Cadillac’s Tom Blomqvist blames the late-race caution period for harming his chances of Daytona 24 Hours success, which would have been his third straight win.
Blomqvist came up just 2s short of the victorious Porsche Penske Motorsport 963 after 24 hours of racing, but was forced to give up his lead during the final round of pitstops – that was caused by a caution period for Parker Thompson’s GTD class Lexus catching fire.
He then couldn’t find a way past Porsche’s Felipe Nasr in the 30-minute sprint to the finish.
“Came up just short,” sighed Blomqvist. “The team, everyone did a fantastic job since we got here more than a week ago.
“The car was fast, the crew did a great job on pit stops and my team-mates were outstanding in the car as usual. One less yellow and who knows? We could have had it.
“In those last couple of stints there, I was chipping away and closed the gap. We decided to take an early stop to try to undercut them. We didn’t really manage that, but thankfully I was able to get by on track.
“But the goal there was that we had to make a gap, because we’d have a longer stop time at the end.
“That yellow kinda ended our chances really. Especially where we are in the pitlane, that hurt us really. I think it woulda been a lot closer if that yellow hadn’t come out.”
Blomqvist also hailed Porsche’s straightline speed, which kept the 963 out of his reach on the high banked sections of the track. He also revealed that a strategy gamble by his Action Express Racing team hadn’t paid off as planned.
“I felt at the end of the race we had the pace advantage but, just at the end there, the Porsche was really strong on the straight and we were really good in the infield,” he said.
“It also felt like there weren’t many cars there at the end of the race, in terms of traffic. I think he made one mistake where he went wide by a few meters but it was no opportunity.
“We were both on it, there was a lot of adrenaline in the car and it was so close. Hats off them, they were fantastic really.”