Driver/Team Quotes From The Rolex 24 At Daytona.
As of 1/27/2013, 3:30PM
AJ ALLMENDINGER (No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ford/Riley): “It’s been a long 24 hours. These guys have a ‘never give up’ attitude, and it starts with Mike Shank and carries throughout this team. These guys bust their butts, and they’ve been that way every time I’ve driven for them. They lay it on the line for us, and me and all the drivers try to do the same. The No. 01’s got everyone covered, but we’re going to fight to the end. You never know what will happen. A toe link or tie rod broke at the kink to set us back yesterday. I limped it back and these guys did a good job to get it fixed in six or seven laps to keep us in the ballgame. We fought to get back on the lead lap. I felt we had pace to run second to fourth the whole time. But the 02’s out, so you never know what can happen.”
OZZ NEGRI (No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ford/Riley): “I did one stint, the second stint. That was it for me. We’re thinking of the long term. There was a possibility of me getting back in the car, but I would have had to do two stints and I can’t handle it right now the way my foot is. I took the cast off last Sunday so it’s less than a week. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to be here. It’s been a roller-coaster.”
JOHN PEW (No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ford/Riley): “An amazing comeback from position 43, seven laps down. These guys never give up. AJ’s got it tattooed on the back of his shoulder, and if we win, I’m going to get it tattooed on the back of my shoulder.”
JORDAN TAYLOR (No. 10 Velocity Worldwide Corvette DP): “We came here to fight to the finish. All of our stints were clean, we kept it on the lead lap and that’s what we came here for. For me, every stint felt better and better. I’m here to learn the characteristics of the DP and getting through traffic. I definitely had the hang of it by the end and I’m feeling comfortable in the car.”
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 10 Velocity Worldwide Corvette DP): “It’s been a lot of fun, but unfortunately, we’re the best of the rest. The BMW is so quick – especially in a straight line – but I hate beating a dead horse. The team has done a great job, it’s a wonderful car, and it’s great to be here with a Bow Tie on the front of the car – the Corvette DP is one good-looking car.”
MICHAEL WALTRIP (No. 56 AF-Waltrip Ferrari 458): “We got back on the lead lap for a bit. You can just taste it. Then you lose a lap and don’t get it back when you think you should on the wave-around, and it’s weird. If you were 30 laps down you wouldn’t be frustrated but it would be near as much fun. Now here we are on the edge of being on the lead lap, and you’re torn up. Nevertheless, it’s a beautiful Sunday and I’m here driving a Ferrari.”
ALEX POPOW (No. 2 Starworks with Alex Popow Ford/Riley): “We’ve been struggling with top speed. BMW has been dominating, but we’re hanging in there. We have nothing to go against them, but we will fight them to the end, right to the checkered flag. Anything can happen.”
JOE SAHLEN (No. 43 Team Sahlen’s BMW/Riley): “It’s our first race in a DP, and it’s also the toughest. We’ve had a few mechanical gremlins creep up and take us out of contention, but we’re still pleased with where we’ve come in the last 10 months. We’re looking forward to the rest of the season.”
MATT PLUMB (No. 13 Audi Sport Customer Racing/Rum Bum Racing Audi R8): “It’s a challenge, but the cool thing is that this team really responds. When it’s going easy and we’re not faced with adversity, maybe we get a little cocky. But these guys step up their game like nobody else in the business. Luckily, I get some of the credit. This is an incredible crew of people. You really get to know them racing over 24 hours.”
PATRICK LINDSEY (No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche GT3): “We’ve been going none-stop since we got here Tuesday evening. There’s a lot going on. It’s a real humbling experience to come here and race for 24 hours. This is our first time doing it. We’re learning to discipline the team, and then you just have to get lucky. We’ve had a few unlucky circumstances early on that put us in the hole big time. The only unfortunate thing about that is we have a really fantastic car. This Park Place Motorsports crew put together the best car in the field.”
WILL TURNER (Owner, No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW M3): “Daytona wasn’t very kind to us this year. Losing a car in practice set the ball in motion for not a good turn of events for Turner Motorsport. Since we can’t really move up in the points, we’re using the remainder of the race to learn so we can be better next year.”
