Whelen Engineering Racing drivers Pipo Derani (Brazil) and Felipe Nasr (Brazil) are fresh off a solid win at Sebring two weeks ago and the team looks to carry that winning momentum into this weekend’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Road America July 31 – Aug. 2.
After a five-month layoff, and Nasr missing the race in Daytona, the Whelen Engineering team returned to its winning ways when the team qualified on the pole and won round three at Sebring. The Action Express crew hopes that winning momentum will carry them to victory circle at Road America.
“Coming off a solid victory at Sebring, we always want and expect to do the same [thing at the next track],” Derani said. “But, as we know, this championship is so tough and so competitive that the success we had two weeks ago does not always translate into the next one [race]. It was good to be finally reunited with Felipe in the same car and winning straightaway. It certainly gives us a lot of momentum heading into Road America. We don’t take anything for granted. We will arrive at Road America with the same hunger and try to repeat the victory we had a Sebring. But, we know it won’t be easy.”
“I’m looking forward to Road America this weekend,” Nasr said. “It’s one of my favourite circuits here in the U.S. It’s super fast and flowing. It has all different types of corners. It’s just phenomenal to drive. I’m looking forward to carrying the momentum from our win at Sebring, which gave everyone a nice boost – including myself and teammate Pipo. Road America is a place that takes away a lot of the tire. So, tire management will be key in the race. It’s a long lap [around Road America] and I can imagine a lot of people will be working on fuel strategies. But, nevertheless, our team will continue to work like we always do. Throughout each session, we will continue to work on our setup. We will make the car good for qualifying and the race. We certainly want to be fighting for that victory.
Whelen Engineering/Action Express won the Road Race Showcase three consecutive years from 2014-2016. In 2014, drivers João Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi put the team on the top step of the podium, followed by drivers Dane Cameron and Eric Curran who gave the team wins in 2015 and 2016. Derani won at Road America in 2017.
“The team has had a lot of success at Road America and so did I in 2017 with a pretty spectacular race,” Derani said. “I love Road America. It’s a fantastic track. It has a lot of high-speed corners, up and down. It’s possibly one of my favorite tracks in the United States – together with Sebring and Road Atlanta. It’s quite amazing to drive. It’s even better when you can drive such a fantastic car like the Cadillac DPi-V.R. I’m really looking forward to the race. Hopefully we can have a fantastic race and keep winning, which is what Whelen Engineering/Action Express expects and deserves for such a fantastic job they do on and off the track.”
“Whelen Engineering/Action Express has a great history at that track and Derani won there in 2017,” Nasr said. “We’ve got a good mix of positive points to carry us over into this weekend. We will be pushing that No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R to the maximum. Hopefully, we’ll have another good weekend all around. I’m looking forward to it.”
Through three rounds, Derani is fifth and Nasr is ninth in the Driver’s Championship Point Standings, while Whelen Engineering is fifth in the DPi Team Championship.
Source. Whelen Engineering Racing/Photo. Brian Cleary