DAYTONA BEACH, FL (2-January 2019) – No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R will return to Daytona International Speedway for this weekend’s Roar Before the Rolex 24, continuing preparation in a quest for its second consecutive victory in America’s premier endurance race.
Joao Barbosa, Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi return from the 2018-winning lineup, to be joined by Mike Conway, who finished second a year ago in Action Express Racing’s No. 31 Whelen Engineering entry.
The Roar will also give the Mustang Sampling drivers the opportunity to test the new Michelin tires that will be utilized in 2019.
With the garage and pit selections having been made via championship points in the past, IMSA introduced a new approach ahead of the 2018 season. The Roar will include a special 15-minute qualifying session beginning at 12:15 p.m. ET on Sunday, which will determine coveted garage and pit road assignments for the Jan. 26-27 Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Barbosa and Fittipaldi are three-time Rolex 24 winners. They co-drove for Action Express winning the 2014 event – the first race for the unified IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Barbosa also won in 2010, AXR’s debut event.
The No. 5 Mustang Sampling team also finished second in 2015 and 2017, with the team posting at least a top-five finish over the last nine years in the Daytona classic.
The season-opening Rolex 24 will also be the final Prototype race in Fittipaldi’s storied career, which spans Formula One, Indy cars and the NASCAR Cup Series. He won the Rolex 24 in 2004 for Bell Motorsports, the first overall victory for a Daytona Prototype in the event.
The Daytona Prototype international competitors will have seven practice sessions at the Roar, totaling more than eight hours of track time.
The weekend will also feature a busy schedule of media interviews, photo shoots, and IMSA event promoter engagement as the series ramps up for the highly anticipated 50th Anniversary season for IMSA.
Schedule: Friday’s two sessions begin at 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. ET. Saturday will have testing at 10 a.m. and 3:35 p.m., followed by a night session from 6:45-8 p.m. Sunday practice will be at 10:30 a.m. and 2:45 p.m.