SASCHA MAASSEN (No. 62 Snow Racing/Wright Motorsports Porsche GT3): “I had a good car and I was fighting with the lead group. Unfortunately, we were a few laps down. I had fun out there. The Wright Motorsports/Snow Racing team is really happy about what we did. We know we could have been in front with the others.”
SETH THOMAS (No. 22 Bullet Racing Porsche Cayman): “We fell behind the 8-ball trying to get the car back together from an accident, so I think we’re a little off in the setup. The car’s predictable in the long runs, so we’re looking to get to the finish and the podium. We’re competing against a lot of the guys we race against in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, but in a race like this, you’ve got to pace yourself a little bit more. You wear yourself out over two and a half hours in the Continental Sports Car Challenge. Here, you wear yourself over 24 hours.”
DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 02 Target/TELMEX BM/Riley):
“We were two laps down, so it was very doable. I think if we got back on the lead lap we could have created some hassle for the other guys, but it’s up to our team car now. It just lost drive. I could go up through the all the gears, but it wouldn’t go anywhere. No warning at all. The car’s bent up a little from the rebuild earlier so it wasn’t handling as sweetly as it did before. This is probably the final nail in the coffin. We were trying to get laps back, but this is what happens. We’re trying to fix it, but it might be terminal. I think we had the fastest car. Through the night we had a 45-second lead, but weren’t really pushing too crazily hard, and our sister car looks fast too, along with a few of the Fords and the Chevies. It will be an interesting fight to the finish.”
JOEY HAND (No. 02 Target/TELMEX BMW/Riley)
: “I guess this wasn’t our turn this year. The car was quick and great to drive. We had an incident in the night and had to fix it. We were making our comeback, though. We were only down two laps. I’m proud to be part of this program. This is a great time. I enjoy driving this car for Target, TELMEX and Chip Ganassi Racing, but I enjoy being around these people – they’re the best of the best. It’s not often you get a chance to win the Rolex 24 At Daytona, and we definitely had a chance to win. Hopefully, I’ll be back again next year."
MEMO ROJAS (No. 01 TELMEX/Target BMW/Riley)
: “We were trying to save brakes on my last run. I had to back off a little, but we still had a pretty good pace. I let my teammate go by to help them try to get back on the lead lap, but unfortunately they had a mechanical problem. Our car is good. We need to stay focused and avoid making any mistakes.”
SCOTT PRUETT (No. 01 TELMEX/Target BMW/Riley):
“The car is adapting well to the changing conditions, but we were not expecting oil, dirt and sand. Beyond that, the car is pretty similar to yesterday after. We’ve still got a long way to go.”
IVAN BELLAROSA (No. 8 Starworks Motorsport Sunoco Ford/Riley)
: “Getting to race in the Rolex 24 through the Sunoco Challenge was a great experience for me. Unfortunately, it was not a lucky experience. During the night my co-driver crashed in the bus stop and we lost two hours repairing the car. Then in the morning, a driver crashed me in the braking after the kink, and our race is finished. This was an incredible experience – even more than I anticipated.”
JORG BERGMEISTER (No. 66 TRG Porsche GT3):
“We’ve had a lot of hiccups this year. We never had the speed to run up front. Then we had a radiator failure, a damper failure and a lot of other little things. We’ve spent the race coming in and out, adjusting things. We’ll try again next year. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs in this event.”
PEDRO LAMY (No. 3 8Star Motorsports Covette DP):
“We’ve had problems since lap 10 or 11. We had a driveshaft problem with something next to the gearbox, and lost about 45 laps. Otherwise, we were going OK without any problems until now (Stephane Sarrazin went off course), and now we’re back in the garage.”
