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Jan 15

Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R. Test Report

Posted by Leon_Hammack     0 Comment(s)    Add a Comment  comment-icon.png
January 15, 2017


Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R Test Report

Roar Before the 24 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway


Date: Jan. 8, 2017

Event: Roar Before the 24 Test Days (Round 0 of 10)

Series: Prototype division of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (3.56-mile, 11-turn road course)

Fastest Overall: Henrik Hedman of the No. 81 Dragonspeed Oreca (1:38.343 at 130.3 mph) – session six of seven

Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R: 8th by Ricky Taylor (1:38.951 at 129.4 mph) – session seven of seven


The all-new No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R piloted by brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor, veteran Italian Max “The Ax” Angelelli and four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon concluded a solid three days of testing Sunday at the annual Roar Before the 24 in preparation for the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.


Ricky Taylor, returning to the team as full-time co-driver alongside his younger brother Jordan for the fourth consecutive season, laid down the fastest lap of the test during Sunday afternoon’s seventh and final session. It was an effort of 1 minute, 38.343 seconds at 129.4 mph around the 3.56-mile, 11-turn superspeedway road circuit. It was the eighth-best lap of the weekend among the 55 car-and-driver combinations entered for the 55th annual Rolex 24-hour endurance marathon set for Jan. 28 and 29.


Ricky Taylor began the weekend with the second-fastest lap of Friday’s opening session, and also was fastest in Saturday morning’s session in cooler, wet conditions.


Together, the Taylor brothers, Angelelli and Gordon logged 182 laps totaling 647.92 trouble-free miles in myriad conditions that ranged from sunny and 85 degrees Friday, much cooler and rainy Saturday, and windy with temperatures topping out in the upper 40s Sunday.


Angelelli, the two-time sportscar champion who won the 2005 Rolex 24 alongside team owner and three-time champion Wayne Taylor, announced Friday that this year’s Rolex 24 will be his last as a driver.


Gordon returns to the team for his second career sportscar race after co-driving to a third-place finish in the 2007 Rolex 24 alongside Angelelli, Wayne Taylor and Jan Magnussen.


Henrik Hedman, who shares the No. 81 Dragonspeed Oreca prototype with Nicolas Lapierre, Ben Hanley and Loic Duvall, logged the weekend’s fastest lap of 1:38.343 at 130.3 mph in today’s sixth of seven sessions for the weekend.


The Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R team and its fellow competitors will return to Daytona for Rolex 24 practice and qualifying beginning Jan. 26. The FOX broadcast network kicks off 23 hours of live coverage by the FOX Sports family of networks with the opening three hours of the Rolex 24 beginning at 2 p.m. EST Saturday, Jan. 28.


WAYNE TAYLOR, team owner – “I think I’m very happy with the car – the Cadillac DPi-V.R. I’m happy with the partnership with ECR (Earnhardt Childress Racing) on the engine side. One of the biggest things that impressed me this weekend is the way in which Jeff Gordon drove and has been driving and how he interfaced with the other drivers and the team. When I compare him back to 2007, it’s quite weird because I think he’s so much better now than he was then, so that made me feel good. We normally run three drivers at this race but, with the relationship I have with Jeff, this was a great time to bring him back into the fold. I admit I did have some questions in my mind about it, but those very quickly went away. I feel great to have him on board. I don’t know what all the other teams were doing, but it seems to me that IMSA is trying really hard to get this right and I think up to now they’ve done a relatively good job. I also feel there are some relative unknowns that could give us a big fright in the race, but hopefully everybody looks at the data from this weekend to make sure it’s a level playing field when we come back in three weeks. Ricky, Jordan, Max and Jeff give us a great lineup. They all get along really well. They’re going to get together in Indy Wednesday to do some driver change practice to keep the momentum going from this weekend. The team operated well. Brian (Pillar, engineer) had loads of things he wanted to go through and we got through most of them. I don’t think we had any failures all weekend. So I feel relatively comfortable. I still think there are going to be cars that will come back at the race that are going to show how fast they are in the last hour, like we’ve seen the last few years, and I believe that will be handled professionally. Cadillac has made a massive investment here and I feel they’ve made the best effort to make sure this is the best program out there as far as the spirit of what this is all about. They’ve put a lot of effort into styling cues on the racecar that match their street cars, and transferring technology from the racecar to their street cars. They’ve done a magnificent job of it and I an proud to be representing them as we move forward. Of course, I can’t thank Konica Minolta because, without them, none of this would happen. We’ve come so close to winning this race for them the last few years that it’s time to push them all the way to the top.”


