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Daytona 24 Hours


The 2017’s 24 Hours of Day­tona will always be remem­bered for the moment when Ricky Tay­lor took out Fil­ipe Albu­querque from the track, and from the vic­to­ry. How­ev­er, it would be unfair if the race were only remem­bered for this inci­dent.

First of all, it marks the begin­ning of a new era, with changes in reg­u­la­tions that aim to bring the Dpi clos­er to the LMP2. This change, by itself, led to the emer­gence of a whole new gen­er­a­tion of pro­to­types where the Cadil­lac Dpi V.R stood out. Although with rain, the Mul­ti­mat­ic / Riley has shown that this wasn´t the end of the sto­ry by New York­er com­pa­ny.

As we all know, these pro­to­types are young and lack devel­op­ment; So the supe­ri­or­i­ty of Cadil­lac does not mean that in the future things will stay that way. It shows only that it start­ed bet­ter in the first race (with about 2 sec­onds dif­fer­ence between the best times per­formed with dry track).

New brands, Accu­ra, Lexus and Mer­cedes, decid­ed to be present in the com­pe­ti­tion in the GTD class, and they did it with sig­nif­i­cant per­for­mances.

#93,Michael Shank Racing, Acura NSX, GTD, Andy Lally, Katherine Legge, Mark Wilkins, Graham Rahal ©2017, Richard Dole LAT Photo USA
#93,Michael Shank Rac­ing, Acu­ra NSX, GTD, Andy Lal­ly, Kather­ine Legge, Mark Wilkins, Gra­ham Rahal ©2017, Richard Dole LAT Pho­to USA

The Accu­ra, by the hand of Michael Shank (Michael Shank Rac­ing), was the one that sur­prised us the most. Assum­ing the fight for the com­mand of the race after eight hours of rac­ing, it even had the two cars in the top three when rain came. Accu­ra remained in the fight until the last hour of the race when the nº93 of Lal­ly, Legge, Wilkins and Rahal, suf­fered an acci­dent and gave up. It is worth not­ing the impor­tance of this acci­dent in the end of the race, because it is due to the sit­u­a­tion of FCY from it that the Cadil­lac Dpi V.R No. 10 of Waine Tay­lor Rac­ing, catch up with the Cadil­lac Dpi V.R No. 5 of Action Express.

Anoth­er aspect to high­light was the fight for the top four in the GTLM class, with an epic fin­ish in which the top four, Ford GT, Porsche 911, Fer­rari 488 and Corvette C7.R, fin­ished sep­a­rat­ed by less than 5 sec­onds.

#68, Chip Ganassi Racing, Ford GT, GTLM, Billy Johnson, Stefan Mucke, Olivier Pla ©2017, Richard Dole LAT Photo USA 1/29/2017 12:53:58 PM
#68, Chip Ganas­si Rac­ing, Ford GT, GTLM, Bil­ly John­son, Ste­fan Mucke, Olivi­er Pla ©2017, Richard Dole LAT Pho­to USA
1/29/2017 12:53:58 PM

An IMSA com­men­ta­tor high­light­ed the rain as one of the most influ­en­tial fac­tors in the race, yet not a deci­sive one. The weath­er con­di­tions played an impor­tant role, mak­ing it clear that in a race sit­u­a­tion with rain every­thing is more bal­anced, los­ing the Cadil­lac all the advan­tage they have when the track is dry.

The rain also gave rise to what could have been the big strate­gic mis­take of the race when six hours lat­er, Wayne Taylor’s team opt­ed, con­trary to their oppo­nents, to keep tires dry. This deci­sion forced the Cadil­lac Dpi V.R No. 10 to stop a few laps lat­er, even los­ing a lap to the top two.

#10, Cadillac DPi V.R, Wayne Taylor Racing, Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor, Max Angelelli, Jeff Gordon ©2017, Barry Cantrell LAT Photo USA
#10, Cadil­lac DPi V.R, Wayne Tay­lor Rac­ing, Ricky Tay­lor, Jor­dan Tay­lor, Max Angelel­li, Jeff Gor­don ©2017, Bar­ry Cantrell LAT Pho­to USA

Let’s talk about the Albu­querque vs. Taylor’s  in its two aspects : 1º The hit of Ricky Taylor’s car in Fil­ipe Albuquerque’s; 2º The deci­sion of the race direc­tion.

To Ricky Taylor’s posi­tion that the respon­si­bil­i­ty of the inci­dent should be shared with Fil­ipe Albu­querque, we counter what the reg­u­la­tion says when stat­ing that the dri­ver who fol­lows in the front has pri­or­i­ty in the choice of tra­jec­to­ry. How­ev­er as João Bar­bosa com­ment­ed, these are sit­u­a­tions that hap­pen often in race. Accord­ing to João it would be good if the pilot who gave rise to the inci­dent wait­ed for the oppo­nent. How­ev­er we all know that real­i­ty is not so and that beyond the sport­ing eth­ic there are oth­er inter­ests involved.

On the oth­er hand, we have the deci­sion of the race direc­tion . The direc­tor of the event has access to data that ama­teurs, jour­nal­ists or mem­bers of a team do not have. What I find not so clear in this process was the speed of deci­sion. As far as I know the deci­sion does not have to be tak­en at the moment, the direc­tion of the race would have time to ana­lyze and pon­der the choice, so why set­tle  in such a short time?

About this sub­jet, Chris­t­ian Fit­ti­pal­di said in the IMSA inter­view:

Beau in the brief­ing was very clear about if you gen­er­ate a prob­lem or if you gen­er­ate con­tact, you will prob­a­bly be penal­ized for it”.

We asked to the Por­tuguese expert and jour­nal­ist Ricar­do Gri­lo to give us his opin­ion about this sub­ject:

Ricky Tai­lor is 27 years old, he was cer­tain­ly very excit­ed with the fight for the tri­umph and tried the impos­si­ble by putting the car in the small open­ing that Fil­ipe Albu­querque left, even though he knew that he was going to give a hit (to the adversary’s car). But as Tai­lor did also a lot of races he should know that in case of con­tact in a curve like that, who is out­side will lose the bal­ance, espe­cial­ly when the hit is giv­en next to the rear wheel of the oppo­nent Cadil­lac.

On the oth­er hand, even with facts that we may not have, the direc­tion of the race sur­prised me by the quick response say­ing that there would be no penal­ty, because accord­ing to Chris­t­ian Fit­ti­pal­di, in the brief­ing with the race direc­tor, he had warned the dri­vers that they should be care­ful with the hits, as these would be worth a prob­a­ble penal­ty — as has some­times hap­pened in recent years to João Bar­bosa, even by hits much more incon­se­quent than this. Decid­ing like they did , they influ­enced the out­come of the race, and I am not sure if they have been total­ly fair. ”

CAPTION: 26-29 January, 2017, Daytona Beach, Florida USA 5, Cadillac DPi, P, Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi, Filipe Albuquerque ©2017, Barry Cantrell LAT Photo USA 1/28/2017 2:40:04 PM
CAPTION: 26–29 Jan­u­ary, 2017, Day­tona Beach, Flori­da USA 5, Cadil­lac DPi, P, Joao Bar­bosa, Chris­t­ian Fit­ti­pal­di, Fil­ipe Albu­querque ©2017, Bar­ry Cantrell LAT Pho­to USA
1/28/2017 2:40:04 PM




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