The green flag waved at 1:35 pm local time on Saturday and 24 hours later, the DPI teams on the lead lap had set a new record, completing 833 laps of the 3.56 miles (5.73 km) Daytona road course, covering a total distance of 3,143 miles (5,059 kms). The prior record was 808 laps completed in 2018. The rain-shorted 2019 race saw the top team’s complete just 593 laps.
When asked what this win means, Wayne Taylor responded “I can’t explain it. The team, the drivers, when they come into this little team of ours, they are just so focused, and so passionate about winning, and unfortunately, we are really bad losers. I don’t even know how to thank everybody. I’m just so relieved is the best word I can say.“
“In Le Mans (referring to the 24 Hours of Le Mans), I’ve been like five times, never won. Had a big chance always, never won. But here, it’s two times and two wins. It’s amazing. Wayne (Taylor) brings me the best car I’ve driven, it’s fantastic. The whole team, the whole family, it’s great. Konica Minolta supporting us is great. It’s a fantastic feeling you know.”
“Firstly, this car was just phenomenal. We had the pace. This is three out of four years for Wayne (Taylor). I just feel lucky to be a part of it. It was a bit of a rollercoaster ride, especially this morning, but once we got it on the straight and narrow, the car was fast. A great job by the whole team. The car was just mint from start to finish. You can’t ask for more.”
Rounding out the prototype podium was the No. 77 Mazda DPI of Team Joest Mazda followed by the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing / JDC-Miller Cadillac DPI third.
“There’s a joke among drivers that when to get married you lose 2 or 3 tenths (of a second per lap). This is my first race back after getting married and I think I maybe gained 3 tenths. My wife will be relieved that she had that effect instead of the other way. It means a lot. With a manufacturer program, it’s all about the team, so when one car does well, you know that’s what BMW wants. They don’t really care which car wins. But as a driver, you know that they’re paying the bills, but when you get to do-it-yourself, I mean, it’s just indescribable. My wife will tell you, I’m normally not at a loss for words, but I really am today.
“Catching them (the Porsches) is one thing, passing is another thing. I don’t know how we did it. It was a flawless job by the whole team. I just had to go in at the end and bring it home.”
“Emotions are high. The 13 times prior to this race I didn’t have all these guys standing behind us. It’s not about one single person in this deal, it’s about everybody. You don’t win a race like this without everyone, without the team, without the other drivers. Everyone played their part and I have to say that in every race there’s a standout performance. For us, I think we all did our jobs but Andrea (Caldarelli) really stood out today. We leaned on him heavy, especially at the end of the race. We’re just thankful that he was able to come here and be a part of our program. We’re so happy. I don t know what to say. We’re just so proud of everybody at Paul Miller Racing.”
“I couldn’t believe it until that last minute when they told me on the radio, last lap. It’s my forth year with these guys. We were always very close but this year we made it and I think we really deserve it. It was an awesome team effort. I really have to thank everyone in the garage at Paul Miller Racing, Lamborghini Squadra Corse, our sponsor Total and all these guys here because without them we couldn’t make it. My wife’s birthday was yesterday so it was good luck. And all my family, the support means so much. I’m really really happy to bring back to Italy this victory.”
Complete results can be found at IMSA.com.
For the fourth consecutive year, the number of cars entered in the race was down. 55 cars ran in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2017, 50 cars in 2018, 47 cars in 2019 and just 38 cars this year. Hopefully that is a trend that will not continue into 2021. A dozen manufacturers were represented in this year’s race including Acura, Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lexus, Mazda, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche.
Up next in the twelve-race IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series is the second most prestigious endurance sportscar race in North America, the 12 Hours of Sebring. The 68th running of takes place on Mach 21, 2020 at the Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida.
Photographs © Copyright 2020 International MotorSports Association and Rolex