The Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi.VR will start third for tomorrow’s running of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship WeatherTech 240 at Watkins Glen International Raceway.
The rain subsided at The Glen long enough to get the IMSA WeatherTech qualifying session in this afternoon at the 3.4-mile, 11-turn track located in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.
Kevin Magnussen had the wheel of the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R for the 15-minute session. As the track dried the times came down in the DPi class. The Dane posted a lap of 1:30.545 good for an inside second row starting position for the tomorrow evening start. Practice wasn’t without incident; the former Formula 1 driver was exiting the Bus Stop turn and backed the car into the wall.
“It was fun,” Magnussen said. “This track is great in normal conditions and gets even better in mixed conditions. It’s a big challenge and enjoyable to drive. We got P3 in qualifying which is sort of ok for us. I think we could’ve had one position more. We are the best Cadillac. The Acura cars seem to have good pace in qualifying. Starting P3 we can fight for the race tomorrow.”
Regarding his spin, Magnussen said, “just hit a puddle and went around.”
Pipo Derani took the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R out for qualifying. The Brazilian put in a time of 1:30.684 good for fourth. Together with teammate Felipe Nasr and the Action Express Racing team the duo improved the car from Sunday’s six-hour race.
“It is one of those qualifying sessions where you have to do every lap,” Derani said. “A little bit difficult with traffic, I lost a couple of laps where I had to abort. I was able to get a good lap in. The Cadillac cars are really close together with the Acura cars having great qualifying pace. We improved our car from last weekend. The balance is better. That is positive. We have an even better car for the race. So, if we maximize it, we will have an even better race than on Sunday.”
Also improving was the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R of Loic Duval and Tristan Vautier. Duval drove to a lap time of 1:31.094 that will have him starting from sixth for the 6:10 p.m. tomorrow green flag.
“The conditions were consistent through the run although not fully dry,” Duval said. “There were a few wet patches. We changed the car quite a lot since last weekend as we were struggling. It’s not easy to go straight to qualifying with a different car setup. The car felt quite ok, but not close enough. Except for the 10, we were a bit closer to the others, but still not enough. We have made some progress. We have a good base for tomorrow. It is positive, now let’s see for the race.”
Cadillac IMSA Watkins Glen 240 qualifying results:
3. No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing DPi-V.R, Renger van der Zande, Kevin Magnussen
4. No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R, Felipe Nasr, Pipo Derani
6. No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R, Tristan Vautier, Loic Duval
Source. Kyle Chura/Cadillac Racing