The 2018 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship kicked off this past weekend with a cracker of a 24 Hours of Daytona. It was a record-setting race that saw Cadillac and Ford continue their strong performances from last year.
It was the No. 5 Konica Minolta Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R driven by Joao Barbosa, Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi that claimed the overall victory, with the trio also setting a new record for the most miles driven in the race. They managed 2,876.48 miles, or about 808 laps. The previous record of 2,760.96 miles was set all the way back in 1982 by John Paul Jr., John Paul Sr. and Rolf Stommelen in a Porsche 935.
And just like last year’s race, the 2018 24 Hours of Daytona saw a 1-2 finish for Cadillac, with the brand’s No. 31 DPi-V.R claiming the second spot. Doing the driving were Felipe Nasr, Eric Curran, Stuart Middleton and Mike Conway, and just over a minute separated them from the winning car.
Rounding out the top three spots was the No. 54 Core Autosport Oreca LMP2 driven by Jon Bennett, Colin Braun, Loic Duval and Romain Dumas.
Sadly for Acura, the past weekend wasn’t the miracle run the automaker was probably hoping for. Its pair of ARX-05 DPi racers finished 9th and 10th, well behind many LPM2 cars and 15 laps behind the winner.
In the classes for production-based cars, GT Le Mans (GTLM) and GT Daytona (GTD), Ford and its partner Chip Ganassi Racing had a lot to celebrate with the No. 67 GT coming home first in the GTLM class and 11th overall. Doing the driving were Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook and Scott Dixon.
After leading the class for most of the race, the No. 66 GT driven by Joey Hand, Dirk Müller and Sebastien Bourdais finished second and 12th overall. And third in the GTLM class and 13th overall went to the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R driven by Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen and Mike Rockenfeller.
Like Acura, BMW also didn’t have a dream run with the debut of its new M8-based race car. BMW’s best-placed finisher was the No. 24 M8 driven by John Edwards, Jesse Krohn, Nicky Catsburg and Augusto Farfus. They came 7th in the GTLM class and 18th overall.
And finally, in the GTD class, the winner was the No. 11 Lamborghini Huracán driven by Mirko Bortolotti, Rolf Ineichen, Franck Perera and Rik Breukers. They finished 21st overall. Second in class and 22nd overall was the No. 66 Acura NSX driven AJ Allmendinger, Katherine Legge, Alvaro Parente and Trent Hindman; and third in class and 23 overall was the No. 48 Lamborghini Huracán driven by Andrea Caldarelli, Bryan Sellers, Madison Snow, and Bryce Miller.
The next race on the 2018 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship calendar is the 12 Hours of Sebring on March 17.