Daniel Morad admits that a GT Daytona class runner-up finish in the Rolex 24 at Daytona comes as little solace after having a potential win slip away in treacherous conditions.
Driving the No. 29 Montaplast by Land Motorsport Audi R8 LMS Evo, Morad found himself in the lead with just over two hours to go when he slid wide in Turn 1, narrowly missing crashing into the barrier.
The Canadian managed to keep the car going and mounted a stirring comeback drive but was ultimately relegated to second, with the race was red-flagged due to worsening track conditions.
Morad admitted he was frustrated to have the opportunity for the German squad’s elusive first Rolex 24 win to slip away.
It marked Land’s second runner-up finish in the last three years, with their 2017 result ironically coming up short to the Alegra Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, which Morad was victorious in.
“For me personally, it sucks,” Morad told Sportscar365. “I had the win in my grasp. It’s a moment every driver wants: to be selected to finish the race for the team and for them to put all their faith in you.
“Leading up to that point I was only supposed to be in the car for 23 minutes to get my minimum drive time, but after I went from P12 or something to P1 they asked if I would finish.
“The car was mega. It was really good. We made a little adjustment on the tire pressures after my first stop and once we made that adjustment the car just turned up. It was like the AI was on easy. My hat goes off to the team.
“We were the best performing Audi all weekend, and back on Thursday when we were looking for speed a podium would have been great.
“I’m disappointed with myself. I like winning. That’s why I do this.”
The Canadian admitted the decision to end this year’s race early was the right one on the grounds of safety.
“But being second with two hours to go, I was really hoping that the conditions would clear up enough to at least have a peek at the track and at least get the cars running around with the jet dryers blowing the track,” he said.
“I think it might have been possible [to restart], but once you stop the cars from circulating, the water starts to accumulate.
“If the cars keep going around, then maybe it’s OK, but the last laps before the red flag was called were so underivable. The car was aquaplaning.
“I had a lead of 10 or 11 seconds and I wasn’t even pushing hard, I just didn’t have the right angle across a puddle and that was it. That was the victory gone.
“I made a comeback. I was, I think, about four seconds faster than any other car on track, it just wasn’t enough.”