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WHELEN ENGINEERING CADILLAC TO START FOURTH IN ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA

The No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R will start from the second row for this weekend’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Rolex 24 Hour At Daytona, January 25-26.

Cadillac DPi-V.R Qualifying Order:
4. No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R, 1:34.294
5. No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R, 1:34.442
6. No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi-V.R, 1:34.454
7. No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R, 1:35.047

Felipe Nasr had the wheel of the red Whelen Cadillac DPi-V.R for the 15-minute qualifying session this afternoon at the World Center of Racing. The Brazilian posted a fast lap of 1:34.294 good for fourth on the grid and the fastest of the Cadillac foursome.

“Qualifying went well,” Nasr said. “We always expect a little better. The Cadillac felt good set-up wise. We have to be happy with fourth, being the fastest Cadillac. I had a good lap going on my third timed lap. I had a 34-flat on the data, but hit traffic. I am pretty confident that we have a good package all the way around. On race pace, we have a good car and I think we will be able to move forward. The Action Express guys along with Cadillac have given us a good car. Let’s see what we can do in the Rolex 24 come Saturday.”

Ryan Briscoe, new to the Wayne Taylor led team, had the job of qualifying the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R. Briscoe put in a lap of 1:34.442 that will have him starting fifth.

“Qualifying the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R was a lot of fun today,” Briscoe said. “The car felt pretty good. It was my first time qualifying a Cadillac DPi-V.R, so if I had a bit more experience I feel like I could have gotten a little bit more out of the car and tires. I’m relatively happy. We have a strong race car. It’s [qualifying] completely meaningless for a 24-hour race, but it’s fun to go out and let it rip to see what these things can do. I was really impressed with the car’s performance in general. The Cadillac DPi-V.R is very impressive and I’m really enjoying driving it!”

In the No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi-V.R, Tristan Vautier qualified the yellow car in sixth with a time of 1:34.454. Vautier will take the green flag at 1:40 p.m. on Saturday from the third row in DPi.

“It wasn’t my best lap ever,” Vautier said. “The car has been very strong this week. We are very close to the reference Cadillac team, which is the Whelen car. We have closed the gap since last season. It is a big improvement from where we were last year here. We were a second back from the fastest Cadillac and this year we are only a tenth-and-a-half. This team works very efficiently and knows where to spend the dollars. Today was a strong effort. You always feel like there is a little more after qualifying, because you always do your best. It is never perfect. I am happy with my effort. This is a high-pressure situation for me because I don’t know what the future is made of this season for me. It is tough, but it makes you better. Hats off to the JDC-Miller team for the work since last year.”

In the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac, Joao Barbosa took the qualifying laps and ran a fast lap of 1:35.047 that will have him starting seventh on the 37-car grid on Saturday.

“We lost some track this morning with the rain,” Barbosa said. “We are still trying to find the best set-up for the race. We tried some things for qualifying and maybe it wasn’t the best way to go so we used it as another practice session to get us better prepared for the race. We are a little further in the back, but for a 24-hour race it is not the most important thing. We will learn from this session and get the Mustang Sampling Cadillac better for the race.”

Source. Kyle Chura/ Cadillac Racing/Photo. Richard Prince/Cadillac

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