At the drop of the green chaos ensued with a crash in the esses on the first lap. On the restart the No. 31 Whelen Cadillac DPi-V.R had a left rear puncture going into Turn 8 and came to a stop in the gravel trap. Whelen driver Felipe Nasr was attempting a pass on the team car No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R and had contact, but was able to continue. The 31 had to make repairs to the rear wing sending them two laps down early.
As the race progressed it was clear that the Mazda DPi cars had the measure of the field. The No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R team of Renger Van Der Zande and Jordan Taylor had a near perfect run which only rendered a fourth place finish and the highest finisher for the brand.
“I think it was a perfect day for us, relatively speaking, about as well is it could go from a team perspective,” Taylor said. “We made no mistakes on strategy or on track. Fifth place was probably the best we could’ve hoped for and we finished fourth, so it was like a mini victory considering the performance and I think we can just go on to the next one. It’ll be a similar situation, unfortunately, so all we can really focus on is what we can control and we’ll try and execute just as well as we did here today.”
The early puncture cost the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R drivers valuable track time. Felipe Nasr, Pipo Derani and Eric Curran were able to muster a seventh place at The Glen.
“From the beginning, I felt that we had a good shot,” Nasr said. “We made up a position and then the first caution threw debris across the track. When we took the restart, the car was handling really well but when I went through the “boot” I felt a large wiggle. As I was going into Turn 8 is when I heard a big noise come from the left rear of the car – that is when the tire went, making me a passenger from then on. We were lucky that our misfortune didn’t take out both Action Express cars. It was a racing incident that we just could not control. Combining that incident with the car not having the pace to compete with the front runners made for a tough day. I am not giving up on this championship so we will turn around and focus on the next race in just a few days. After a race like this, it is the best thing that we get to turn around and race again next weekend and hopefully we have a better day at CTMP!”
Filipe Albuquerque, Joao Barbosa and Mike Conway drove the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R to a sixth place finish.
“The car was very, very good!” Albuquerque said. “I am quite happy with the work we have been doing. This season we have had weekends where we struggled with the overall set-up of the car but today we nailed it. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t our day. We had some bad luck getting caught in incidents that were out of our control. We are so close to the limit that small timing changes pushed us over and caused our drive through penalty. I am happy that we are finally understanding where we need to set-up the car, but we had too many struggles today to get us anywhere.”
Rene Binder and Will Owen drove the No. 50 Juncos Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R to an eighth place finish at The Glen.
“This weekend we learned a lot, made progress, and were dealt with some unfortunate situations during the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen,” Owen said. “The car’s balance was the best it has been this year. Our Cadillac DPi-V.R had great pace, we were running times close to the other Cadillac’s throughout the race. It’s unfortunate we could not get a better finish after being dealt with some situations that I have never experienced in my racing career. We will regroup this week and be ready for next weekend in Canada.”
Stephen Simpson in the No. 84 JDC Miller Cadillac DPi-V.R had contact at the exit of the Bus Stop an hour and forty five minutes into the race. He was passing a GTD car and it slid high sending him spinning into the wall affecting the right rear of the car. The team made repairs but it cost several laps. Simpson, Simon Trummer and Chris Miller came to the line in ninth today.
“It was a tough one,” Miller said. “After last year winning here it was disappointing. Our Cadillac did a lot of good things but we still have some work to do to get the most out of it. This race is not one we will dwell on too long. We had some electrical issues early on, we need to get that behind us. We will look forward and the team moves onto Canada next weekend.
Misha Goikhberg, Tristan Vautier and Juan Piedrahita in the No. 85 JDC-Miller Cadillac DPi-V.R finished the six hours of racing in 11th.
“I think we had a good Cadillac today,” Piedrahita said. “The circumstances that Misha had cost us some more laps. We had some more contact and that resulted in additional pit stops. We had good pace, but this place is so fast you just can’t make up ground.”
The teams will continue north to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for the Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix to run next weekend, July 5-7.
Source. Kyle Chura/Cadillac Racing/Photo. Cadillac/Richard Prince