DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Four-time NASCAR premier series champion Jeff Gordon turned his first laps behind the wheel of the new Cadillac DPi during Rolex 24 testing on Tuesday afternoon at Daytona Int’l Speedway.
Gordon, who will co-drive the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac with Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor and Max Angelelli, is scheduled to make his second Rolex 24 appearance and first since 2007. He co-drove a Pontiac Riley with Angelelli, Wayne Taylor and Jan Magnussen to a third-place finish in 2007.
“I had so much fun the first time I did this,” Gordon said. “And at this point of my life and career [winning the Rolex 24] would be huge. When I came here in 2007 I was just kind of along for the ride.
“When you really realize how important this race is, is on race day when you see the hype and buildup and then the challenges you face over 24 hours. That’s what makes this race so thrilling. I’d be very proud [if we won].”
The DPi (Daytona Prototype international) entries are new to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship this year. Four DPi cars highlighted a solid turnout of 29 cars across Prototype, GT Le Mans and GT Daytona classes on Tuesday.
The No. 10 Cadillac had some telemetry issues initially on Tuesday, delaying its on-track debut at DIS. In the afternoon it was able to make some short runs on the 3.56-mile DIS road course. Gordon’s stint in the car resulted in one of the fastest laps of the day.
“I anticipated being comfortable here because I’ve run here before [in a sports car],” Gordon said.
After retiring from NASCAR competition following the 2015 season, Gordon returned for eight races this year as a substitute for his former teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was recovering from a concussion.
This week’s test is the second of three preseason sessions for the Rolex 24, IMSA’s season-opening event. The first test was Nov. 15-16. The final test will be the annual Roar Before the Rolex 24 on Jan. 6-8.