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January 29, 2017

Filipe Albuquerque

Joao Barbosa

Christian Fittipaldi

Daytona Beach, Florida

THE MODERATOR: We'll keep our post‑race interviews rolling here with our second‑place finishers in the 55th Rolex 24 at Daytona. Co‑drivers of the No.5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi‑V.R, Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi, Filipe Albuquerque. This team‑‑ well, the No.5 team won the 2015 Rolex 24 at Daytona, of course Christian and Joao are two‑time WeatherTech Championship Prototype Class champions.
Christian, why don't you start us off. Obviously a tough battle throughout the entire 24 hours really among all three Cadillac DPi cars primarily. Can you just talk about the battle today and yesterday?
CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI: Well, first of all, Cadillac did an awesome job, which a lot of people think that it started a couple of months ago, and it's been going on for more than a year. We came here with proven cars. We managed to put as maximum miles as possible on them because in order to win this race, you first need a finish. So great thanks to them, and hats off for all the efforts that they did.
What can I say? It was a tough race because of the changing conditions, because of the weather. But so close, but no cigar. I guess we just have to turn the page and move on to the next one. Another thanks to Action Express, Mustang Sampling, obviously to my teammates here, which I think all three of us did a very decent job throughout the whole week, and we just have to move on.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Christian. We'll move over to Joao. Obviously you started the race from the pole position. Just walk us through how you thought it went today in the Rolex 24 for your team.
JOAO BARBOSA: Yeah, we definitely had a good Cadillac today, very, very challenging conditions, but we were able to keep with our plan and our strategy from the beginning of the race, which was just stay close to the top guys and be in the lead lap all the way to the end, and then we will go racing.
Starting from pole was good. I pushed a little bit, and then we just took good care of the car throughout the whole race. Nobody put a foot wrong. Everything was going really well, according to plan. Very challenging conditions with very cold and wet for most of the night, which made it very difficult for everybody.
But we were where we wanted to be at the end of the race, in contention for the win, and it was pretty exciting all the way to the end.
The Action Express guys have done a tremendous job with the very little amount of time that they had to give us a great Cadillac. Just our hats are off to those guys and just a shame we came up a little short today to give them the win they deserve. It's just a shame that the race was decided the way it was.
THE MODERATOR: Filipe, if you could just give us your account of the closing minutes of the race.
FILIPE ALBUQUERQUE: Well, it was a good fight, until I got hit, to be honest. There is not much to say. I had some GTs ahead of me so I could not brake so late, and I closed the door, but then I got spun. There is not much to say, and yeah, the officials took the decision. That's what it is. We finished second.

Q. Christian, in your career you've raced in Formula1, IndyCar, endurance. What do you think about the decision taken by the race control? In just two minutes, so important for the outcome of the race, without any investigation, without talking with the drivers involved? Personally I never saw a thing like that.
THE MODERATOR: To be clear, the decision was reviewed by race control and the decision was not to take action. Go ahead, Christian.
CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI: Well, what can I say? I guess it is what it is, and it boils down to did the 10 car do an awesome job throughout the whole race? Yes, they did, because they pretty much had us covered in different conditions of track, and hats off to them. It's definitely going to help sell tickets for next year. Was it a clean pass? I don't know. It was decided the way it was decided. I have to agree with you a little bit, like very quick without having analyzed, and to my understanding, Beau in the briefing was very clear about if you generate a problem or if you generate contact, you will probably be penalized for it. So I don't know.

Q. I'd like to know from each of you if you've had a chance to see the video or if you've had a chance to see the replay, what would you do in that situation? Would you have backed off or would you have done the very same thing knowing it could put you in an opportunity to win the entire race?
JOAO BARBOSA: I tell you that in TourdeFrance, when one guy fall, they wait for the other guy. I probably would have done the same, like because this is a big race, right, so we need to do whatever we can and we dive in and we brake light, and he knew that it was bad on braking. He went a little bit too much away. It happens. Really it happens. And we could see, as well, I saw a picture of Wayne Taylor, the dad, like with the hands on his face because he knew that, okay.
But if it's a true racer, he did a mistake, just back off. Don't leave, right. But he left, and then he controlled. It's what it is.
I don't know, to be honest, a true racer in my opinion, in the end, deep inside, I would feel a little bit ashamed with the win.

Q. I have a technical question. Your car engine and chassis wise is identical to the winner's car. From the chassis point of view, do you feel any difference with supplying getting parts from Dallara or treatment, or are you getting equal treatment, and also your rival on the racetrack, are you sharing information in case you would have troubles with chassis?
CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI: That could be a really long story. But we're really happy with Cadillac, really happy with the support Cadillac has been giving us. I think everybody is struggling to get parts, not only us, but the cars are brand new. There's not a lot of cars left to‑‑ building up the parts takes time. We were as prepared as we could be for the 24. We didn't stop the cars, even the 31 that had some issues. We were able to get it back on track. There was no shortage of supplies of what we needed, so there was no issue with that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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