KUBA GIERZMAZIAK (No. 30 MOMO NGT Motorsports Porsche GT3):
“It’s hard to say exactly what happened. We just had a suspension failure. The car didn’t have a scratch before. The team prepared the car amazingly well. This just happened without any reason. It’s motor sport. It’s not easy for any of us. In this kind of race you just try to survive the many hours. Our plan was to continue to drive easy until about the last four hours. We were on the lead and not really pushing and it just happened.”OLIVER GAVIN (No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP): “You could see the fog coming in the first horseshoe and bus stop, so you could anticipate it. Then it was pretty tough, and we knew if it got worse they would go yellow. Then it got pretty bad pretty quickly, within three or four laps. We were just coming in and were in NASCAR Turn 4 when the yellow lights came in. We had to stay out, but that enabled us to make a brake change. It’s nice that we’re in the top 5-6. It’s going to be hard if the Ganassi cars are there at the end – they’ve got serious pace. All we can do is keep trying to wear them down. I don’t think we are going to be the fastest car at the end, but if we keep plugging away, knocking out the laps and not doing anything crazy, I think we’re going to be good.”
DANE CAMERON (No. 42 Team Sahlen’s BMW/Riley):
“Simon (Pagenaud) said he just lost drive. Everything was going pretty well, and we had pretty good speed. The start of the race went great. We were learning our way through the traffic, and every pit stop and brake change got a little faster. That’s the reason why we’re here. We’re here to learn. I think we had a pretty good go of it for our first time in the Rolex 24 in a DP. Hopefully, we’ll get it fixed up and finish the race.”
RYAN DALZIEL (No. 2 Starworks with Alex Popow Ford/Riley):
“I’ve never done a 24-hour race where we made so many changes to the car. We’ve done ride height changes, aero changes. We’re trying to make it better and see if we can have something for the BMWs. Unfortunately, the only change I think we can do for that is to add 50 horsepower. I think we have as good a car as them in the infield, but not in a straight line. This is kind of normal (five cars on the lead lap with six hours remaining). Everything in the car feels great. Our brakes are good ‘til the end, the gearbox feels excellent. I’m confident we’re going to be reliability wise. I just don’t know how we’re going top stack up in a dogfight. When we’re in front of them, we can gain a little bit in traffic, but when we’re behind, it’s tough trying to get by.”
SHANE LEWIS (No. 16 Napleton Racing Porsche Cayman):
“This morning was probably the least amount of visibility I’ve seen on a race track. I’ve run a lot of Rolex Series races here in a lot of different conditions, but I was three cars behind the pace car with the lights flashing, and I couldn’t see the pace car. We’ve had way too many pit infractions – all our fault – and a few issues. It might look like we’ve dominated GX, but really not. Bullet Racing is hunting on us; we’ve got to stay on our toes."
JOHN POTTER (No. 44 Magnus Racing Flex-Box Porsche GT3):
“I spent a lot of time driving under fog. But we’re set up well for the rest of the race and we’re on the lead lap. There are a lot of tough cars out there. Knowing that we’ve won this race helps, but the most important thing is we haven’t lost our respect for our competitors just because we’re the defending champs. There are some good Audis, good Ferraris and good Porsches out there. We’re just trying our best to beat them.”
JAMIE McMURRARY (No. 02 Target/TELMEX BMW/Riley, on 6 a.m. incident):
“It didn’t seem like the pit road speed monitor was working, and I got panicked. I was speeding, just reading the dash. When I got to the end of pit road, I was too hot trying to exit the pits on cold tires. It’s crazy how slick it is. I just made a mistake. I feel like an idiot, because we have the best cars and it’s really about making it to the end. I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary, I just messed up."
MARK WILKINS (No. 69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD with Ferrari/Ferrari 458 Italia):
“Ian (Willis, team owner) did a great job with the setup and it’s really come into its own with the cooler weather. This is my first weekend in the 458 and it’s awesome and really well balanced. I’m learning more and more and picking up time on every run. We’ve just got to keep running good strong laps and stay out of trouble. We want to be there at the end and go for it.”
RUBENS BARRICHELLO (No. 21 Dener Motorsports Porsche GT3):
“We were suffering since the beginning of the race with the motor. Basically, we were struggling but we were still trying to enjoy ourselves. It was tough. We were competitive in the corners but not on the straight. It’s a shame, but it’s something that was going to happen.”
