Formula 1
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
Race in
40 days
MotoGP
28 Mar
FP1 in
17 days
R
Doha GP
02 Apr
Next event in
23 days
Formula E
R
Rome ePrix
10 Apr
Next event in
31 days
NASCAR Cup
07 Mar
Event finished
R
Phoenix
14 Mar
Race in
5 days
IndyCar
R
Birmingham
16 Apr
Next event in
37 days
23 Apr
Next event in
44 days
WEC
R
Spa-Francorchamps
01 May
Race in
53 days
13 Jun
Race in
96 days
Supercars
27 Feb
Event finished
R
Sandown
18 Mar
Next event in
8 days

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

Kamui Kobayashi says seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Jimmie Johnson is getting on the pace in the IMSA Prototype class and expects further progress next week.

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

Reigning WEC champion for Toyota, Kobayashi won the last two Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona in the Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac, but when WTR switched to Acura this year, he joined Action Express Racing’s part-time entry, along with Johnson, Simon Pagenaud and Mike Rockenfeller.

Sunday’s Motul Pole Award 100-minute qualifying race featured only two drivers from each squad set to take part in next weekend’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season opener, and Kobayashi and Johnson were selected to take part. Johnson took the tricky first leg as the track started out wet – with lap times around 12sec off the dry times – and remained in the car even after the Prototype field pitted for dry tires.

Read Also:

By the end of the stint, the 45-year-old Californian was able to set times just 0.5sec slower than leader and AXR teammate in the sister car, Felipe Nasr.

“The Ally Cadillac felt ok,” said Kobayashi who set the race’s fastest lap. “I had a good long run in the car, a full stint to myself. I got positive feedback from the car. Let’s see where we go next week. We have many things to work on like driver changes.

“For this week we are very happy. Jimmie is working very hard. He’s made a big step this week. I think next week he will be even faster.

“I am looking forward to the few days doing more work with Simon [Pagenaud], Mike [Rockenfeller], and the team.”

Johnson himself commented: “I’m very thankful that the team put me in this position to start the race and qualify the Ally Cadillac. It put me in some positions I hadn’t been in before.

“It allowed me to understand the prerace procedures like fuel mapping pages, warming the tires up under caution, keep the carbon brakes hot, and things you mess with in the car. All of that while it is raining.

“To be running in the rain and to understand the tires, the spray from the other cars and then transition to dry with slicks and getting them up to temperature.

“I wasn’t as fast as I wanted to be, but I stayed on the road and had a lot of valuable first-time experiences, which was really helpful.”

Johnson is this year set to compete in 13 road and street course IndyCar races for Chip Ganassi Racing.

shares
comments

Related video

IMSA Roar: Action Express Cadillac wins qualifying race

Previous article

IMSA Roar: Action Express Cadillac wins qualifying race

Next article

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

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

About this article

Series IMSA
Event Daytona 24
Drivers Jimmie Johnson , Kamui Kobayashi
Teams Action Express Racing
Author David Malsher-Lopez
The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC Prime

The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s decision to scrap its GT Le Mans class for 2022 raises the question of whether the FIA World Endurance Championship should phase out GTE cars. But it's a much harder decision than it appears on the surface.

WEC
Feb 3, 2021
Nine things to watch at the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona Prime

Nine things to watch at the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona

After a 100-minute sprint race to whet the appetite, the 2021 IMSA SportsCar Championship gets underway properly this weekend. With plenty of significant changes during the winter, here are the key points you need to keep an eye on

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars Prime

Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars

Having gone over seven years without a race win through spells with McLaren, Renault and Haas, Kevin Magnussen's departure from Formula 1 for IMSA with big-hitters Chip Ganassi Racing could give him what he craves most - a chance of success

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights Prime

Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights

Oliver Gavin has stepped down from the full-time Corvette Racing line-up after a stellar career with the team spanning nearly 20 years. He looks back on a stint that encompassed, among other successes, five Le Mans 24 Hours victories.

Le Mans
Jan 28, 2021
How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends Prime

How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends

Victory at last year's Spa 24 Hours meant Nick Tandy had completed the unofficial sextuple crown of the world's six biggest endurance races, becoming the first Briton to do so. Ahead of his fresh start with Corvette Racing, he explains how he did it…

Le Mans
Jan 24, 2021
The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked Prime

The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked

The 2020 edition of the Florida sportscar classic is finally taking place this weekend, eight months after its traditional date in March. That meant there was plenty of time for Motorsport.com to pour over its previous 67 races and select the best.

IMSA
Nov 11, 2020
Tony Kanaan’s top 10 races – in his own words Prime

Tony Kanaan’s top 10 races – in his own words

The 2004 IndyCar champion and 2013 Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan probably hasn’t yet driven his final IndyCar race, but we still asked him for the 10 most significant races of his career. He explained his choices to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Sep 7, 2020
Why the GTE ruleset looks to have run its course Prime

Why the GTE ruleset looks to have run its course

The GTE ruleset has served sportscar racing in both Europe and the United States well over the past decade. But now there are clear signs that the end of its life is in sight as manufacturer support continues to fade.

WEC
Jun 11, 2020