Joao Barbosa captured the pole on Thursday for the 55th Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway, showcasing one of the new Cadillac DPi Prototypes that are racing for the first time this week in the season-opening race for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Barbosa, a resident of nearby Ormond Beach, Florida, had a fast lap of 1 minute, 36.903 seconds (132.2 mph) in the No. 5 entry on the 3.56-mile DIS road course to lead both overall and Prototype class qualifying. He’ll take the green flag Saturday at 2:30 p.m. (ET); alongside on the outside pole will be his Action Express Racing teammate Dane Cameron who qualified second in the team’s No. 31. Barbosa will be joined by co-drivers Christian Fittipaldi and Felipe Albuquerque.
“Obviously, a great result for Action Express,” said Barbosa, a two-time (2010, ’14) Rolex 24 champion. “It’s good to know you have your teammate next to you at the start. And it’s good to know that we have a fast car, a real good car for the race. It’s really cool to give the Cadillac DPi its first pole position.”
Wayne Taylor Racing’s No. 10 Cadillac DPi being co-driven by three-time DAYTONA 500 champion Jeff Gordon qualified fourth, with Ricky Taylor at the wheel.
In addition to the headlining Prototype class, three other classes will compete in the Rolex 24. Those pole winners:
Also Thursday, qualifying was held for Friday’s four-hour BMW Endurance Challenge – the season-opener for IMSA’s production-based Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge. Dean Martin took the overall and Grand Sport class pole at 1:55.754 in the No. 59 Ford Mustang; the Street Tuner pole was won by Connor Bloum in the No. 18 Porsche Cayman, at 2:04.900.
Tickets and camping packages for the Rolex 24 At Daytona are on sale by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com. Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Snapchat, and by downloading Daytona International Speedway’s mobile app, for the latest speedway news throughout the season.