TONY KANAAN (No. 21 Dener Motorsports Porsche GT3):
“It was fun while it lasted, but it’s a shame it ended that way. We gave it all we could. The guys worked real hard. It wasn’t their fault. What a bummer."
FILIPE ALBUQUERGUE (No. 24 Alex Job Racing Audi R8 GRAND-AM):
"The Audi R8 is much better at night than it was in the afternoon. The car is much more stable and it is easy to push. I was really having fun out there tonight. I was a little upset, Rene (Rast) had new tires at the end and I couldn't keep pace. But in the end we are still fast. After the safety car I had some clear track and it was fun to run without traffic for a few laps here at Daytona."
DARREN LAW (No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Corvette DP)
: “Unfortunately, we had an electrical problem and got several laps down. We’ve made a bunch of them back by driving and wave-bys under yellow, but there’s no way to make it back without a little extra luck. I’m really happy to be in this car after racing against it for all these years. You always wonder what a competitor’s car is like, and it’s just like I thought – it’s a great car, nice to drive and the team does a great job.”
DAN ROGERS (No. 22 Bullet Racing Porsche Cayman GX):
“The car’s out there clicking off laps, and the Bullet crew from Vancouver, Canada is doing a great job. We’re just chipping at the lead (in GX), driving to a pace. There’s a lot of time left, so we’re going for a consistent run and see what happens at the end. This is definitely different from my normal ST ride (BimmerWorld BMW 328i in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge), and being in the Cayman is a great experience.”
JOHN DOONAN (Director, Mazda Motorsports, Mazda North American Operations):
“Racing is a challenge. Launching a new product is a challenge. Launching a new car in America’s premier 24-hour race is a really big challenge. Mazda has taken the lead in using the new GRAND-AM GX class to push the envelope on advanced clean diesel technology. Today will be noted as a learning experience, a data point if you will. The Mazda and SpeedSource engineers had over 400 hours on the dyno, but only a few on the track. Our on-track testing was limited in part due to the timing of our Mazda6 production car launch which prevented the team from getting on track as early as desired. The easy way out would have been a mid-season debut, but Mazda has never taken the easy path. We are a company of passionate car people with a passion for racing. Mazda and SpeedSource will be back in action a month from now at the next GRAND-AM race.”
BRAD LEWIS (No. 67 TRG Porsche GT3):
“I cut the curbing in the Kink coming off the left, and then that caused me to catch the curbing on the right. The wheels went over the curbing, grabbed them and caused the spin. Before that the car was awesome. It was just an unforced error.”
COOPER MacNEIL (No. 23 Alex Job Racing Porsche GT3)
"It had a little understeer. I adjusted it out with a bar change. I had minimal practice this week, but I got right in and put in some good laps. It is nice and cool here at night. The guys are doing good pit stops and so far we have no real problems. Everyone is driving like it is the last lap. That is how competitive GRAND-AM racing is, especially at Daytona."
MICHAEL WALTRIP (No. 56 RK Motors Ferrari 458 Italia):
“Our car has more speed than it did a year ago. A year ago, it wasn’t a whole lot of fun. That’s all race car drivers worry about. If you’re passing people, it’s fun and we were able to catch and drive around some guys. This is a new world for me. I’m not very well accustomed to taking a left on the backstretch unless something bad is going to happen. Getting through that chicane is interesting but it’s still Daytona and it feels good to be here. I always admired and appreciated this race as a kid growing up and watching my brother and a lot of the NASCAR guys running in it. I wanted a turn to do it and I’m having a good time. The car is flawless so far. Rui [Aguas] drove up to the third spot during his stint. We’ve fallen off the map since then, but we’re going to keep digging. We’re thinking about making our move with about eight hours to go.”
TONY KANAAN (No. 21 Dener Motorsports Porsche GT3: “I’m not trying to say that I’m used to passing a lot of people and never get passed, but I definitely pass more than we get passed [in GT cars]. It’s funny. Obviously, I knew when I was coming here, but it’s even funny when I know who’s passing me, like Dario [Franchitti], or Scott [Dixon] or Ryan [Hunter-Reay]. It’s brutal sometimes. It becomes a long night. My spotter that’s here is my IndyCar spotter, so he makes sure not to tell me just the car, but who they are. I flashed my lights to Dario a couple times, but it’s hard to take, I can tell you that.”
