General: Mike Conway ready for Rolex 24 challenge

24th January 2018

Mike Conway teams up this week with Whelen Engineering Racing as the team kick starts its 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with the 56th running of the Rolex 24 at the Daytona International Speedway.

Mirroring his 2017 commitments with the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac, Mike is set to contest the Rolex 24 at Daytona as well as races at Sebring and Petit Le Mans. This weekend sees Mike join forces with Eric Curran (US) and ex-F1 driver Felipe Nasr (BR) - the drivers who will contest the full IMSA schedule, which will feature both sprint and endurance events. Whelen Engineering Racing also welcomes the 2018 Sunoco Whelen Challenge winner Stuart Middleton (UK) to the lineup for the Rolex 24.

The 2017 Rolex 24 At Daytona saw the Whelen entry targeting a strong start to its defence of the 2016 IMSA Team and Driver Championships. The team had to fight back from an incident in traffic that cost the effort several laps. Undaunted, the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac returned to battle and covered 2,274-miles (639 laps) during the rain-plagued 24 event for a sixth-place result.

The Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona uses the 3.56-mile sportscar course. Unlike Le Mans, which runs at the height of summer, the Daytona 24 is competed in winter meaning that the majority of the race is contested in darkness. With new teams and manufacturers joining the series in the Prototype class, the 2018 Rolex 24 promises to be the most competitive and compelling yet.

The Whelen Engineering Racing squad looks forward to utilising the lessons learned in 2017 with the Cadillac DPi-V.R for another run at the championship starting with the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Mike is looking forward to returning to Daytona for this iconic race but is aware of the huge challenge that lays ahead of him and the team.

“I am excited about the race,” said Conway. “This year will be hard with 20 cars that will be fighting for the win. We will need to race well, make smart moves and be there at the end to go for the win. That is easy to say, but to do that takes a lot of teamwork and luck. Hopefully, we can have another good run. We have strong drivers in the Whelen Engineering Cadillac. I think we have a good chance to go for the win. It is a little easier the second time around. The team is used to the car and drivers. There are some newcomers here, but with experienced teams running the cars. It is going to be interesting. I think it will be a close one. There are several cars within a few tenths. The competition will be good which is what the series needs.”

Track action starts tomorrow with the first practice sessions commencing at Daytona; with the infamous 24-hour race getting underway on Saturday at 09:40 (GMT).

MB Partners Toyota Hybrid Racing Bell Thunderhead