Whelen Engineering Racing drivers Pipo (Felipe) Derani (Brazil), Felipe Nasr (Brazil) and Filipe Albuquerque (Portugal) are ready this weekend’s six-hour IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, as part of the Grand Prix race weekend, Sept. 4-6.
The Whelen Engineering/Action Express team brings a lot of momentum with them heading into this weekend’s race after coming off back-to-back podium finishes, which included a race win at Sebring and a third-place finish at Road America. This weekend, full-season drivers Derani and Nasr will be joined by Albuquerque for the six-hour race and the team has high expectations for another race win given that the team won Petit Le Mans a year ago at this track
“Of course, we’ve had a lot of momentum over the past few races, with a win and a podium finish,” Derani said. “But most importantly, we’re going to a track [Road Atlanta] where we’ve had a lot of success in the past. We won the last time at Petit Le Mans. This gives us confidence that we will be able to arrive with a car, straight out of the box, that is very quick. This is a different time (early September) of the year compared to the race last year (mid-October). But still, we believe we’ll have a great Cadillac from the very first practice. Expectations are high. We hope we can continue to fight for wins and try to bring back our North American Endurance Cup Championship – as this is one of the long races.
“It’s great to have Filipe [Albuquerque] back with us. He’s been a great part of the team. He did a fantastic job for us at Daytona. It couldn’t be any better than the three Felipe’s back together in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac.”
“I’m looking forward to getting back into the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac this weekend at Road Atlanta,” Nasr said. “It’s a place I really enjoy driving. It’s pretty unique – combination of corners and pretty fast at the same time. It’s always eye-catching to be driving the Esses at Road Atlanta. It’s nice to be bringing the momentum from the last two races, with a race win and a podium finish. We have two in the pocket. But, we still expect to win. The whole Action Express racing team and crew will be doing their best to get the top spot.
“Having won the race last year, and also scored the pole position as well, I think we’ve got a pretty good baseline at Road Atlanta. I really enjoy driving that track. We will also have [Filipe] Albuquerque joining us this weekend. This will be a great addition to the team. He’s a very experienced driver. The Last time he was with us was earlier this year at Daytona. I would expect that he would be up to speed very quickly and helping us put the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac up front. The same for Pipo [Derani]. It’s a great trio of drivers we have. I’m glad to be part of this team and I’m sure we’ll be doing all we can to bring home another victory.”
“I can’t wait to join the Whelen Express/Action Express team this weekend,” Albuquerque said. “It’s been a long time since I was with everyone and I’m very much looking forward to this race. My teammates and I are always motivated for each race. And, I think Pipo, Felipe and I have a good shot at a great result this weekend.”
Through four rounds, Derani is fourth (115) and Nasr (89) is ninth in the Driver’s Championship Point Standings, while Whelen Engineering is fourth in the DPi Team Championship.
The IMSA weekend gets underway with its first practice at 10 a.m. (ET) Friday, Sept. 4, followed by Practice #2 (DPi/GTLM) at 2:40 p.m. and a 15-minute LMP2/DPi qualifying session at 7:25 p.m. The round five green flag will drop at 11:35 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 5. Live race coverage begins at 11:30 a.m. through 12:30 p.m. on NBCSN. Coverage then moves to Track Pass from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. NBCSN’s coverage continues at 2:30 p.m. through the race’s end.
Source. Whelen Engineering/Photo. Brian Cleary