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’s reflection comes from Acura Team Penske driver Juan Pablo Montoya, who looks back on his 2013 Rolex 24 win and and return to sports car racing this season.
What was the key to your 2013 Rolex 24 at Daytona win with Ganassi?
“It was my last year doing it with Ganassi. It was one of those races that to win it we had to give it our all at the end. I think the last three stints were like qualifying laps, for the last three hours of the race.
“The strategy and everything worked. It was close, but it’s fun when the races are so close and you can come out ahead.”
How much pressure did you have on you in those final stints?
“It was tough because I did about three hours, I got out for an hour and a half, and I got back in for another two and half.
“A lot of the end of the race I was driving. It makes it exciting. It makes it a lot of weight on your shoulders but if you can get the job done it works pretty well.”
How much did that win mean to you?
“It was nice. My kids were old enough to start understanding, so to win with all three of them here was pretty cool.
“I remember I stopped by our pit box and I picked them up and they got in the car with me. That was really, really cool.”
What are your thoughts on the level of competition in IMSA?
“[At Petit Le Mans last year] we had a shot to win and it was exciting. Our pace was good. Coming here, I think our performance as a team and drivers, I think we can outrun anybody here.
“I think the biggest competition is going to be ourselves with the other car. I think we have all the right tools. We still have to execute and get the job done.
“Having Helio [Castroneves] and Ricky [Taylor] in the other car is going to be tough. I’m happy to have Dane [Cameron] in mine. Dane has a lot of speed and he can deliver and get the job done.”