DAMIEN FAULKNER (No. 23 WeatherTech Porsche GT3): “I was able to get a good draft and I went by our sister Audi and took the lead. I was trying to be as clean and as fast I could. I was focused on consistency and not taking any risks. Things will happen here and there, I was really happy with my stint. David (MacNeil, founder and CEO of WeatherTech) is happy to see both of his cars upfront. Cooper (David’s son) is in our car, so I think he is cheering a little harder for us at the moment."
SEAN EDWARDS (No. 30 MOMO NGT Motorsports Porsche GT3): “We had a really good race start. Starting from last we could only go forward. The car was really good. I didn’t push too hard in the first few laps to keep the tires. It was quite easy to overtake most of the guys in the beginning. I knew a couple of people made it hard for me but I could use our top speed to slowly pick them off one at a time in the straight line. I think I made it up to fourth by the end of the first stint, so it was really good. For sure our car has the pace to win, but it’s still a long, long way to go and we’ve got to keep it in one piece with no mistakes and be there at the last of the twenty-four hours. I’m sure we can fight for the win and have a good chance.”
FILIPE ALBUQUERQUE (No. 24 Audi R8 GRAND-AM WeatherTech): “In my first stint, I struggled a little bit with the car. I got held up quite a bit by another car so I just looked after the rear tires. On my second stint, I came on the radio and said I was going to start pushing. Luckily the rear tires were in great condition and the car just got better and better. I was able to bring the car in P1. The team is doing a great job. Hopefully we continue like this.”
RENE RAST (No. 52 Audi Sport Customer Racing Audi R8 GRAND-AM): "The race is going very well for us. We have a really good balance in the car, it was easy to drive fast for a long time and it was nice to lead the GT class for a while. We are surprised how long the tires are lasting, they are holding up really well."
DR. JIM NORMAN (No. 16 Napleton Racing Porsche Cayman): “The car has been running great. It’s been performing flawlessly. We had a radio problem for an hour or two, other than that the car has been well. I was the third one out in this car; by the time I was in it was night. The track was very dirty, particularly around the Bus Stop. The car is running great, knocking down the laps and running smart. The traffic situation is not too bad. Most of the cars on the lead lap are patient and doing very well, not as aggressive."
MEMO GIDLEY (No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Corvette DP): “Inside the car, you don’t feel a whole lot different when the temperature drops, because the DPs are pretty warm inside, but it makes a big difference in the amount of grip. I noticed in the first stint, the car was sliding around a fair amount, it pwasn’t too hooked up. It didn’t put the power down as good and I was having to work a little bit harder. As the sun went down, the track cooled off and it’s almost like the rubber that’s on the surface gets a little bit more stable and the car hooks up, rolls around the corner and puts the power down. Other than the visibility being a little tougher, I really enjoy driving in the night when it’s cool. The car just seems to hook up a little bit more.”
OZZ NEGRI (No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ford/Riley): “I broke the fibula, the small bone on my right leg, which is the leg that I use for braking. I came out of a cast on Sunday, so I’ve got a pretty limited range of motion on my right foot. We’re taking it conservative because we’ve got all of the season ahead of us, so we don’t want to overdo it and mess up the rest of the championship. It was a bummer. It’s something that nobody was expecting to happen. The car was running fine. We had a small issue with our left-front suspension. We had to come in the pits and we lost seven laps if I’m not wrong. The mechanics did a great job putting it together. The issue we had is with the left-front toe-link. They fixed it, but it’s not really aligned. The steering wheel is a little bit off center. We’re trying to do the best we can with our car.”
