The trio of Cadillac Racing teams have stayed on the west coast for this weekend’s running of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Long Beach Grand Prix, Sept. 24-25.
The 1.98-mile, 11-turn Long Beach circuit that runs along the waterfront has been a strong track for the Cadillac DPi-V.R. Since the DPi cars first ran there in 2017 the brand has won every race. In 2017 it was the Konica-Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R followed the next two years by Action Express Racing and their, then, Mustang Sampling Cadillac entry.
Action Express Racing hopes to keep the streak alive this weekend, this time with their No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R. Drivers Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani are second in IMSA WeatherTech DPi points just 98 out of the lead. The team will need to have a good qualifying effort this weekend and a strong finish to head to the season finale Petit Le Mans in November with a hope of taking the DPi championship.
“Long Beach is a great track to drive. It’s very iconic,” Derani said. “It’s also a track that is very good for our Cadillac. Last race, we finished third after having two wins. But, we lost a little bit of ground to the Championship leaders. So, we are going all in this weekend. I think we’ve got a great chance of winning and staying in the Championship fight, which is very important. Felipe and I had a very strong race in Long Beach the last time we were there in 2019. Unfortunately, we lost a wheel and had to stop to fix it, after being in the lead nearly the entire race. So, we’re going to go for it. Hopefully, we can get the third win of the season and stay in the Championship all the way to Petit Le Mans. Long Beach is a great track and I think we’re going to have a Whelen Cadillac.”
Kevin Magnussen and Renger van der Zande took a dive in the Scott Fountain after winning the Detroit street race in June. The duo will be looking to drive the No. 01 V-Performance Academy Cadillac DPi-V.R to the win on the streets of Long Beach.
“I think Long Beach has been, traditionally, a good track for the Cadillac DPi-V.R,” van der Zande said. “I think any street track this car goes to is good over the bumps. The hairpin at Long Beach gives us a good opportunity to get the power down and that provides an overtaking opportunity at the end of the long straight. Going to California for two races is super interesting for a Dutch guy like me. I really like the state. I had time to spend with the family between races on the west coast. Now it is time to focus on the race and together with the Chip Ganassi Racing team fight for the win on Saturday.”
The No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R with the French duo of Tristan Vautier and Loic Duval are looking to get back to the front. The Mustang Sampling colors have won the race, twice, this time the guys want it to be with the JDC-Miller Motorsports team.
“Long Beach is a track I always looking forward to competing at,” Vautier said. “Two times a year we are lucky to drive the Cadillac DPi-V.R on street courses at Detroit and Long Beach. There is a lot of pressure for Loic and myself as drivers of the Mustang Sampling car as it has won there the last two times. Our race car was fast at Detroit, so we need to transfer that speed to Long Beach this weekend. We will be head down to get back up on the podium. We will be looking to get JDC-Miller, Mustang Sampling and Cadillac on the top step of the podium this weekend.”
Cadillac Long Beach Drivers and Point Standings:
2. No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R, Felipe Nasr, Pipo Derani, 2667, -98 to leaders
4. No. 01 V-Performance Academy Cadillac DPi-V.R, Renger van der Zande, Kevin Magnussen, 2527, -238
6. No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R, Tristan Vautier, Loic Duval, 2,333, -432
1. Cadillac leads IMSA WeatherTech DPi manufacturer points, 2926
Source. Kyle Chura/Cadillac Racing