortly after returning to race near the front of the field.
- Bourdais began the race behind the wheel of the No. 01 and maintained his P2 starting position for the first hour of the race. Moments later, the Le Mans, France, native pushed the pace and made a move on the outside of the No. 10 GTP to gain command of the field.
- One hour and 43 minutes into the race, Bourdais returned to the pits for a second time where he handed driving duties over to Dixon.
- Dixon continued to hold the race lead before ultimately swapping out for Palou four hours into the race.
- A full-course yellow brought out a fierce restart, where the No. 01 settled into P3 position. Palou eventually handed driving duties over to van der Zande as they battled at the front of the pack. Van der Zande maintained the team's position throughout his stint before Bourdais returned behind the wheel as the sun set on Daytona International Speedway.
- Working through the field in impressive fashion, Bourdais eventually capitalized on the charge forward and seized the race lead again. However, just moments later, the No. 01 suffered a punctured tire due to debris on the track. The Cadillac was forced off the track and returned shortly thereafter to make its way back to the pits. Handed an additional penalty during the unfortunate turn of events, the team fell three laps behind the race leader.
- As the race entered its final 15 hours, the No. 01 Cadillac team sprang into action under the cover of the night. All four drivers worked collectively to propel the team back to the lead lap within a four hour span and eventually secured P5 as a full-course yellow emerged.
- Van der Zande led the No. 01 back to green and quickly navigated his way to P4 position. However, he was soon forced to bring the No. 01 to a halt while approaching turn one. The car was brought back to the garage where the mechanical powertrain issue was identified and the team unfortunately retired from the race.
- The IMSA SportsCar Championship will next hold the 12 Hours of Sebring on Saturday, March 16.Z
“This end result is obviously disappointing because everyone at Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing has put in so much work to get to this point. We showed that we had the pace to compete in this race, but things just didn’t fall our way. We continued to push until the very last minute.”
“The team did an amazing job. We worked well together and had great speed with a lot of possibilities, but it's sad to go out of the race like we did so early on. That's the way it rolls sometimes. I'm just thankful for everyone from the team at GM and Cadillac. I know there's an amazing amount of effort that goes into this race and the whole season. The only way is up from here."
“Very sad that we couldn’t finish the race after an amazing couple of weeks in Daytona preparing for this big race. We were looking really good, and the Cadillac was super quick in all track conditions. It was an absolute pleasure to drive the 01 and share car with Renger, Sebastien and Scott. Thank you to the team for all the hard work and I know it will pay off down the road.”
Renger van der Zande:
“I was really moving; I came through the field so easily. The car was lightning fast and credit to Cadillac and the Ganassi team to give us such a big car to win a race like this. It’s just a shame it has to end like this so early. This is motorsport, we’re fighting with the very best and we’re on the limit with everything to have a competitive car. I have three amazing teammates, a whole team here to win and I think we had the best chance to win. It’s just a shame.”
Source: Chip Ganassi Racing