The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is heading to Sebring International Raceway for the season finale Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, to run November 12-14.
Konica Minolta Cadillac drivers Van Der Zande and Briscoe second in points
Derani third in points
Cadillac leads manufacturer championship
Cadillac holds the IMSA Dpi Manufacturer’s Championship lead by one point to Acura and the No. 7 Acura leads the DPi Drivers’ Championship over the No.10 Konica Minolta Cadillac by two points heading into the season finale this weekend. Pipo Derani is third, just nine points out of the championship.
The Sebring 12 hours which, prior to COVID-19, held a spot on the IMSA WeatherTech calendar in March was moved to the season finale when the schedule adjusted. This is good news for the Cadillac teams, as they have won the once around the clock race two of the last three years, Whelen Engineering Cadillac in 2019, Konica Minolta Cadillac in 2017.
Konica Minolta Cadillac drivers Renger Van Der Zande and Ryan Briscoe will be joined once again by IndyCar Champion Scott Dixon to try and give them the boost to win this year’s DPi Championship.
“We have a big thriller of an event coming up with the 12 hours of Sebring” Van Der Zande said. “We’ve been fighting for this championship all year long and it’s come down to scoring three points more than the No. 7 Acura car and keeping an eye out on the No. 31 Cadillac which is seven points behind us. Normally the long races are good for us, but Sebring is a tough race and it’s going to be hot even though we’re late in the season. I think it’s going to be an exciting weekend and we have a strong driver line-up. It’s going to be a long race and all focus is on that as it’s going to be a fight. This will be my last race with Wayne Taylor Racing and I would like to take the opportunity to thank our sponsors with a win and a championship. So, the goal is a win.”
Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani will be joined by Gabby Chaves in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R to close the season. The team will need to win and have some of the competitors in front of them in points have some bad luck to win the championship.
“It always good to be back at Sebring,” Derani said. “It’s a track I’ve had a lot of success at in the past. The team has done pretty well there the last two races. Usually, we race at Sebring in March, and earlier this year, we raced there in July. So, this time, I think things will be different because we are racing in November and the weather is going to have an influence in terms of performance. However, I’m confident we will have a good car. It’s always good to be going back to a place where the racing is going to be fantastic and a place where we know we’ve been strong. It would be fantastic to bring another win home.”
The No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac team of Tristan Vautier and Sebastien Bourdais will return Loic Duval to the seat this weekend.
“The last few races have been challenging for the Mustang Sampling Cadillac team,” Bourdais said. “We are looking forward to turning things around. We were very competitive there back in July. Michelin is bringing a softer tire which doesn’t always bode well for us. Hopefully our baseline setup will help us to be racy this weekend and we can make a few changes to control tire degradation. I have been doing well with Tristan the last few races and we look forward to reuniting with Loic. I am hoping for a competitive dry weekend.”
The No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsport Cadillac DPi-V.R will have Stephen Simpson and Matheus Leist in the car for this weekend along with Scott Andrews. Andrews is new to the yellow Cadillac and a European Le Mans Race Winner.
“Scott Andrews joins us this weekend, he is a young, fast driver and I’m happy that he will be getting a big chance,” Simpson said. “Sebring is a challenging race, it is very physical especially because of the bumps. Having a car that is good when the sun goes down is very important as well as handling very well through turns 1 and 17. Typically, you will see a few cars that are fast during the day but fade at night, so making sure we can finish strongly in the dark will be important.”
Cadillac Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Driver Line-up:
No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R, Renger Van Der Zande, Ryan Briscoe, and Scott Dixon
No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R, Felipe Nasr, Pipo Derani, and Gabby Chaves
No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R, Sebastien Bourdais, Tristan Vautier, and Loic Duval
No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi-V.R, Stephen Simpson, Matheus Leist, and Scott Andrews
Source. Kyle Chura/Photo. Cadillac/Richard Prince