This past weekend Daytona International Speedway hosted it’s 58th Rolex 24 Hour event. Friday’s four-hour Michelin Pilot Challenge race fielded a record breaking 51 cars for the 3.56-mile-high bank and infield road course at the iconic track. The season opening event presented the opportunity for Audi drivers Britt Casey Jr. and Michael McCann Jr. to showcase their brand-new McCann Racing Audi R8 GT4 sponsored by Yeti. The newly formed driver line up lived up to the team’s long-standing reputations in the Pirelli World Challenge and Viper Challenge series.
Casey Jr. qualified the #8 Audi R8 GT4 in 12th position for the four-hour event on Friday afternoon. The race would take the 51-car field from a start on the bright sun-soaked track to a finish under the lights at the historic high speed, high banked track. As the qualifying driver, Casey would also take the green flag and drive the first hour of the race before handing over the controls to McCann Jr for his very successful first appearance in the IMSA series. A mid-race yellow flag presented the right opportunity for Casey Jr. to get back in the car for the eventful last two hours of the ultimate 110 lap race. The Audi driver was able to move his Yeti sponsored R8 from 22nd position to 10th before a severe incident, causing a Ford Mustang to come to rest on its roof at the exit of the “bus stop”, placing the entire field under a double yellow flag condition for the remaining twenty minutes of the four hour battle.
In post-race interviews both drivers expressed their content with their debut race top ten finish. McCann Jr. noted “I am really proud of our team and the strong efforts and results were able to produce in our first race within the IMSA series. My learning curve was certainly shortened due to Britt’s extensive and successful history in the series. We really worked well as a team”. Casey expressed his gratitude to the team and Audi Sport Customer Racing saying “I am extremely thankful for the efforts of the entire McCann Racing team and to Audi for their continued support of me as one of their drivers. I am truly looking forward to another successful season with my new team and the continued backing of the Audi brand”.
The series will run its second race of the season in the Sunshine State at Sebring International Raceway in Mid-March. Yet another historic track, Sebring has been quite favorable over the past two seasons to Casey Jr. ,with back to back pole qualifying positions and a win for Audi last year.