Four days after competing in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, Whelen Engineering drivers Pipo Derani (Brazil) and Felipe Nasr (Brazil) return to Watkins Glen International July 1-2 for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship WeatherTech 240 at the Glen.
Originally, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship was scheduled to race this weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. But the series changed the schedule due to ongoing COVID-19 related travel issues. This weekend’s race will be the typical two hour and 40-minute sprint race.
Derani and Nasr are coming off a fourth-place finish in last weekend’s six-hour classic. The team led that race at one point and looked poised to capture its third consecutive podium. Unfortunately, the race came down to fuel strategy at the end, that’s when Derani had to balance pushing hard for the final podium spot, while saving enough fuel to finish the race. The drivers learned a lot from last weekend’s race that they think they can apply to this weekend in hopes it will result in the team’s first win of the season.
“I think this weekend’s race is going to be different in terms of strategy because it’s much shorter [than last weekend’ race],” Derani said. “But, at the same time, I think we can apply a lot of what we learned from this past weekend in terms of the car setup. [Last weekend], it was a very difficult fuel savings race. Sometimes this can play on your side or it can play against you. We’re going to try to put everything we’ve learned together to have a better race and hopefully be back on the podium for this short two hour and 40-minute race. We’ve been working hard and trying to improve the car every session. Having such a short time to practice [this weekend], it will be even more difficult to try to improve the car. So, gathering all of the information from last weekend’s race is going to be important and hopefully we can apply it the right way so we can have a competitive car this weekend.”
“I’m looking forward to another race here at Watkins Glen,” Nasr said. “I feel we can take a lot of positives from the six-hour race we did here last weekend. Our No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac was pretty fast in the race. We led the race at the halfway point even after having a couple of issues. Nevertheless, I feel we have a competitive car and I’m hoping to fight for a victory. Fuel savings has been a big topic the past few races. We did the maximum we could with the [fuel] capacity we had and that was not enough to beat the Acuras and the Mazdas. I’m hoping we can get a better shot this weekend, depending on how the race strategy plays out. Right now, the weather conditions are that it might rain. It might not. One thing I can say is, it was a pretty hot race last weekend. That was very challenging, very physical for all of the drivers in the car. I’m expecting something similar [this weekend]. But, I’ll be ready. I can’t wait to go out there and get the best result we can for our No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac. We want to score as many points as we can so we can close the gap on the two competitors ahead of us in the Championship right now.”
Derani and Nasr are currently third in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship DPi drivers’ point standings and Whelen Engineering Racing is also third in the team point standings each with 1,576 points. Cadillac leads in the DPi manufacturers’ championship with 1,807 points.
Source. Kyle Chura/WeatherTech Racing