Whelen Engineering Racing fought to a fourth-place finish in Sunday’s IMSA Road Race Showcase at Road America. The race was the eighth of the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, which has two rounds of racing remaining for the DPi Championship.
The Sebring-winning No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R of Pipo Derani and Felipe Nasr entered the race weekend hoping to return to the lead of the IMSA championship points standings, but the team knew that it was a hard fight given the current specifications of the various DPi manufacturers.
Derani managed to qualify sixth and gained a position on the opening lap of the two-hour, 40-minute event. He then ran in fifth throughout his opening double stint.
“We limited the damage by finishing fourth when we had a car that should have finished lower in the order,” said Derani. “A big congratulations to the entire AXR team for working so hard and allowing us to finish as high as possible. We were the fastest Cadillac but it continues to be a challenge to be up front where we want to be to fight for the championship. We know our car is heavier than the cars that are finishing ahead of us. We don’t know of anything else we can do but try to diet and lose weight, and maybe send some cheeseburgers and milk shakes over to our competitors!”
Nasr took over at the one-hour mark and quickly moved up to fourth – a position he held for most of the remainder of the race.
“We maximized what we had this weekend,” said Nasr, who ran third for three laps during a round of pit stops. “We have a good race car but we have struggled with all of the weight that has been added. We did the best job we could and the Action Express team keeps the fight going. We still have two races to go and I hope the series looks at our situation so we can remain competitive to the end.”
Derani and Nasr remain in title contention. The race result has the duo provisionally second in the championship standings with two more races yet to go.
The next action for the Whelen Engineering Cadillac will be at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on Sept. 15, followed by the season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on Oct. 12.
Source. Sunday Group