The Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R driven by Pipo Derani and Felipe Nasr will start fourth for tomorrow’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Acura Sportscar Challenge Presented by the TLX Type S.
The Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course has not favored the Cadillac DPi-V.R in the past, with only one win in 2017. The duo of Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani were a fixture at the front of the six car IMSA DPi field in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R during practice. They were fastest on Friday’s lone session and second in this morning’s practice. In qualifying Derani turned a lap of 1:10.432 that will have him start from the second row. The DPi field is covered by less than a second.
“We’re quite happy with our performance in qualifying,” Derani said. “If you look at the past few years, they have always had an edge on us here. To be as close as we are to them in qualifying trim is something positive. I hope that means we will have a competitive race tomorrow. I gave it everything I had. The Whelen Engineering Cadillac is running strong. Another day at the office. I think we have a great car for the race.”
Tristan Vautier had the wheel of the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R for the 15-minute session. The Frenchman, teamed with fellow Frenchman Loic Duval, posted a lap time of 1:10.567 that will have him starting fifth.
“Obviously the other manufactures have a bit more favorable BoP (balance of performance) for quali, but I think we can be good on a long run,” Vautier said. “I gave it a 110 percent. There wasn’t a tenth-of-an-inch on any side of the track. I drove my heart out. No regrets. We were close to the 31 which is the best Cadillac, but we were a little short. It is one of those quails where you redo the lap over and over and I don’t see where we could have improved. I think it is positive. The Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R is fun to drive around here. We just have to go for it tomorrow.”
Kevin Magnussen turned his fist laps at the 2.4-mile, 15-turn Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course yesterday. Magnussen, teamed with Renger van der Zande, drove to a time of 1:10.934 that will have him start sixth for tomorrow’s 2:40 p.m. ET start.
“We were hoping for a bit better, but the race is tomorrow,” Magnussen said. “We didn’t think that Mid-Ohio was going to be the best place for us, but after Sebring and Daytona seeing how strong we were there, we really want to get a result. Full attack tomorrow. We are not the fastest car, but we will give it a go.
“Anything can happen in the race. This track is difficult to overtake, so if you get lucky with the strategy and don’t have the pace, guys are going to struggle to get by you. That’s why it is full attack tomorrow.
“I love it (the Mid-Ohio circuit) it is one more totally old school track. All of the corners are very unique. It is not similar to any other track out there. That is what I particularly like about American motorsport, the tracks, then the cars.”
Cadillac IMSA Mid-Ohio Qualifying results:
4. No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R, Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani, 1:10.432
5. No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R, Tristan Vautier and Loic Duval, 1:10.567
6. No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing DPi-V.R, Renger Van Der Zande and Kevin Magnussen, 1:10.934.
Source. Kyle Chura/Cadillac Racing