Cadillac racing teams are heading to the penultimate round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for the running of the Monterey SportsCar Championship Powered by McLaren to run at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (WTRLS), September 13-15.
Pipo Derani and Felipe Nasr are second in IMSA DPi points
Mustang Sampling Cadillac looking for California double
Taylor and Van Der Zande were fast in 2018
Cadillac receives BoP relief for WTRLS
Nasr drives Cadillac XT6 around California
Pipo Derani and Felipe Nasr in their No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R are second in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship DPi points standings, just seven out of the top spot. The Cadillac DPi-V.R received some balance of performance (BoP) relief since the last round at Road America. The five Cadillac DPi-V.R race cars entered will be running 20 kg (44 lbs.) lighter and with a 0.3 mm larger air restrictor.
Nasr and Derani are coming to WTRLS with the goal of keeping the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R in the hunt for the championship.
“I’m looking forward to being back at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca this weekend as the championship reaches its final races,” Nasr said. “We are eager to make every opportunity out there count. Hopefully, the recent changes will give our No. 31 Whelen Cadillac DPi-V.R a better chance to fight for victory and close the gap to the leaders. I’m hungry to get the job done and Pipo knows the circuit pretty well, so we should be aiming for a solid weekend for the team.”
Renger Van Der Zande and Jordan Taylor want to finish what they started in 2018 in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R. Last year at WTRLS they were fastest in both practices and took the pole position.
“We always love going back to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca,” Taylor said. “We got a win in 2013 and a few podiums, since. And it’s always a big event for Konica Minolta. We have a lot of guests coming to the track this weekend. Last year turned out to be a disappointing day there, obviously. We had the strongest car all weekend – fastest in two practices and we got the pole – and it was tough not to capitalize on a weekend like that. This year, we hope to come out of the box strong and then finish the job on Sunday.”
The Mustang Sampling Cadillac drivers Filipe Albuquerque and Joao Barbosa are looking for the California double, having won in Long Beach in April.
“I still really haven’t had a chance to race at this track, so I’m looking forward to this weekend more than I usually am,” Albuquerque said. “Last year our race ended before the start line so that was disappointing, and it is hard to have to wait a full year to go back! It is a tricky place to get everything right because the track is changing all the time, but it is also a very fun lap. The last time we raced in California (Long Beach) we won, so I am hoping that we can do that again this weekend!”
The No. 84 JDC-Miller Cadillac DPi-V.R team with Simon Trummer and Stephen Simpson are looking to have a competitive weekend in their yellow prototype.
“I have a ‘different’ history with racing at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca,” Simpson said. “My first time at the track was 2006 when I raced in the A1 Grand Prix series. It was in winter and rained for the race! It was so cold during the weekend there was snow on the ground in the pits. I can’t even remember where I finished, but I remember having a good race with Bryan Herta! I also raced an LMP1 car at Laguna in the season finale of the 2008 ALMS series and finished fourth overall. I think our Cadillac DPi-V.R will be competitive. There aren’t any long straights and a lot of medium and high-speed corners. I am going into the weekend confident. The Corkscrew is like nothing else, it is very unique and also a thrill. It seems like even come race time and even after many years of coming to Laguna, you’re never 100 percent sure where you are going as you drove down the corner.”
Misha Goikhberg and Tristan Vautier come into the weekend confident that they can pilot the No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsport Cadillac DPi-V.R to a good result.
“WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca is the track on which I won my first major championship with Star Mazda, in 2011, and on which I won the InterContinental GT Championship title last year, so this track is very special to me,” Vautier said. “It seems like we are getting a little of bit of help BOP-wise, and that track is mainly medium-speed corners. I have good hopes this should help us be competitive. Tire management is going to be big because the track is very low grip and induces a lot of tire degradation. I can’t think of any corner that compares really, the Corkscrew is so unique. I’ve never been through it in a prototype car, so I look forward to seeing what it feels like! The track has many other very unique and interesting corners such as Turn 6, with the blind entry, and Turn 10 with that huge compression. It’s a really cool track.”
Felipe Nasr also had the opportunity to drive an all-new Cadillac XT6 on a two-week trek with some friends that took him throughout California with a pit stop in Las Vegas.
Source. Kyle Chura/Cadillac Racing/Photo. Richard Prince