Having only been bested once this season, the Cadillac DPi-V.R will get back on the track this weekend at the 2.2-mile, 11-turn road course located on the Monterey Penninsula known for its signature Corkscrew turn.
The three Cadillac DPi-V.R teams are 1-2-3 in the driver point standings. Konica Minolta drivers Ricky and Jordan Taylor lead the points with 258, Mustang Sampling drivers Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi are second with 238 and Whelen Engineering’s Eric Curran and Dane Cameron are third with 227.
“Laguna has been a good track for us, historically, but this year we go back with the Cadillac for the first time,” Jordan Taylor said. “The last few years we’ve had one of the fastest cars, so I have confidence in the team that we understand what it takes to make a car quick around there. I’ve always enjoyed driving there, so I’m looking forward to getting back.
Konica Minolta Cadillac can mathematically clinch the championship this weekend.
“I think we go into this weekend the same as we have been all year,” Taylor continued. “If we start getting caught up trying to be safe and conservative, that’s when you make mistakes. The way we’ve been approaching these weekends has been working, so there is no reason to change that at this point.”
Since the team last raced at Road America, the Pirelli World Challenge SprintX ended and Jordan Taylor won the two-driver championship with Michael Cooper. “The SprintX Championship was a bit odd, how it was a championship inside a championship. For me, I was obviously happy to win it because it was the only part I was involved with over there. There were a lot of good drivers and teams that we were up against. I have always enjoyed being involved with Cadillac Racing, and it was a great experience doing it all with Michael Cooper as my teammate.”
The track, located within seal’s bark from Monterey Bay, is as unique as any circuit on the IMSA WeatherTech schedule. Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi will be looking to get the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R back to victory lane.
“It would be great if there was a track that we’d run already this season that would be similar to use as a base when thinking about our set-up, but Monterey is so different from anything else that we’ve got to come up with something specific for the track,” said Barbosa, who like Fittipaldi, first took to the track in open wheel competition. “There isn’t much grip, so the car can slide around a lot and that can make it hard on the tires. You’ve got to be able to find a balance where the car is stable through the stint so you can deliver the lap times all the way through.
“The car does so many things in a short time when you are going through the Corkscrew with how you are loading and unloading it through the corner-it is very technical. We’ve not had the best luck in the past at this track, but we have been working hard to change that. I think that no matter what, it will be a very good race for the fans. It is at the point in IMSA where there are five or six very good cars every race and you’ve got no idea who is going to win. Hopefully it will be us!”
Dane Cameron and Eric Curran are looking to add another win to their season resume behind the wheel of the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac.
“It has been a long time since Road America-I am ready to go right now!” said Cameron. “I grew up in Northern California so Laguna Seca was where my family went to watch races, and has always been my home track. I’ve had some good races there through the years, and am definitely looking forward to driving the Whelen Cadillac there this weekend. We’ve got two more races to try to win this season, and we’ve been working hard to be able to close out the year on a very strong note.”
So far in 2017 Cadillac V-Performance teams have won the Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona, Twelve Hours of Sebring, Long Beach, Circuit of the Americas, Detroit, Watkins Glen, and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
The IMSA WeatherTech Championship Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix will run this weekend Sept. 22-24. Qualifying will take the green on Saturday at 12:20 p.m. PT. The race will start at 2 p.m. PT on Sunday
Source. Kyle Chura/Cadillac Racing