Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe
IMSA Daytona 24 Hours

Bourdais “surprised” Cadillac was beaten on pace in Daytona 24 Hours

Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac driver Sebastien Bourdais said he was surprised that the victorious Acura ARX-06 outperformed his new V-LMDh in the Daytona 24 Hours IMSA SportsCar Championship season opener.

#01 Cadillac Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac V-LMDh: Sebastien Bourdais, Renger van der Zande, Scott Dixon

Acura finished first and second as IMSA’s new GTP era got underway, with Meyer Shank Racing leading Wayne Taylor Racing's identical machine over the line, as the #01 Ganassi machine Bourdais shared with Renger van der Zande and Scott Dixon completed the podium.

The sister #02 CGR Cadillac that Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn and Richard Westbrook will race in the World Endurance Championship full-time this year was fourth and also on the lead lap, as fellow Cadillac outfit Action Express Racing finished fifth.

While van der Zande set a fastest lap just one-thousandth of a second slower than the WTR Acura, Tom Blomqvist’s best effort in the victorious MSR machine was three-tenths quicker and seemingly able to pull away from the Cadillacs at will on restarts in the final few stints.

The #01 Cadillac had recovered from two laps down after an unscheduled stop to replace rear bodywork when Dixon was tagged by an LMP3 car after braking to avoid a spinning LMP2 machine. Dixon also had to serve a drive-through penalty after being sent out of the pits while the fuel hose was still attached.

Bourdais said: “Obviously, we didn’t run the perfect race but as close as you can get to it, considering it was the first outing in a race for the Cadillac V-LMDh. Honestly, I just didn’t think it was going to take the perfect race.

“I’m really surprised that the competition beat us on performance and everybody ended up having a very clean race.

“It’s tough to be on the wrong side of things but [we scored] some good points. All the hard work from Ganassi, Cadillac and Bosch, Dallara and everybody that has been involved in this project has been rewarded with a triple finish.

“We’ll keep working and thanks for everybody’s hard work.”

#01 Cadillac Racing Cadillac V-LMDh: Sebastien Bourdais, Renger van der Zande, Scott Dixon

#01 Cadillac Racing Cadillac V-LMDh: Sebastien Bourdais, Renger van der Zande, Scott Dixon

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

His full-time IMSA team-mate van der Zande added: “Finishing second or third is not what we came for, but hey it’s the first time and we got points for a podium to start the season off with Ganassi.

“At the end of the day, we didn’t have the pace to win, and we didn’t have the speed on the straights to win.

“It’s time to collect and see where we can improve as a team. I think it’s a tribute to GM and to Dallara and Ganassi to build a car that lasts for 24 hours.”

Cadillac reported “no major mechanical or hybrid unit issues” across its fleet.

The AXR Cadillac of Pipo Derani, Alexander Sims and Jack Aitken endured an incident at two-thirds distance, where a collision with a GTD car is suspected to have led to a suspension failure. The repairs in the garage took 25 minutes, and dropped the car 12 laps down.

“Unfortunately, we got crashed by a GT,” said Derani. “It wasn’t major, it was just a touch from the GT. But two hours after that touch, our rear suspension gave up. So, really unfortunate there.

“The team did an amazing job to repair the car and put us back in contention. The car was really quick, so kind of bittersweet because we had a strong enough car to be on the podium, but that’s racing.

“Looks like we are going to be a strong team and I am looking forward to Sebring.”

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation

Related video

Previous article Daytona 24: MSR Acura opens GTP era with win, Proton snatches LMP2 by 0.016s
Next article Winning MSR Acura "super lucky" with Daytona 24 gearbox scare

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe