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Spirit of Daytona Confirms Cadillac DPi for Vautier, McMurry

Spirit of Daytona confirms Cadillac DPi-V.R; Tristan Vautier, Matt McMurry as drivers…

Image: Spirit of Daytona Racing

Spirit of Daytona Racing has confirmed its return to General Motors, with Tristan Vautier and Matt McMurry set to pilot the team’s new Cadillac DPi-V.R in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

The long-awaited announcement comes weeks after Sportscar365 indicated that the Troy Flis-led squad would campaign a Cadillac DPi next year.

It will mark the team’s third different LMP2-based chassis in the span of 12 months, after starting the 2017 season with a Riley Mk. 30 Gibson prior to a mid-season switch to Onroak Automotive’s Ligier JS P217 Gibson, which delivered a maiden victory at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

The new-look team, which loses Visit Florida as its title sponsor, will also have an all-new lineup in Vautier and McMurry.

“Last season was so difficult, but even though we were on the back foot for a lot of the year, I think we learned a lot as an organization and improved as a team,” Flis said.

“Winning at Mazda Raceway was a great way to demonstrate that, and now we are focused on taking that momentum and getting a quick start with this Cadillac DPi. We just want to give our drivers a solid platform with the car to learn and just get better as the season goes on.”

Both 2017 full-season drivers Renger van der Zande and Marc Goossens will not return, with the Dutchman having been confirmed with Wayne Taylor Racing.

Open-wheel ace Vautier makes the move from SunEnergy1 Racing, where he spearheaded the team’s GT Daytona class effort in a Mercedes-AMG GT3.

“I’m honored to be joining this team, they achieved well in difficult circumstances last year so I think it is a good group,” Vautier said.

“I want to race against the best drivers and the best teams, and that is what IMSA is becoming with the DPi so I’m very excited. It is so competitive and I think it will be difficult to compare the depth of field in 2018 even to last year. As a racer that is very exciting for me.”

McMurry, meanwhile, will step up to full-time Prototype competition after making selected starts in recent years, as well as dabbing with LMP2 racing in both Europe and Asia.

“I think Tristan and I will mesh well together, we’ve got similar personalities and approaches,” McMurry said.

“We’ve also both raced GT cars so have experience being the slower traffic, so we understand what that perspective is like and hopefully we can put that to good use this year.”

The team recently took delivery of its new Cadillac DPi at Dallara’s U.S. headquarters in Indianapolis, ahead of the 2018 season.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. TailsLeMans722

    December 22, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    Good to finally have confirmation. Shame they couldn’t find a sponsor to replace VisitFlorida though.

    • Ryan

      December 22, 2017 at 5:22 pm

      The sponsor is Matt McMurry’s father Chris.

      • Joe

        December 22, 2017 at 5:52 pm

        Hopefully the livery won’t be as inventive as Stefan Johanson’s CART team years ago…still giggle at the thought of JIMMY and RYAN on the sidepods. It was like watching a video game every time they went by.

      • Racing fan2

        December 23, 2017 at 11:17 am

        lol, yes. You’re right on the nose with that one.

      • jaysfan

        December 25, 2017 at 10:31 am

        What sponsor? Visit Florida?

  2. Cosmo DeLuca

    December 22, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    It’s funny that this was first confirmed by Cadillac sending out emails about the car corral at Daytona.
    “exclusive team, driver and paddock access with Wayne Taylor Racing, Action Express Racing, and Spirit of Daytona Racing.”

  3. David Chaste

    December 22, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    The fight for the Trueman Atkin trophy just heated up.

    I remember when Chris Mcmurry’s (Matt’s Dad) business redesigned the ALMS’s website my poor pentium 3 just couldnt cope with the new graphic and flash intensive layout.

    In the ALMS when Chris McMurry raced with the Autocon team in their LMP1 Creation and had his namesilo ad name on the side, they also advertised the site so much during the broadcast i had to check out. Then i realized it was what i needed. I then began rooting for them. To date i have bought over 100 names from them. I wonderif namesilo will be a sponsor here.

  4. Bernard walker

    December 23, 2017 at 11:17 pm

    More Usa teams with Ford and Ferrari. 🌃 testing very 👌 😎

  5. Andres

    December 24, 2017 at 3:10 am

    Where will Goossens drive??

    • David Chaste

      December 24, 2017 at 10:34 am

      No riley connection no Goose.

      But he’s of the generation of Pruitt, Angeleli, Taylor Sr, Darren Law, etc. Most no longer drive prototypes. Their experience make them valuable and they’re still fast. So you have to pay for their speed and experience. But there are younger guys just as fast or faster but without the experience.

      Vautier is very fast but will probably cost less than The Goose, because of his inexperience.

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