Cadillac V-Performance Racing teams Konica Minolta Cadillac, Mustang Sampling Cadillac and Whelen Engineering Cadillac are headed to Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin for the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase to run Aug. 3-5.
Whelen Engineering leads Prototype championship
Cadillac teams one, two and three in championship
Joao Barbosa returns to Mustang Sampling seat
Konica Minolta looking for first win on season
With just three rounds remaining in the IMSA Championship season, Whelen Engineering Cadillac drivers Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr lead the prototype championship standings with 198 points. Filipe Albuquerque and the Mustang Sampling Cadillac team are just one point behind in the standings. Jordan Taylor and Renger Van Der Zande along with their Konica Minolta Cadillac team hold down the third position with 188 points. In the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup standings Cadillac teams, again, are one, two and three with Whelen Cadillac also leading the endurance standings.
Road America, known as America’s National Park of Speed, is a driver favorite and one of the world’s fastest permanent road courses. The 4-mile, 14-turn undulating road course located an hour north of Milwaukee features turns like The Kink and Canada Corner and some of the best track food on the schedule.
The Konica Minolta Cadillac team, winners of five races in 2017, are still winless on the season. In addition to being winless on the season, the Konica Minolta team has never won at Road America. Drivers Jordan Taylor and Renger Van Der Zande will be driving to get on the top step of the podium for the first time this season and the first time in team history come Sunday.
“Road America is one of only two tracks on the schedule (Mid-Ohio being the other) where the team has never won,” Taylor said. “We’ve had really odd situations over the years that have taken us out of contention – some mechanical problems, some things out of our control. Last year, we could have really fought for the win, but we were in championship mode. We have almost always had strong cars there that can compete for the win, so we can go back with that confidence. I really enjoy the track and layout. It’s a really long lap, so it can be challenging to string a good lap together, but it feels that much better when you do. It has a bit of everything – high-speed corners, low-speed, elevation changes, and some world-renowned corners like the Carousel and the Kink. It’s also a bit of an engineering challenge because you have lots of long straights where you don’t want any drag, but you also want that aero for the tight and technical sections, so there’s always a bit of a compromise. It’s hard to really know how we’ll stack up this year, especially with all the new changes. All we can really do is focus on our own program and maximize what we are in control of. It’s another two-hour and 40-minute race, so I think that suits our team with the added options of strategy. We have been putting ourselves in the right positions in these past few races to fight for the win and that’s exactly what we need to keep doing.”
Joao Barbosa is returning to the seat of the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac after recovering from a cycling accident. He has been absent from the seat since the round at Detroit, missing Watkins Glen and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Barbosa and Filipe Albuquerque are poised for a good run this weekend in Wisconsin.
“I’m very excited to be back, it has been a long time,” Barbosa said. “I’ve been doing everything I can to be as ready as possible and training as hard as the doctors will let me. I was at the shop this week and just working on getting in and out of the car to be sharp for our driver changes. I’m looking forward to getting back and Road America is a great place to do it!”
Curran and the Whelen Engineering Cadillac team will be teaching Nasr the nuances of driving Road America as it will be his first visit to the track.
“I just love racing at this track,” Curran said. “Not only does it have everything as far as fast corners-which are a blast in the Whelen Cadillac DPi-V.R-and slow corners and some really technical sections as well, but it also has some great fans and an awesome tradition in racing. Our goal is to just do what we can to keep the Whelen Cadillac up front this weekend. Felipe (Nasr) has done a great job this year to learn new tracks, and I think he’s really going to like this one!”
Source. Kyle Chura/Cadillac Racing