CLINT BOWYER (No. 56 RK Motors Ferrari 458 Italia): “I guess I hit the kill button or something getting in and obviously couldn’t get going, so we lost a lot of track position there. I’m super bummed out about that. The biggest thing is just getting used to the car and getting to know the car. Man, it’s hard to be consistent out there. It’s like you can’t ever get a clean lap. About the time you do, you’ll go in the chicane and there will be dirt everywhere and you kind of revisit your dirt track experience. There is some debris out there. I think I saw a front clip. Nothing too big, a few cars, and there’s stuff everywhere to be honest with you. Thank God we have spotters out there. We were here at the test and didn’t have spotters, but they’re lifesavers with them DP cars coming on. That’s my biggest worry being here is just staying out of the way and not ruining one of those DP cars’ and especially cost us a good finish. Rui [Aguas] did a great job early. He was super-fast in the car and drove up through the field. It was neat to watch that. Unfortunately, I put us back to 12th or something and just kind of maintained there.”
JORDAN TAYLOR (No. 10 Velocity Worldwide Corvette DP): “I think I got caught for speeding on pit lane. They extended the lane and I just got caught out – which I was surprised about – but the car is good. I think it’s pretty quick. I don’t know if we have enough for Ganassi if we really wanted to push hard, but we’re definitely in cruise mode right now, saving fuel. I got stuck behind the 99 for a while. I think if we would have been able to get around them, we were quite a bit quicker, but I didn’t see a point in really racing anybody at this point in the race. We saved enough fuel to go a lap longer than them and were able to pass them in the pits and then pull away on the next stint. I think the car is quick enough if we really want to start going, but at this point in the race, I don’t see any reason to start pushing it.”
RUBENS BARRICHELLO (No. 21 Dener Motorsports Porsche GT3): “I’d like to say how great it is to be here. When they said in Brazil they were going to put a Brazilian team together, I thought it would be a great idea. It’s something that never happened before. All the mechanics and everyone are Brazilians. We knew we were going to struggle, especially on the experience side, because nobody knows what’s happening around. The pit stops are a little too slow. The first stint was [Ricardo] Mauricio. He drove the car really well, but we could see there was a drop in performance there at the end. When I jumped in, I said I had a motor problem. It’s not misfiring, it’s just lacking power. I could see the top Porsche guys were going so much faster, like one second on every straight. The technicians just looked at our car and we have a throttle problem. Tony [Kanaan], TK, just jumped in the car. I did the whole two stints on 50 percent of the throttle, so I was happy with the times I was achieving with 50 percent of the throttle.”
PATRICK PILET (No. 30 MOMO NGT Motorsports Porsche GT3): “The car was very easy to drive, really consistent during all three of my stints. I had no issues. I was really careful with the brakes. I braked really early to compare to the others but I just tried to save the brakes for the end of the race. I was also easy with the gearbox. We had one small issue with the tire change and we lost some time on the second pit stop, but afterwards it was fine. I had no water for the last hour in the car because it was empty. At least it is not too warm. But the car was fine and I had no problems. I’m really confident for the rest of the race.”
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 2 Starworks Motorsport Ford/Riley): “Once again, we have a shot at this. It’s a little more complicated. The Ganassi guys have done a very, very good job at hiding what they could do and they’re going to be very difficult to catch. It’s such a long race with so many variables that you really just need to keep plugging away and stick until the end. I guess if you can run trouble free until the end, you’ll probably be in very good shape and in contention for the lead.”
JEROEN BLEEKEMOLEN (No. 23 WeatherTech Porsche GT3): “Halfway through my run, something was waving to me through the back window. It was a corner of the rear bumper that had come loose. Luckily, the guys could just tear it off. No harm done. I never felt someone touch me, but I must have got tapped early in the race. Also at the start the shift lights stopped working. That affected me a little on the banking, because you want to shift at exactly the right moment. At the beginning, a lot guys were really aggressive when they didn’t need to be. During my third stint I was able to close the gap to the front cars. I was running with my friend Sean Edwards in the 30 car and we drafted around making up good time on those in front of us.”
DARREN LAW (No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Corvette DP): “I have got to say, I have been running this race for over a decade and it’s pretty crazy out there right now. Stupid stuff, where I literally have to stop and go into first gear in the chicane sometimes. It’s nuts.”
