The Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R will start third on the DPi grid for tomorrow’s running of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.
Following their first win of the season at Detroit two weeks ago, Renger van der Zande kept the strong performance of the Chip Ganassi team going with a third-place qualifying effort with a time of 1:30.637. The time will have him starting from the second row with teammate Kevin Magnussen. The team has decided to run the six hours with just two drivers.
“I think it was one of the best laps of my career,” van der Zande said. “We fine-tuned the car for qualifying in a really nice way. So big to the Chip Ganassi team for giving me the fastest Cadillac out there. On top of that I think the lap was really, really good. I think the BoP (balance of performance) is off here. Being half a second off with the best lap of your career is not really what you want, but it is a good starting position for the race. It is going to be a long race, so anything is possible.”
Kamui Kobayashi is back with teammates Jimmie Johnson and Simon Pagenaud. The Japanese driver had the controls of the No. 48 Ally Cadillac DPi-V.R for the 15-minute session and posted a time of 1:30.671 that will have him starting fourth.
“It was my first time on new tires this week,” Kobayashi said. “So, it was a bit tricky. I tried my best to get the best out of it. My lap was good for P4. I was expecting a bit more, but it is ok. It is very tough to do a perfect lap at this track for me as it is my first time here. You have a lot of risk to do the maximum. I tried my best. We have a lot of speed in the car and I think we will be even more competitive in the race tomorrow.”
The Whelen Engineering Cadillac team comes into the weekend after posting second place finishes in the last two races. Pipo Derani had the wheel of the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R putting it fifth on the grid with a time of 1:30.824.
“The Whelen Cadillac seems quite well balanced,” Derani said. “All of the Cadillac cars seem very close. We knew the Acura cars would be quicker. We made some changes to the car for qualifying that were positive. With another tenth I would have been a few more positions up. That just shows the competitiveness of the DPi field. Strategy will play out and make for an interesting race. I think we will have a fantastic Cadillac for tomorrow.”
The JDC-Miller Motorsports team had Tristan Vautier qualify the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R. The Frenchman put in a lap time of 1:31.324 that will have he and teammates Sebastien Bourdais and Loic Duval starting seventh on the DPi grid.
“We have been struggling for speed,” Vautier said. “It has not been the best track for Cadillac and, as a team, we are a little bit off the other Cadillacs. We are missing something. We need to get more confidence in the car for the drivers. We struggled in practice at Sebring and ended up winning the race. We will keep our heads down and see if we can make something happen in the race.”
Cadillac IMSA Watkins Glen qualifying results:
3. No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing DPi-V.R, Renger Van Der Zande, Kevin Magnussen, 1:30.637
4. No. 48 Ally Cadillac DPi-V.R, Jimmie Johnson, Simon Pagenaud, Kamui Kobayashi, 1:30.671
5. No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R, Felipe Nasr, Pipo Derani, Mike Conway, 1:30.824
7. No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R, Tristan Vautier, Loic Duval, Sebastien Bourdais, 1:31.324
Source. Kyle Chura/Cadillac Racing