Felix Rosenqvist had the privilege of taking the chequered flag for the #37 Jackie Chan DCR JOTA squad in the fastest Daytona 24 Hours of all time, as the old 1982 record was finally shattered in this weekend’s 56th edition of the American sportscar classic.
Rosenqvist, along with team-mates Lance Stroll, Daniel Juncadella and Robin Frijns, made it to the end of the race after 24 gruelling hours, surviving a sequence of setbacks that included four punctures, two drive-through penalties and two lengthy spells of garage repairs in the wake of the tyre blow-outs.
While the delays dropped the crew out of podium contention – having run inside the top six until the 15th hour – they kept battling in the face of adversity, with Rosenqvist eventually taking the final stint to receive the famous “checker”.
He did so at the end of 24 record-breaking hours, where the winning #5 Action Express Cadillac racked up 808 laps – a new all-time distance record of 2876 miles (4628 km).
In testimony to the pace of the 2018 edition of the Florida event, the #37 crew also surpassed the previous record – set in 1982 – by one lap despite the many delays, completing 777 tours of Daytona International Speedway (2766 miles / 4451 km).
Rosenqvist, Stroll, Frijns and Juncadella ended up 15th overall in the 50-car field, and 11th in the prototype class aboard their ORECA-built LMP2 machine.
“It’s been a tough race, definitely a challenge in a lot of ways, but I’m happy that we made it to the finish,” says Felix Rosenqvist. “It was good fun to do this with Lance, Dani and Robin, and also with the team – it’s the first time I’ve worked with Jackie Chan DCR JOTA, and it’s been professional throughout. I’m pleased with my stints, I think I got the maximum out of them, and it’s been a great experience overall; I just wish the final result was better.”
The race marks the first time in two attempts (the first came in 2016) that Rosenqvist finishes the Daytona 24 Hours, officially known as the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
The 26-year-old Swede is now travelling on straight to Chile, where the ABB FIA Formula E Championship resumes next weekend (February 3) with the Santiago E-Prix. Rosenqvist is currently leading the Formula E standings overall heading into the fourth race of the season.
“I’m looking forward to going to Chile,” Rosenqvist concludes. “I will fly out tomorrow and spend three or four days there just relaxing before the race; I think I need it after quite a busy start to the year. Santiago is a new venue for everyone, so it’s an open book, but my ambition will be to build on our victories in Hong Kong and Marrakesh and try to extend my championship lead.”
Rosenqvist was occupied for 7 hours and 30 minutes of track time in the Daytona 24 Hours, the most of any Jackie Chan DCR JOTA driver.
RESULTS – 2018 DAYTONA 24 HOURS