WRDA member & 24 Hour enduro rookie Seb Morris left an indelible impression on the prestigious Rolex 24 at Daytona International Raceway in Florida, with a truly memorable performance behind the wheel of the No.31 Cadillac DPi-VR prototype.
Competing as part of the crack Action Express Racing squad alongside Eric Curran, Dane Cameron and Mike Conway, having been awarded the drive as his prize for winning last year’s Sunoco Whelen Challenge, the 21-year-old Welshman more than played his part during the demanding encounter. Making marked progress during the build-up to the event, with the help of his vastly experienced team-mates and the crew at Action Express Racing, Seb turned heads during his maiden race Stateside by leading the action during the early going. Qualifying second fastest for the 55th Rolex 24, the No.31 Cadillac was started by Cameron and he moved into the lead towards the end of the opening hour before staying behind the wheel after the first round of stops.
Seb then climbed aboard for the start of a lengthy triple stint, the quality of which certainly belied his status as a Rolex 24 rookie. Holding second place when a Full Course Yellow cautionary period was called following an incident, as the action resumed at the re-start of the third hour, Seb jumped the race leader Jeff Gordon, multiple NASCAR Champion, at the first turn! Having watched Seb sweep past him into the lead of the race, a clearly flustered Gordon was then involved in a tangle with a car emerging from pit-lane! Seb immediately pulled away and built up a lead of well over 20 seconds which he maintained throughout his first stint! During his second run later in the evening the heavens had opened and he revelled in the wet conditions, circulating at up to four seconds per lap quicker than his challengers!
Sadly, hopes of a potential podium result faded as a result of a series of issues which struck the No.31 car. First, contact from a backmarker when team-mate Curran was at the wheel, led to an enforced pit-stop and triggered the beginning of a run of misfortune.
More dramas arose as the race unfolded, including a lengthy delay in the pits to facilitate repairs for problems which were a legacy of the initial incident. Into the second half of the race, more laps were lost when the Cadillac developed shifter problems but the pace and potential of the Action Express car was undeniable. In the end, the car took the finish sixth in class and in 14th position overall.
“I think it’s been the most hectic week of my life in terms of the preparation, the intensity of everything and just what you have to do while you’re in the car”, said Seb, “It’s so different to anything I’ve done, you’re constantly talking to the team, in open dialogue with the spotters around the track, and there is so much to concentrate and focus on. It’s incredibly demanding mentally. As I learnt during practice, by the time I got to the race I’d ironed out any little mistakes. There has been so much to learn, and so much still to learn, but everything went as well as I could have hoped and the team did an amazing job, they’re so professional.” He added: “I think the team could see I was going to play the team game from the outset, they only needed to offer me two hours in the car in practice but I got double that. I can’t thank all of the guys enough, everyone at Action Express and Whelen, Anders [Hildebrand] at Sunoco, Dan Chapman and Andy Meyrick for the guidance and support – a massive thank you to all of the people involved.”
Sebs next planned race is in the British GT Championship at Oulton Park on Easter Monday April 17th. However he may find himself in great demand as a result of his Daytona performance.
Seb Morris Management/Commercial Contact:
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Seb Morris Media Contact:
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