Cadillac’s return to prototype racing was indeed triumphant, with Cadillac DPi-V.Rs taking first and second place at Daytona. First place went to none other than the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing team who invited retired NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon to race with them this year at Daytona.
However, some risky moves done by No. 10 driver Ricky Taylor in the last ten minutes certainly raised the eyebrows of even die-hard fans of the beloved Wayne Taylor Racing team. The front-runners had already started to play rough with each other when a dead Acura forced the group to restart with only 22 minutes to go.
The bunched-up field played even rougher than ever, with Taylor and No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing driver Filipe Albuquerque ultimately making contact with seven minutes to go.
Taylor carried more speed than Albuquerque coming off of the big NASCAR banking into the infield section of the Daytona road course, ultimately tagging the No. 5 from behind. Albuquerque was spun out by the hit and Taylor moved ahead to take the lead. Even Ricky’s father and team namesake Wayne Taylor winced at the messy pass.
The series took no action against the Wayne Taylor Racing team for the contact, much to the dismay of Albuquerque and his team following the race.
Taylor lost some of his lead in front of Albuquerque by unsuccessfully trying to go for a gap between the No. 29 Audi R8 LMS and the wall. The gap between Taylor and Albuquerque narrowed to only 0.671 seconds at the very end, but ultimately, Taylor held him off for the overall and Prototype class win.
The battle for the GT Le Mans class win was also extremely intense, with No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR driver Patrick Pilet absolutely hounding Dirk Müller in the No. 66 Ford GT. Müller let it all loose in the last hour or so, not being afraid to rub doors with whoever might try to challenge him for the class win. It was the Porsche’s debut year with its completely new, mid-engine racing 911, but ultimately, Müller was able to fend off Pilet’s multiple attacks at the very end to win it for Ford. Only 2.988 seconds separated the two.
There was a third car in the mix trying to claw its way back up to the top of the podium as well. The No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE driven by James Calado dramatically rubbed fenders with the No. 66 Ford earlier in the last hour, sending it further back in the field for a while. It was so close to passing the No. 911 Porsche, though—only 0.091 seconds separated the two as they crossed the finish line.
A mere hiccup—0.293 seconds—separated the first and second place finishers in the GT Daytona class. While Porsche couldn’t pull off a win with its brand-new car, Alegra Motorsports drove their 911 GT3 R to a win in GTD, incredibly beating the No. 28 Audi R8 LMS GT3 of Montaplast by Land-Motorsport by the tiniest margin.
Hilariously, there was only one Prototype Challenge-class racer that was able to hold it together. PC cars became a butt of many jokes throughout the race, constantly spinning out and crashing in the wet conditions. This is PC’s last year as a class, and as such, many teams had already moved on to other cars. Only five PC cars were entered in this class. The only PC car to finish moderately well was the No. 38 of Performance Tech Motorsports.
Regardless, we’re tired from staying up to watch it all, but can’t wait for the next one anyway. Call us masochists, but there’s nothing more delightfully insane than a race that lasts all day long.
This post’s headline has been updated to better reflect the results.