Cadillac V-Performance racing team Whelen Engineering Cadillac won the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) today. The Mustang Sampling Cadillac was sixth and the Konica Minolta Cadillac came home seventh. The win is the seventh in as many races for the Cadillac DPi-V.R prototype in IMSA competition.
Ricky Taylor had the controls of the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R at the start of race. Ricky was able to hold off the speedier No. 85 Oreca for the first hour until he got held up in traffic and the yellow 85 went by. Just a half hour later, they pitted together and the Konica Minolta team was able to get him back out in front for valuable track position around the 2.4-mile, 10-turn CTMP circuit.
Fifty-minutes into the race, a full course caution flew and rain began to fall on the back half of the circuit. The yellow timing was within the pit window. The No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R team stayed on slicks, the 85 Oreca went to rains, the No. 31 Whelen Cadillac DPi-V.R went on rains, but just for five-minutes, which helped them make up position. The 85 and the 31 car then had to come back to pit lane a few laps after the race went green to put slicks back on. This gave Cadillac a 1-2-3 on the race track with the Konica Minolta Cadillac leading, the Whelen Engineering Cadillac in second and the Mustang Sampling Cadillac in third.
With 21-minutes remaining, Jordan Taylor had a 14-second lead and went to the outside of two GTLM cars going into Turn 2. The younger Taylor had contact sending him into the wall causing rear wing damage to the black Cadillac. This turned the race lead over to the red Whelen Engineering Cadillac that went onto win.
“Tires without treads in the wet is kind of hard,” Cameron said. “It feels great to get a win on the board. We will take the luck today. It is tricky. The way the track is oriented you can get some rain on just part of the circuit as we did today. You have to rely on the guys on the box for some help to know what is coming. We got some heavy rain on half of the track. Most people put on wets, then it went dry really fast. The guys made the right call to keep us on slicks to get us to the front. I couldn’t get full throttle on the back stretch. Everyone was fighting for the same race track. It came back to us when some of the cars got together. We will take this luck after our tough start to the season.”
“This was a day where we didn’t expect to win,” Curran said. “We didn’t have the best handling Whelen Cadillac today, but people were pitting for rains and back to dry and then the 10 car had their incident and it came back to us. We fought it all day and all weekend. First win of the year! This is a good start to the second half of the season for us. I am excited for Sonny Whelen at Whelen Engineering and everyone at Cadillac.”
With 10-minutes remaining, Joao Barbosa had an incident in traffic which caused a lazy spin. He was able to recover, but lost track position and valuable points to the championship leading Konica Minolta team.
“It was tough weekend,” Barbosa said. “We lost a great opportunity to close the gap to the 10 in the championship hunt. The GT guys protect their positions out there when they are not in the race for the win. He brake checked me and I didn’t expect it. I went on the brakes to avoid him and I touched the 85. I was able to get going, but I lost some positions. We closed the gap to the 10 car a little bit. It is better than nothing. We still have a lot of work to do.”
“I am very happy for the team, but upset for the 5 car,” Fittipaldi said. “We had a shot at closing the gap in the championship and we lost that opportunity. Unfortunately, we may have lost our greatest opportunity to get close on points to the 10 in the championship. To think two races ago we were 30 points behind. We will turn the page and see what we can get the last three races.”
Jordan and Ricky Taylor leave Canada as the DPi prototype championship leaders, but leave a potential win at CTMP.
“Our guys made the perfect call to stay on slicks,” Jordan Taylor said. “That got us a pretty nice gap on the field. It is tough to race against the 85 car on pure lap time, they are quicker. Once we made the strategy call and got track position, we had a pretty comfortable lead. Then going through traffic, I went to the outside of Turn 2 as I had done a few times today. I’m not sure if the Corvette had contact with the Ford, but the road closed up and I got clipped in the rear and we both went off. Really disappointed to give up the points and the win. We had a really strong car and we had a decent points day. We have three more races left and we will be focused on having consistent runs.”
“The race started really smooth, we were in control,” Ricky Taylor said. “I was looking forward to a good points day after the first two stints. Then the rain threw a wild one at us, but we picked the right strategy to stay on slicks. It should have been a Cadillac 1-2-3. I am not sure what happened with the Corvette, looked like a wrong place at the wrong time thing for Jordan. Just unlucky. We lost minimal points on the day. We are going onto Road America as the points leaders.”
Source. Kyle Chura/Cadillac Racing