Cadillac V-Performance racing team Mustang Sampling will start the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Chevrolet Sports Car Classic of Detroit on the pole for Saturday’s 100-minute race. The team car No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac will start second, making it an all Cadillac front row.
The No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R led the way with the fastest time in the first practice this morning. The No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R set the pace in the second practice this afternoon.
In the 15-minute qualifying session Ricky Taylor had the back-end of the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R step-out on him touching the exit wall at Turn 4. The contact stranded the car on track and ended the session. Ricky walked away and the team will have the championship leading Cadillac ready for the warm-up at 8 a.m. tomorrow morning. The team will start from 12th on the prototype grid.
The red flag and subsequent end of the qualifying session after just seven minutes initially frustrated Eric Curran in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac.
After a review by the IMSA officials, the rule book dictated that Christian Fittipaldi, by matter of points, was announced as the pole sitter for the race. He and teammate Joao Barbosa have their second pole of the season, first was at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January.
“It is a lot easier to drive a race car than go through all of this rule complication to get a pole position,” Fittipaldi said. “I am happy to be starting in the front. I am still a little frustrated the way it happened. We have an extremely competitive car and I wanted to show that in qualifying. Sometimes the rules go in your favor and sometimes they don’t – today they did. It is great to be starting the third consecutive year on pole here in Detroit. I will take it. Tomorrow is what really counts. We will try our best to stay out front. It is very important to start on pole at a street circuit like Detroit. It is very tough to over-take here. It is not impossible, just harder than natural road courses. Long Beach and Detroit are the two shortest races of the year. You don’t have a lot of time to come back up through the field if you have an issue. Being up front and having good track position is going to be key.”
Eric Curran and Dane Cameron will start the red Whelen Cadillac from the front row in second.
“It is too bad,” Curran said. “The Whelen Cadillac has been good. We were fast in both sessions and our 31 car has been fast as well. The team is doing a great job. The car is strong here in Detroit. I felt strong in the qualifying session, the best I’ve felt in a car on this track. I wanted to see what I could do in qualifying. I am not sure how they are going to line the cars up for the race, so we will have to see. We have a really good Whelen Cadillac for the race tomorrow.”
Ricky Taylor and brother Jordan will go away from the starting grid from the sixth row.
“It was my mistake,” Ricky Taylor said. “I was pushing hard in qualifying like usual. The only regret is that it happened early in the session and we didn’t have a back-up qualifying lap. I feel bad for the team. We can still have a good race tomorrow. I am optimistic. We didn’t need this, I hate it for the team. The race is a short one and I have a lot of faith in our guys.”
The IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship Chevrolet Sports Car Classic from Belle Isle Raceway in Detroit will take the green flag at 11:30 a.m.
Source. Kyle Chura/Cadillac Racing