Drivers talk about first three hours of Rolex 24 at Daytona

Scott Pruett, Clint Bowyer, Ryan Dalziel. Max Angelelli and other Grand-Am drivers comment on the first three hours of the annual round-the-clock race.

SCOTT PRUETT (No. 01 TELMEX/Target BMW/Riley): “The car is superb. It’s a little slow to get going on new tires, but once it settles in after about three laps the car is really hooked up. The track changed significantly. We started about at about 75-78 degrees, but once the sun went down the track got a lot cooler and changed our handling characteristics. You’ve got to be heads up going through traffic, trying to cut your way through five or six GT cars racing hard. You don’t want to get tangled up in their mess.”

#55 AF - Waltrip Ferrari 458: Rui Aguas, Clint Bowyer, Robert Kauffman, Michael Waltrip
#55 AF - Waltrip Ferrari 458: Rui Aguas, Clint Bowyer, Robert Kauffman, Michael Waltrip

Photo by: Covy Moore

CLINT BOWYER (No. 56 AF-Waltrip Ferrari 458 Italia): “My biggest adjustment was having the Daytona Prototype cars being so much faster the GTs. I’m really happy to be here. My two bosses (Rob Kauffman and Michael Waltrip) were able to share a cool and help me kick the year off right. I don’t follow sports car racing that much, but this is their Daytona 500 or Super Bowl. I can feel the hype, the buzz down here in the pits. It’s certainly like the Daytona 500. Our 500-mile races are nothing compared to racing 24 hours. I’ll definitely need some 5-Hour Energy.”

HURLEY HAYWOOD (Grand Marshal of the 51st Rolex 24 At Daytona): “I’ve enjoyed my duties as Grand Marshal. They’ve almost kept me distracted enough – but I still miss the driving. I drove one of my cars Saturday morning with the historic group to get my racing fix.”

RYAN DALZIEL (No. 2 Starworks with Alex Popow Ford/Riley): “We’re running the same speed as we were yesterday, and all of a sudden the Corvettes are fast again. We kind of expected that. It’s through reliability and good pits that we’re leading now. We just got to get through the 24 hours without making any mistakes.”

MAX ANGELELLI (No. 10 Velocity WorldWide Corvette DP): “I did three stints. At the beginning of the race I took my time and was patient. Others were racing like it was the final hour. Our car is very well balanced. We had two excellent pit stops. On my third stint, I could stay with the No. 01 for half a stint. But the 01 is too fast on the straights.”

ANDY LALLY (No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche GT3): “Running strong and leading the race in the first hour is a good shot in the arm for everybody. It lets us calm down, get poised and get ready for a real long night and then get ready for a real long day. We have to stay smart. If you get caught up in the fun here, you’re going to pay the price. You’ve got to keep focused. The biggest thing is keeping the variables to a minimum, and not letting anybody put you in a position to get hurt. That’s what we try to do while we’re staying out front. Obviously, that’s no easy game.

ANTHONY LAZZARO (No. 69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD with Ferrari/Ferrari 458 Italia): “We’re running a little bit more downforce than the others and we have the lean map, so we don’t have quite the speed. But we’ve been steady in the top five and we led for a little while. It’s an easy car to drive. We’ve got a few tricks in the bag for tomorrow to get a little more speed out of it.”

SEAN EDWARDS: (No. 30 MOMO NGT Motorsports Porsche GT3: “Starting from last we could only go forward. I didn’t push too hard in the first few laps to keep the tires. It was quite easy to overtake most of the guys in the beginning. I knew a couple of people made it hard for me but I could use our top speed to slowly pick off one at a time in the straight line. I think I made it up to eighth by the end of the first or second stint. For sure our car has the pace to win, but it’s still a long, long way to go and we’ve got to keep it in one piece with no mistakes and be there at the last of the four hours. I’m sure we can fight for the win and have a good chance.”

TRISTAN VAUTIER (No. 00 Visit Florida Racing/SpeedSource Mazda 6 GX, brought out first caution): “There was a lot of smoke in the cockpit, so I pulled off. We were in the garage once and came out again, but had the same problem. It hasn’t hurt the engine, so we’re trying to find the problem.

Grand-Am Road Racing

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Michael Waltrip , Ryan Dalziel , Scott Pruett , Max Angelelli , Clint Bowyer , Rui Aguas , Robert Kauffman , Alex Popow
Teams NGT Motorsport , SpeedSource , Magnus Racing
Article type Interview
Tags angelelli, bmw, bowyer, corvette, dalziel, edwards, ferrari, for, grandam, haywood, lazzaro, mazda, porsche, pruett, rolex24, vautier