The IMSA WeatherTech Championship is coming off of a two-month hiatus for the year’s first sprint race at Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course. Mid-Ohio is known for its rolling terrain and signature Carousel and Keyhole turns as well as the key passing zone into Turn 4. The 2.4-mile, 15-turn track is a driver favorite and usually makes for great multi-class racing.
JDC-Miller Motorsports drivers, Tristan Vautier and Loic Duval, are coming off a big team win at Sebring in March in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R. The duo is looking forward to entering the sprint portion of the IMSA WeatherTech schedule.
“We are looking forward to going back to Mid-Ohio and carrying our winning momentum forward,” Vautier said. “As they say, you are only as good as your last race. We have been keeping our heads down during the time off and working on the car and learning more. Mid-Ohio is a track I like with a lot of medium-speed corners. It will be a tight battle like every weekend. Everyone has a shot at the win in DPi. We will have to have strong execution from the drivers and the team. There is no time to recover from any mistakes. The team has had great pit stops this year and we will be looking to keep ourselves in the championship battle.”
Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani have shown a lot of speed all year including pole position at the Rolex 24 at Daytona. However, the speed has not translated into results on the track.
“It feels great to be back. We’ve had a very long wait,” Derani said. “Due to the reasons (pandemic-related issues) we all know, the California race was postponed until the end of the year. I think it was a necessary wait for us as a team. Of course, we are very hungry and can’t wait to be back. But, after the first two races this year, we were very unlucky. I think it was a good time to regroup. We did not start the season like we wanted to, so we’ll come back stronger this weekend.
“We had a strong result last year at Mid-Ohio, even though it’s a track that is not well-suited for our car. So, we’re going into this weekend with a re-grouped mentality in order to achieve a result like we did last year (second place) or even better (win), if possible. Hopefully, we can get a solid result from this race and try to start to turn things around because I’m pretty sure everyone on the team has worked really hard over the past two months. I’m really looking forward to this weekend.”
The Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac team will be leaning on Renger van der Zande and the team’s extensive database of Mid-Ohio to get newbie Kevin Magnussen up to speed on the track located 45-minutes north of Columbus.
“Mid-Ohio traditionally has not favored our car,” van der Zande said. “I hope we have a good chance this weekend, as I think the Acura and Mazda cars will be strong. This is a new track for Kevin. It shouldn’t be a problem. We tested at Road America and he was straight away on the pace, which is what you expect from a guy like him. It is a low-grip track. Trying to find the right window where the tire operates at its peak will be key. Mid-Ohio is a track where quite a lot can happen. Traffic is not easy. We are always in a battle with the GT cars. It easy to get stuck behind them in sections of the track. It is also a way to create a gap to the guy behind you, so it can be an advantage as well. That is the game we have to play. Strategy is important and can play a major role too.”
Cadillac IMSA Mid-Ohio Driver Line-up:
No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing DPi-V.R, Renger Van Der Zande and Kevin Magnussen
No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R, Tristan Vautier and Loic Duval
No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R, Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani
Source. Kyle Chura/Cadillac Racing/Photo. Richard Prince