Cadillac V-Performance Racing teams Mustang Sampling, Konica Minolta and Whelen Engineering are ready to run the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio this weekend, May 4-6.
– Mustang Sampling Cadillac leads IMSA Prototype points
– IMSA returns to Mid-Ohio after five-year absence
– Cadillac DPi-V.R receives 0.6 mm smaller air restrictor
– Spirit of Daytona Cadillac back for next round in Detroit
The IMSA Championship is returning to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course after a five-year absence. The 2.25-mile, 13-turn Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course known for its signature Carousel and Key Hole turns will be a challenge for the three Cadillac Racing teams competing this weekend. The Cadillac DPi-V.R race cars will be running with a 0.6 mm smaller restrictor this weekend.
The Mustang Sampling Cadillac team comes into the fourth round of the IMSA Prototype Championship leading the points on the strength of their wins at the Rolex 24 Hour at Daytona and at the last race through the streets of Long Beach. Drivers Filipe Albuquerque and Joao Barbosa are poised for a strong run this weekend, with Albuquerque, once again, learning a new circuit. Barbosa was a member of the No. 5 team, who won at Mid-Ohio the last time the series visited the circuit, then under the Grand-Am banner.
“Mid-Ohio is a track where we have had some really good success including winning there the last time Grand-Am was there,” Barbosa said. “I am happy it is back on the schedule. I think it will be special to drive there with the higher performance of the Cadillac DPi-V.R so that is something I’m really looking forward to experiencing. Even though we’ve raced there in the past, everything is new and there really isn’t anything that will carry over from the old cars, so we will be starting with a clean sheet of paper. We are doing our homework the best that we can.”
“Everyone talks very well about Mid-Ohio, I did some laps on the simulator in iRacing and the elevation changes seem like it will be a pretty cool place to race,” Albuquerque said. “After two bumpy tracks it will be nice to be back to a smooth one again! My approach to learning the track worked well in Long Beach and I will keep fine-tuning that for these new races-for me- that we are going to this year.”
The Whelen Engineering Cadillac team (second in championship) had a strong run going at Long Beach from their front row starting position but could not translate it to a top finish. The duo of Felipe Nasr and Eric Curran are looking to get the team’s first win of 2018 this weekend at Mid-Ohio.
“Mid-Ohio is a pretty awesome place and I’ve never been there in a Prototype, so I’m really looking forward to the weekend and getting to drive the Whelen Cadillac Prototype there,” Curran said. “Our team did a great job at Long Beach and we had a great car, but our good racing luck didn’t make the trip out to California with us! Mid-Ohio has some awesome fans and I think it’s great that IMSA got us back there again, so we will look to get back to the top of the podium this weekend at Mid-Ohio.”
Jordan Taylor and Renger Van Der Zande are still racing their way back into the championship, steadily making up points since a tough Rolex 24 Hour at Daytona (currently fourth in the standings). The duo is looking forward to putting the black No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R race car on the undulating natural terrain Mid-Ohio road course this weekend.
“I think our car will be a lot of fun to drive around Mid-Ohio,” Taylor said. “I’ve driven a whole range of cars around there, from Continental ST, Grand-Am GT cars, and then the last time being the old Daytona Prototype. It’s a tight and technical track, so I think it’s going to be an extremely tough race getting through traffic. It’s a tough track to pass on, so qualifying is really important. Track position is a big part of the game when you go to Mid-Ohio. If we find ourselves a little behind in the race, we’ve seen in the past that different strategies can work out. Whether it’s fuel strategies or tires, teams can make some interesting calls to win these races.”
The green flag drops on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio on Sunday, May 6 at 1 p.m.
Source. Kyle Chura/Cadillac Racing