Cadillac V-Performance racing team Whelen Engineering Cadillac finished second in today’s running of the IMSA WeatherTech Championship Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac came in third and the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac finished in fifth.
Starting from pole position for the 250-mile race on the Monterey Peninsula, Ricky Taylor had the wheel of the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R and led handily through his first stint. Ricky handed the black Cadillac over to brother Jordan 50-minutes into the race. Just prior to the first caution flag, at the race’s halfway point, Dane Cameron, No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R, was able to get by the No. 10 Konica Minolta car and take the lead. At the restart, with just over an hour left, it was the Cadillac DPi-V.R cars in the top three with Whelen Engineering leading, Konica Minolta and Mustang Sampling all upfront.
As the last pit stop cycled through, the No. 90 Ligier was able go into second place on speed and fuel strategy. In the last 15 minutes, Cameron had a slight off track error which allowed the second place running No. 90 Ligier to close in within a second. With just two minutes remaining, Renger Van Der Zande in the Ligier used the cars downforce up the hill to get inside Cameron to take the lead and the win.
“It was a hard race,” Cameron said. “The guys did a great job in the pits to get us to the front and in a great position. I made a couple mistakes at the end of the race in traffic that gave the 90 the shot to get by us. I didn’t have much left in the rear of the car with the tires. I am proud of the effort by the team. Good to be second, but disappointing as well after leading with just two laps to go. Good job by Eric and the team all day.”
“We led for a long time at the end,” Curran said. “I thought we had the car to make it to the end. The 90 car has more downforce and a stronger car over a long run. At this track, it is slippery and you need a lot of downforce which was taken away from our Cadillac. At the end, I think Dane just ran out of tires. The 90 car did a good job. It would have been nice to get the win. We will move on to Petit.”
Jordan Taylor was able to get the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac team up on the podium with a late race pass on Joao Barbosa in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac.
“The car was fast this weekend with Ricky getting pole and leading his whole first stint,” Jordan Taylor said. “When I got in the car, it was difficult to drive. I think the heat and different kinds of rubber affected the car. The second drivers, didn’t seem to have the pace of the guys who started. We couldn’t take risks with strategy like the 31 car could. That is where they jumped us. We played a safe strategy and that probably cost us some track position. I was able to get by the No. 5 car into Turn 6 when he went wide dealing with traffic. I just went over and under to make the pass. It was a good finish to get up on the podium in third.”
“We just needed to get through today safely,” Ricky Taylor said. “Coming into it, we wanted to have a good race, gather some points. We couldn’t have another Mosport or Watkins Glen, so it’s a big sigh of relief and a nice little bonus being on the podium at the end, there. The Cadillac was good all day. I think the 90 car was very strong and congratulations to them. Now we can go to Atlanta and get our minimum drive time out of the way and attack for the win. I’m very excited to go there and not have to play the points game too much. This track with the sand and the wind and the pavement, it’s very hard on tires. Coming into the race, we knew it was going to be a factor – it was very, very hot. Starting off the race, I was trying to save the car a little bit. By the time I got to the end of the stint – which the stints are long here because you use a lot less fuel – the tires actually didn’t drop off as much as I expected and our car was pretty strong at the end of each run. It’s just that last stint with Jordan, unfortunately we lost those spots at the beginning of the run during the stop and we couldn’t get them all back.”
Joao Barbosa had a tough final laps when he tried to get by a slower car and went wide allowing Jordan Taylor in the No. 10 Konica Minolta to get by for the final place on the podium. A few turns later he surrendered fourth place to the No. 85 Oreca prototype relegating the Mustang Sampling Cadillac to fifth at the checker.
“It was a tough race,” Barbosa said. “With a couple laps to go, I thought I made a safe pass up into the kink into the Corkscrew, but I got hit in the right rear. That threw me off a little bit and then I got passed two other prototypes. It is disappointing. We lost some points today. We have one more to go, frustrating.”
“The car was good for the beginning of my stint,” Fittipaldi said. “Up until the middle of my run it started to get to lose. We were holding our own. We were moving between second and third the whole race. Unfortunately Joao got caught out in traffic and lost a few positions at the end. We will move onto Petit in two weeks.”
The IMSA WeatherTech Championship will conclude the season at Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, October 4-7.
Source. Kyle Chura/Cadillac Racing