DAYTONA BEACH, Florida – Brazil’s Christian Fittipaldi and Portugal’s Joao Barbosa and Filipe Alburquerque won on Sunday the Daytona 24 Hours championship in a clean race at the Daytona International Speedway.
This is the third Daytona victory for both Barbosa (2010 and 2014) and Fittipaldi (2004 and 2014) and the first for Alburquerque, who was the one tasked with crossing the finish line at the wheel of the Mustang Sampling’s Cadillac.
Despite notching the third-best time in the qualifying rounds, the team went out in front early on during the actual endurance race and stayed there throughout the contest.
Only the Acura team comprised of Brazil’s Helio Castroneves and Colombia’s Juan Pablo Montoya seemed to have a chance to perhaps knock them out of the lead, although they ultimately came in ninth and 10th.
Spain’s Fernando Alonso – the two-time Indianapolis 500 winner –, at the wheel of a Ligier for United Autosports, ultimately came in 38th with teammates Phil Hanson and Lando Norris after an unfortunately large number of mechanical and other problems.
Coming in second overall were Whelen Engineering Racing, in a Cadillac driven by Brazil’s Felipe Nasr, Eric Curran, Stuart Middleton and Mike Conway.
The Cadillac winner broke two course records, most number of laps finished (808) and longest total distance driven (2,876.48 miles), set in 1992 and 1982, respectively.
Also having problems on Sunday was Spaniard Daniel Juncadella, who was in fifth place when his vehicle suffered a tire blowout that damaged the front end of his Oreca LMP2. That and a later incident resulted in his fighting to be included in the top 10, but he had to settle for 15th in the end.
Action Express Racing won its third Rolex 24 at Daytona overall title, and Chip Ganassi Racing notched the organization’s 200th victory with its victory in the GT Le Mans class.
The pair of two-car teams finished first and second in their respective classes.