Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R Team Looks To Rekindle Rolex 24-Winning Magic

Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R Team Looks To Rekindle Rolex 24-Winning Magic

21.01.2019: With Added Firepower from a Pair of Formula One, FIA WEC Veterans JORDAN TAYLOR, RENGER VAN DER ZANDE, FERNANDO ALONSO, KAMUI KOBAYASHI The driver names on the racecar have changed, for the most part, since the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cad

With Added Firepower from a Pair of Formula One, FIA WEC Veterans


The driver names on the racecar have changed, for the most part, since the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R team pulled out a thrilling and long-awaited victory in the 2017 Rolex 24 At Daytona. But the mission remains every bit the same this weekend when the sleek, black racecar returns to the 3.56-mile, 12-turn Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway road course for the 57th renewal of America’s most iconic endurance race.

Full-time co-drivers Jordan Taylor and Renger van der Zande will be joined by two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso and former Formula One and current FIA World Endurance Championship regular Kamui Kobayashi as the team looks to rebound from an uncharacteristic DNF in last year’s Rolex 24 and rekindle the magic of its 2017 Daytona win at the hands of Taylor, his older brother Ricky, veteran Italian Max “The Ax” Angelelli, and four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon.

Star power never seems to be in short supply when it comes to the Rolex 24 over its almost six decades of existence, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R team has featured its fair share. Some of the most recognizable names in racing not just in the U.S. but worldwide have strapped into its cockpit in search of a highly coveted victory at Daytona.

Gordon first joined the team for a podium finish in the 2007 edition of the twice-around-the-clock event before returning 10 years later to score one of the most memorable race wins of his career. IndyCar Series champion and Indy 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay co-drove the No. 10 to a runner-up finish at Daytona in 2013 before last year’s disappointing turn of events. Former Formula One star Rubens Barrichello co-drove with the Taylor brothers and Angelelli to a runner-up finish in 2016.

Alonso and Kobayashi hope to be the latest on its growing list of elite guest drivers to help bring success to the Konica Minolta Cadillac team in the Rolex 24. If their ability to instantly mesh with Taylor and van der Zande and the rest of the team during the three-day Roar Before the 24 test days at Daytona earlier this month is any indication, it could turn out to be another magical weekend.

The four drivers logged virtually identical lap times with each taking his turn at or near the top of the timesheets during the three-day test three weekends ago. And as productive and helpful the four drivers were with each other and the team’s technical staff between on-track sessions, they were also as lighthearted and playful throughout the weekend as if the four had been friends all their lives. By weekend’s end, the team chemistry was incredible.

Considering the remarkable consistency exhibited at Daytona by the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R camp over the years, those positive vibes exhibited at the Roar stand to go a long way toward generating another positive result when the checkered flag flies Sunday afternoon. Before last year’s retirement during the 17th hours of the race, the team scored five consecutive podium finishes from 2013 through its victorious run in 2017.

In those five consecutive Rolex 24s, the No. 10 Prototype led 963 of 3,359 laps – 27.2 percent, the last three showing race-high totals of 265 laps in 2015, 152 in 2016, and 263 in 2017, preceded by 227 laps led in 2014 that was second-highest for that race. Even though the team’s third-place finish in 2015 was voided five days later due to a maximum drivetime violation, the team has certainly shown its ability to be in the hunt for a race win in the closing hours of this grueling event on a regular basis.

Alonso, the 37-year-old Spaniard and winner of 32 F1 races and back-to-back championships in 2005 and 2006, will be making just his second career Rolex 24 start, having debuted last year in the United Autosports LMP2 car that finished 13th with mechanical issues. Despite his relative inexperience in closed-cockpit racecars, he laid claim to victory in his first career 24 Hours of Le Mans last summer with Toyota Gazoo Racing and has another win and a pair of runner-up finishes with the team, which leads the 2018-19 FIA WEC superseason standings.

Kobayashi, the 32-year-old from Japan, has been a regular with Toyota Gazoo Racing on the WEC circuit the past three seasons after his Formula One run from 2009 through 2014. He is recognized as one of the consistently fastest drivers in sportscar racing.

WAYNE TAYLOR, owner, No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R:


You seem to have assembled quite the driver lineup for this year’s renewal of the Rolex 24. How did it come together, and what are your thoughts about this coming week?


“In 2017, we won it with Jeff Gordon, as well as with my sons Ricky and Jordan and my partner Max (Angelelli). Of course, we lost Ricky to Penske. Last year at the 24-hour, (McLaren CEO) Zak Brown introduced me to Fernando and, a couple of weeks later, I inquired if he was available for this year.

Over the next several months, it looked like a possibility, and then it went away. In the meantime, we continued our search for a third driver and we went looking through the entire WEC and all forms of sportscar racing for a driver who was not only fastest over one lap but over long periods of time, and clearly the person who came to the top of that list was Kamui Kobayashi.

I called him one night and it turned out to be 3 in the morning where he was, and he quickly called me back and said he wanted to drive for us. So we finished that deal pretty quickly. Then, some time later, through McLaren and Zak, all of a sudden I got a text asking if there’s still a seat for Fernando.

I said, ‘I’ll make one available.’ Very quickly, again, we made a deal and here we are. Of course, we have my son Jordan, who’s now won two championships with us, and his teammate Renger from last year, with whom we won the Petit Le Mans to finish last year, and we’re ready to get back to our winning ways at Daytona.”


As the racing world casts its eyes on Daytona this weekend, the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R team certainly looks ready to bring back that winning feeling from just two short years ago.

Practice for the 57th Rolex 24 At Daytona begins Thursday morning with DPi-class qualifying set for 4:25 p.m. EST. Race time is 2:35 p.m. Saturday with new broadcast partner NBCSN kicking off live television coverage at 2 p.m. Thursday’s live, two-hour qualifying show on NBCSN begins at 3 p.m., preceded by a one-hour season preview show at 2 p.m. Live timing and scoring during all on-track sessions is available at IMSA.com and via the IMSA smartphone app.


Laz Denes- photo DIS

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21.01.2019 / MaP

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