The dust has settled at Daytona International Speedway following the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona, but we’re still reflecting on the IMSA season opener four days after the checkered flag dropped.
The race was won by the No. 5 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi, which was shared between João Barbosa, Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi. The team was basically uncontested in the closing stages of the race, with the No. 5 Cadillac the only car left on the lead lap by the end of the race. The N0.31 Whelen Engineering/Action Express sister car, driven by Felipe Nasr, Eric Curran and Mike Conway, came in second, making it a 1-2 for AXR and Cadillac. The CORE Autosport Oreca of Jon Bennett, Colin Braun, Romain Dumas and Loic Duval completed the podium in the Prototype class.
In the factory-backed GTE class, it was the No. 66 Ford GT of Scott Dixon, Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook that took top honors, with the No. 67 car of Sebastien Bourdais, Joey Hand and Dirk Muller making it a 1-2 for Ford. The No. 3 Cadillac C7.R of Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia and Mike Rockenfeller, which started from pole in-class, rounded out the GTE podium. In the GT3-spec GTD class, the winners were Lamborghini GT3 GRT Grasser racing, who had Mirko Bortolotti, Rik Breukers, Rolf Ineichen and Franck Perera at the wheel. The Michael Shank Acura NSX GT3 and Paul Miller Racing Huracan GT3 completed the GTD podium.
If you missed the race, you can still enjoy these absolutely epic photos. They were plucked from various automaker media pools, including Ford Chip Ganassi Racing’s absolutely gorgeous Flickr account, which is worth looking at for any true race fan. IMSA’s official YouTube account, which you can find at this link, has also uploaded the race replay in full, if you’re hardcore enough to watch the whole thing beginning to end, that is.
The 2018 IMSA season will continue with the 12 Hours of Sebring on March 17th.