Throughout the year, Continental Tire will focus on celebrating the fans, media, drivers, and teams and their contributions to sports car racing, including a weekly trip down memory lane in Sportscar365’s Continental Tire IMSA Reflections series.
This week, Felipe Nasr looks back on his first foray into sports car racing at the 2012 Rolex 24 at Daytona, a podium finish with Michael Shank Racing, and how his past experience has prepared him for a full season in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship this year.
What memories do you have of your sports car racing debut at the 2012 Rolex 24 at Daytona?
“I think it’s one of the highlights of my career so far. At the time I think I had just turned 18 or 19 after winning British Formula 3. I was pretty young at the time.
“Everything felt new to me: a new experience, a new car, new racing. It was incredible, and it was something that I always wanted to come back and finish two steps ahead.
“The third place felt pretty great at the time but now I’m back for a full season.”
What was it like to be a part of a big moment for Michael Shank Racing with a double podium in the race?
“It was incredible! You could feel the energy of everyone, Mike especially, and the mechanics.
“To share the podium with another Brazilian in Oz Negri at the time, he won the race, it felt great to be a part of it. Everything came together well: one car in first, we came in third.”
How do you feel that experience has prepared you for coming to IMSA full time?
“A lot, because it’s such a long race. You learn so many little tricks. The tires, traffic, you just need to settle in.
“It’s nice to come back with those races in the bag so I kind of know what to expect, but the cars are so much quicker now, especially the prototypes.
“I’m amazed. I’m really happy with how the cars have evolved with the tires and everything. I’m really impressed.”