Cadillac V-Performance Racing team Mustang Sampling Cadillac finished fourth today at the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio. The No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R finished fifth and the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R came home in eighth.
The racing conditions were near perfect with sunny skies and 75 degrees as the 34 car field took the green flag at 1:05 p.m. ET. The Cadillac DPi-V.R teams all had ground to make up following qualifying. With varying strategies, including the hopes of full course caution periods which never came to fruition, the speed of the winning Acura prototype could not be matched after a further reduction of horsepower by IMSA for the Cadillac teams.
Joao Barbosa and Filipe Albuquerque in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R drove hard all race to finish in fourth position. The duo, drove a near perfect race, with strong team pit stops, but just could not match the pace of the front runners today.
“It was an interesting race with no yellows, I wasn’t expecting that certainly not at Mid-Ohio since it’s a very narrow track with a lot of traffic,” Barbosa said. “Everyone behaved, which is really good! Our race was the best it could be. The team did a great job and we were able to make up a few positions. We didn’t have the outright pace, but we had a consistent car, great pit stops, and great strategy. That’s all we had today, so we move on to Detroit and hopefully we can be stronger there.”
“The track itself is pretty interesting, but we didn’t have the grip that I wish we did,” Albuquerque said. “Overall the winning car was in a different category than everyone else. But it was a clean race with no adventures with the safety car, which could have played a little better for us. We did win our brand race being the best Cadillac. It was a smart race because we gained points towards the championship. In my opinion, the team won the race, they did a brilliant job with strategy, with our stops and made the most of whatever we had.”
The Wayne Taylor led Konica Minolta Cadillac team with drivers Renger Van Der Zande and Jordan Taylor also had a strong day coming to the checkered flag in fifth.
“I think we were kind of in our own race today,” Taylor said. “We couldn’t really race with the lead pack, which was the top four cars. So basically, we were racing for fifth and sixth for most of the race and, once someone else fell out, we were battling for fourth and fifth. We thought we had the right strategy. I’m not sure what went wrong, how we got jumped, but I still think it was the right strategy. But considering what we have, I think we can be happy with a fifth-place finish. Looking at the championship, it’s good to be consistent, especially when you have so many good cars in the field, now. You can’t risk a bad finish. So, considering how we didn’t have the fastest car, I think coming away with good points is pretty good.”
“We were racing the No. 5 today,” Van Der Zande said. “Everyone in front us was at a different level of speed. I drove very hard. I drove very fast. I though my stint was flawless, basically. Somehow, the No. 5 beat us, which we have to find out why. At the same time, Jordan did a great job, the team did a great job. I love this track. Apart from the fact you can’t overtake cars in your own class, I really enjoyed the track itself. It’s an intense place. To get the lap time you want, you really have to nail it, which makes it quite special. I was really happy to be racing here this weekend.”
Felipe Nasr and Eric Curran were able to battle up to eighth in their No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R.
“It’s fun to come back to Mid-Ohio and run our Whelen Cadillac around here,” Curran said. “We got a little off on the initial set-up of the car, it was really loose. We made some adjustments to make up for it later in our run. But the leaders had a ton of speed today, so we’ll just move on to the next one. We got a few points and came away with an eighth-place finish, but we just have to keep charging forward and get back up to the front. I look forward to racing in Detroit.”
“I worked very hard today,” Nasr said. “It was a difficult weekend for us in general. I felt like I did everything I could. This track is a lot more difficult to overtake even compared to Long Beach because of the loss of downforce. Looking at the positive, we still scored a few points and I am ready for the next race already to make up some ground.”
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will travel to Detroit, for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix, June 1-2.
Source. Kyle Chura/Cadillac Racing