Though finest recognized for his exploits within the DTM with Audi, Rockenfeller has been competing in main enduros on either side of the Atlantic for almost 20 years, successful each the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Daytona 24 Hours in a single calendar 12 months in 2010.
The German driver known as time on his glittering DTM profession after 15 consecutive seasons in 2021, strongly hinting he sees his future in long-distance prototype races and never in GT3 equipment.
As a primary step in the direction of that aim, Rockenfeller joined Action Express Racing for the 4 large IMSA enduros in 2022, driving the staff’s second Cadillac DPi V.R. alongside Kamui Kobayashi, Jose Maria Lopez, plus Jimmie Johnson at Daytona.
It marked the continuation of his relationship with Common Motors, having represented each Cadillac and Chevrolet manufacturers over time within the US.
Rockenfeller mentioned he’s now aiming to extend his ties with Cadillac, which is currently working on a Dallara-built LMDh contender, however didn’t rule out racing for a unique producer in IMSA’s new GTP class in 2023.
“LMDh is interesting, for certain. My aim is to drive within the IMSA subsequent 12 months full-time,” Rockenfeller informed Autosport.
“I will take the very best alternative. Proper now I am tremendous pleased to drive a Cadillac and I might even be tremendous pleased to drive a Cadillac sooner or later, however there are different producers additionally coming in fact, I believe BMW is a really attention-grabbing one.
“On the finish, it isn’t 100% in my fingers. First I must have provides on the desk to choose. However clearly it is one thing I am wanting ahead to.
“I am pleased with Caddy, however undoubtedly IMSA could be my most popular programme.”
#48 Motion Categorical Cadillac DPi: Mike Rockenfeller
Picture by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images
Rockenfeller has needed to endure two tough races at first of the IMSA season as a consequence of components out of his management, with the #56 Cadillac ending fifth and sixth at Daytona and Sebring respectively within the seven-car DPi class.
Within the Daytona season opener, Johnson collided with a GT automobile at Flip three and misplaced 23 laps within the pits for repairs, whereas a brake downside wrecked the staff’s possibilities of a robust end at Sebring final month.
Rockenfeller admitted that it was laborious to just accept the streak of unhealthy luck that hit the #56 crew within the opening two rounds, fearing it would have an effect on his means to land a high seat in IMSA subsequent season.
“I am very pissed off as you may think about,” mentioned the 38-year-old. “Once you solely do 4 races in IMSA and two of these are gone they usually have been actually unhealthy.
“The one you may say it is our personal fault, Jimmie had an incident however nonetheless it was unhealthy luck one. It may have gone a lot better. For certain we’d have fought no less than for the rostrum.
“And in Sebring the identical factor. You attempt to hold the factor in a single piece, do a very good race, get your rhythm. I used to be pleased, I used to be doing good lap instances within the automobile. And impulsively the brake was smoking.
“However then you do not suppose the factor would fail, after which we had a brake failure with two or three hours to go till the chequered flag and the race was over. Very irritating.
“50% [of the races] have been unhealthy and nonetheless no consequence. Nonetheless, I am taking a look at myself. I want outcomes to get hopefully a very good drive for subsequent 12 months.
“Then again I take a look at the lap instances, I take a look at my very own efficiency, did I make any errors, what did I do to the staff and the way was my motion going.
“So I am pleased with that type of factor. So hopefully folks will recognise that. On the finish of the day that is all I can do.”