ALLAN McNISH (No. 2 Starworks Motorsport Ford/Riley): “Basically, we had some good hard racing there all the way through. I think it’s quite clear we’re not quick enough at the moment. We’re a bit slow, laptime-wise and pure pace, I think we’re about four or five tenths off the Ganassi cars. We could fight them when we were ahead, as we saw with [Jamie] McMurray, but it was meant to be quite brave stuff. When you’re behind, you don’t have anything really to use to overtake. On the first stint when I was ahead, I was able to stay ahead. But the second stint after the pit stop when we made a change and dropped into the middle of the pack under full-course (caution), there was just no way to try to overtake until the traffic came and the driver ahead made a mistake or alternatively, I got an opportunity to dive down the inside. The reality is, we’re basically slow on the straights and massively so.”
SCOTT PRUETT (No. 01 TELMEX/Target BMW/Riley): “The car is superb. It’s a little slow to get going on new tires, but once it settles in after about three laps the car is really hooked up. The track changed significantly. We started about at about 75-78 degrees, but once the sun went down the track got a lot cooler and changed our handling characteristics. You’ve got to be heads up going through traffic, trying to cut your way through five or six GT cars racing hard. You don’t want to get tangled up in their mess.”
CLINT BOWYER (No. 56 AF-Waltrip Ferrari 458 Italia): “My biggest adjustment was having the Daytona Prototype cars being so much faster the GTs. I’m really happy to be here. My two bosses (Rob Kauffman and Michael Waltrip) were able to share a cool and help me kick the year off right. I don’t follow sports car racing that much, but this is their Daytona 500 or Super Bowl. I can feel the hype, the buzz down here in the pits. It’s certainly like the Daytona 500. Our 500-mile races are nothing compared to racing 24 hours. I’ll definitely need some 5-Hour Energy.”
HURLEY HAYWOOD (Grand Marshal of the 51st Rolex 24 At Daytona): “I’ve enjoyed my duties as Grand Marshal. They’ve almost kept me distracted enough – but I still miss the driving. I drove one of my cars Saturday morning with the historic group to get my racing fix.”
RYAN DALZIEL (No. 2 Starworks with Alex Popow Ford/Riley): “We’re running the same speed as we were yesterday, and all of a sudden the Corvettes are fast again. We kind of expected that. It’s through reliability and good pits that we’re leading now. We just got to get through the 24 hours without making any mistakes.”
MAX ANGELELLI (No. 10 Velocity WorldWide Corvette DP): “I did three stints. At the beginning of the race I took my time and was patient. Others were racing like it was the final hour. Our car is very well balanced. We had two excellent pit stops. On my third stint, I could stay with the No. 01 for half a stint. But the 01 is too fast on the straights.”
ANDY LALLY (No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche GT3): “Running strong and leading the race in the first hour is a good shot in the arm for everybody. It lets us calm down, get poised and get ready for a real long night and then get ready for a real long day. We have to stay smart. If you get caught up in the fun here, you’re going to pay the price. You’ve got to keep focused. The biggest thing is keeping the variables to a minimum, and not letting anybody put you in a position to get hurt. That’s what we try to do while we’re staying out front. Obviously, that’s no easy game."
ANTHONY LAZZARO (No. 69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD with Ferrari/Ferrari 458 Italia): “We’re running a little bit more downforce than the others and we have the lean map, so we don’t have quite the speed. But we’ve been steady in the top five and we led for a little while. It’s an easy car to drive. We’ve got a few tricks in the bag for tomorrow to get a little more speed out of it.”
SEAN EDWARDS: (No. 30 MOMO NGT Motorsports Porsche GT3: “Starting from last we could only go forward. I didn’t push too hard in the first few laps to keep the tires. It was quite easy to overtake most of the guys in the beginning. I knew a couple of people made it hard for me but I could use our top speed to slowly pick off one at a time in the straight line. I think I made it up to eighth by the end of the first or second stint. For sure our car has the pace to win, but it’s still a long, long way to go and we’ve got to keep it in one piece with no mistakes and be there at the last of the four hours. I’m sure we can fight for the win and have a good chance.”