Chase Elliott “making gains” as he pushes limits in Rolex 24 tests

NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott says he’s beginning to push his own limits ahead of his debut in the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, the opening round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship this weekend.

Listen to this article

Elliott has joined the #31 Action Express Racing team, whose Cadillac DPi-V.R won Sunday’s qualifying race which set the grid for the Rolex 24, in the hands of Pipo Derani and Felipe Nasr – despite starting from sixth on the grid.

With the Roar Before the 24 test taking place just a week before the race weekend, Elliott has been cramming in as much track time as possible.

“Been having a lot of fun with it, it’s been a big challenge,” Elliott told NBCSN. “I’m not sure I’m qualified to be on the points championship [leading] team! My teammates have been super patient trying to help me, I’ve been taking up their time in the car, but they’ve been awesome.

“I’m having to learn and learn fast, obviously with the race being next weekend, I’ve been trying to get up to speed. I feel like I’ve made some gains, I certainly don’t have it figured out, but these cars are different – I’ve never really driven a downforce car with the braking capability that these cars have. It’s been a big adjustment but [the] only way to learn is go do it.”

Read Also:

When asked if he believed this extra-curricular activity would help his road course skills in NASCAR – which will run seven non-oval events in 2021, making up 20% of the schedule – Elliott replied: “I hope so, I definitely don’t think it hurts anything.

“My first day in the car here felt really different, kinda foreign,” he added. “It’s been interesting though, as I’ve found those limits and pushed myself towards getting to the car’s limits, it starts to feel like a racecar. And when that happens, it’s kinda universal, no matter what you’re driving. 

“I was super pleased [Saturday] night, I started making some gains. When that was happening, I felt like my limits were in different places. I was pushing to find them, so I’m having a lot of fun with that – it’s just getting used to a new world.”

Read Also:

The DPi teams will have almost five hours more practice over two days available before Saturday’s twice-around-the-clock Florida sportscar classic begins.

shares
comments

Related video

Jimmie Johnson has “made a big step” says co-driver Kobayashi
Previous article

Jimmie Johnson has “made a big step” says co-driver Kobayashi

Next article

Tandy aiming for marquee endurance wins with Corvette

Tandy aiming for marquee endurance wins with Corvette
The long road to convergence for sportscar racing's new golden age Prime

The long road to convergence for sportscar racing's new golden age

The organisers of the World Endurance Championship and IMSA SportsCar Championship worked together to devise the popular new LMDh rule set. But to turn it from an idea into reality, some serious compromises were involved - both from the prospective LMDh entrants and those with existing Le Mans Hypercar projects...

IMSA
Nov 25, 2022
How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game Prime

How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game

The 956 set the bar at the dawn of Group C 40 years ago, and that mark only rose higher through the 1980s, both in the world championship and in the US. It and its successor, the longer-wheelbase 962, are arguably the greatest sportscars of all time.

WEC
Aug 25, 2022
Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes Prime

Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes

OPINION: While the focus has been on the exciting prospect of Ferrari vs Porsche at the Le Mans 24 Hours next year, BMW’s factory return to endurance racing should not be ignored. It won't be at the French classic next year as it focuses efforts on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, but could be a dark horse in 2024 when it returns to La Sarthe with the crack WRT squad.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2022
The British pair at the heart of Lexus's sportscar push Prime

The British pair at the heart of Lexus's sportscar push

Have you heard the one about two British guys driving for a Japanese manufacturer in America’s top sportscar series? Time to sit down and talk with Jack Hawksworth and Ben Barnicoat about racing across the pond… and your accent being mistaken for Australian!

IMSA
Mar 16, 2022
Why Peugeot couldn't afford to take a Le Mans gamble in 2022 Prime

Why Peugeot couldn't afford to take a Le Mans gamble in 2022

Ahead of the much-anticipated arrival of its new 9X8 Hypercar, Peugeot revealed that it would not be entering this year's Le Mans 24 Hours with its incoming machinery. Although development restrictions for homologated cars are partially responsible, the French marque can draw on its own lessons from its history in sportscars

WEC
Feb 28, 2022
Why the GTP name undermines convergence between IMSA and WEC Prime

Why the GTP name undermines convergence between IMSA and WEC

OPINION: The adoption by IMSA of the GTP name for its forthcoming LMDh versus Le Mans Hypercar era in 2023 appeals to fans of nostalgia - but it undermines the commonality achieved by bringing its rulebook into line with the WEC. GTP or Hypercar, both sides should settle on a single name

WEC
Feb 15, 2022
Celebrating the weird and wonderful monsters of sportscar racing Prime

Celebrating the weird and wonderful monsters of sportscar racing

Few disciplines of motorsport offer better possibilities to build a colossus of the track than sportscars. For Autosport's recent Monsters of Motorsport special issue, we picked out some of the finest (and not so fine) that have graced sportscar classics including Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring

Le Mans
Feb 4, 2022
How Castroneves and Meyer Shank conquered another US classic Prime

How Castroneves and Meyer Shank conquered another US classic

Helio Castroneves continued his fine start to life with Meyer Shank Racing that netted the 2021 Indianapolis 500 victory by prevailing in last weekend's Daytona 24 Hours together with teammates Tom Blomqvist, Oliver Jarvis and Simon Pagenaud. As Cadillac fell by the wayside, the Brazilian veteran won out in an all-Acura duel to the finish

IMSA
Feb 1, 2022