RICKY TAYLOR, co-driver – “It was a good test. We’ve really been pleasantly surprised with the Cadillac, especially with it being a brand new car. We were working this weekend on little things that kind of weren’t unexpected, and it all went very smoothly. All the drivers were able to get into the car for plenty of laps. We were able to drive through all sorts of conditions – cold, hot, dry, rain, night, day – and with all of that different experience, that’s what testing for three days here is all about. So we’ll come back for the race and hopefully not have to do much more than fine-tuning so we can do what we know how to do here in the race, and that is to pit only for fuel and driver changes, stay on the lead lap, and race for the win at the end.”


JORDAN TAYLOR, co-driver – “It was a productive test. It’s always good to get back to Daytona. It’s a very unique track, so any laps here are very valuable. We did lots of preparation coming here at Watkins Glen and Charlotte to get ready for this event. But, running on the high banks of Daytona is hard to replicate. So, every lap here is valuable and we did a lot of them this weekend. There were lots of testing items we were able to get through – reliability items, performance items, driver change practice – everything that goes into racing for 24 hours we were able to get through. We still have more work to do. We have three weeks before the race. I think everyone’s learned a lot this weekend so we can go study all of this in the next three weeks and come back with a stronger package.”


MAX ANGELELLI, co-driver – “It looks like we’re all pretty bunched up as far as lap times go in the Prototype class but we feel that with some more work to do with our new Cadillac DPi-V.R these next couple of weeks, we will be back at Daytona in good shape for the car’s first Rolex 24. We thought we had something that we ended up not quite having, yet, so there is work to be done in a couple of different areas. Daytona is the first race and the longest race, so you’re debuting a car in the toughest, longest race of the season. Reliability is No. 1. Reliability is going to take you to Sunday morning and then speed is going to complete the business on Sunday afternoon. So you need both reliability and speed, but No. 1 is reliability. It’s a new car, so you want to have time and there’s still a lot of things to do. But, yeah, we’re feeling good. I have concerns, the other drivers and other people on the team have concerns – little things here and there that all add up – but that’s how good teams are. We all meet again in Indy on Wednesday to work on those things. I’m very impressed with how committed every one of us is to making this a successful debut for the Cadillac. This says a lot, and we really want to do it, and do it properly, I think we have a good group, a good team and good drivers. I’m sure we’ll have a good race.”


JEFF GORDON, co-driver – “It was a good test. It was great to get more time in the car, especially in wet conditions, night conditions. I think the car has good pace and we’re still doing a lot of development, learning about the car as well as getting adapted to such a unique and different car because it’s capable of doing so much, but I think the test went really well and I’m excited about the 24-hour. I’m having a blast. It’s been a dream of mine to be able to not just drive a car like this, but compete with a team and a car like this. This is a lot of fun for me. I treat this as if I’m a rookie. I’ve done this race only one other time, so just tap into this team and our teammates’ and Max’s efforts. I’ve been part of this process for the last year or two listening and talking with Wayne and Max and then, of course, for the last few months getting to know Ricky and Jordan by testing with them. It’s been an amazing experience. I must say that getting behind the wheel of a car that brakes and corners like that is kind of eye-opening to me, but at the same time is so much fun. Nothing would make me more proud and honored than to be able to be part of that effort that gives Wayne that win as a team owner and Max and all these guys. They’ve put their heart and soul into it and they have a fantastic team and I think we have a fantastic car and hopefully driver lineup, too, to go along with it.”



Category: Sports Car Racing   Tag: jeff gordon,max angelelli,ricky jordaon, jordan taylor,wayne taylor racing

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