Veteran Drivers Eye Return to DAYTONA Victory Lane

DENVER, N.C. (January 24, 2017) – As an afternoon sky starts the quest for another chance at racing immortality, the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R driven by João Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi, and Filipe Albuquerque are looking to once again stand atop the podium in Daytona.

The No. 5 Mustang Sampling Team is poised to start the season as defending Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup Champions at the Daytona International Speedway when the green flag drops at 2:30 p.m. ET Saturday.

For João, there is no added pressure as defending champions, but to start the year off on a positive note.

“I don’t feel any added pressure as defending TPNAEC champions, but I think we all feel some extra pressure to have a good race. We are racing a brand new car and we have a team that can win but what makes this race difficult are the things out of our control.”

Barbosa continued, “The guys at the shop are doing a tremendous job preparing the Cadillac DPi-V.R for this race. Once the race starts, we can get back to what we do best and that’s racing. I think we have a good shot at the win.”

Fittipaldi and Albuquerque are focused mentally and physically, however, you can’t ignore the rigors that come with driving for 24 hours.

“I have confidence in the car, the team and my co-drivers heading into the weekend,” Fittipaldi said. “For me, during the race it will be tough, we will each do as many as four stints. I try to sleep as much as possible and stay hydrated. It is a long race, especially with just three drivers. You just have to be sure you are rested and mentally ready to go for your next turn at the wheel.”

Filipe Albuquerque tunes his mental game to prepare for the 24-hour endurance grind. “Personally, I do more endurance training than explosion. I run between 45 mins and 1 hour to simulate a stint time,” stated Filipe. “I like running because it’s mental and without music so its only me and my thoughts.”

When time allows, Filipe also gets virtual. “I get on my home simulator and drive the track where I am going to race next. It’s good to get the ritual of a lap.”

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship 55th

Rolex 24 At Daytona Broadcast schedule

(All Times Eastern): – LIVE – Thursday, Jan. 26, 3:00 pm – 4:40 pm EST (*Outside U.S Only)

FOX – LIVE – Saturday, Jan. 28,  2:00 pm to 5:00 pm EST (Race starts at 2:30 p.m.)

FS2 –  LIVE – Saturday, Jan. 28,  5:00 pm to 10:00 pm

FS2 –  LIVE – Saturday, Jan. 28,  11:00 pm to 11:55 pm

FS2 –  LIVE – Sunday, Jan. 29,    12:00 am to 1:00 pm

FS1 –  LIVE – Sunday, Jan. 29,    1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

See full race schedule HERE