Bringing the championship points lead and an unforgettable livery that celebrates the nation’s history, the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing entry will be back in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship action this weekend as the series heads north to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP).
Sunday’s two hour and forty-minute sprint will once again feature three classes of IMSA competition on the high-speed, ten-turn circuit that is set just over an hour east of Toronto.
The team will deploy a driver lineup that mixes experience at the track with a debutant, as Christian Fittipaldi will co-drive the patriotic-liveried Mustang Sampling Cadillac Prototype with Filipe Albuquerque, who is making his first-ever start at the Canadian circuit.
“It’s a new place for me but looks like a classic, old school track which is the type of track that I really like,” said Albuquerque. “We have worked on our set up for CTMP and I’ve been watching a lot of video so I think we are as ready as we can be in our preparation.”
The visit to CTMP last year saw a potential podium charge slip away after contact from another car sent the Mustang Sampling Racing entry spinning following a brief mid-race rain shower. As Barbosa continues to heal from his training injury, Fittipaldi returns to race duty for the sprint weekend as the team looks to score another big win following victories in the Rolex 24 at Daytona as well as the Grand Prix of Long Beach.
“I’ve been on the podium there with Joao (Barbosa), but we’ve also had some bad luck there too so hopefully it will be another podium for me and Filipe (Albuquerque) on Sunday!” smiled Fittipaldi. “It is a fast track and you are really committed in some of the high speed corners. There are some good places to get through traffic but also some tight spots. Having confidence in the car is key and I’m confident we’ll have a strong car again this weekend.”
The back to back weekend schedule is also something that Fittipaldi is looking forward to.
“I don’t like the circumstances with Joao being injured and missing the races, it is really a shame for him, but just like at the Glen I want to help the team as much as I can again this weekend,” said Fittipaldi of the run to sixth place last Sunday. “In some ways it is good to have this back to back after the Glen so we can just get right back to racing and keep building on what we did last weekend and hopefully moving forward more at CTMP.”
With the 2018 season featuring several new tracks for Albuquerque as he makes his first full-season campaign in IMSA WeatherTech competition, the Portuguese racer has enjoyed learning a series of circuits that are among the best in the world.
“We will just have to see how we are when we get there,” said Albuquerque of the difference between video preparation and the real thing. “When we do the track walk the guys will help me and give me more specific tips so it will be a new experience going there than just watching, but I’m looking forward to it!”
Source. Sunday Group