The trio of Cadillac DPi-V.Rs will start tomorrow’s running of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Long Beach Grand Prix first, second, and third.
Felipe Nasr had the wheel of the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R for the 15-minute qualifying session on the beachfront circuit. The team showed speed in the previous two practice sessions on the day being fastest in each with Nasr posting the fastest lap. The Action Express Racing team is looking for their third Long Beach win in as many races tomorrow. Nasr and teammate Derani are just 98 points out of the championship lead going into race.
“It is always great to get another pole,” Nasr said. “Especially here around the streets of Long Beach. It is a very close field. We have all the Cadillac cars in the top three. It has been a very close competition in DPi all day in practice. We got the job done today. We came here with the mindset of maximizing the points. We did that today and that is a big part of the plan. We have a great Whelen Engineering Cadillac in our hands to fight for the win tomorrow. We have to make some points. We need to execute in the race and get the most of the out of the car tomorrow. The team and Pipo have put us in a good position to fight for the win.”
Kevin Magnussen qualified the No. 01 V-Performance Academy Cadillac DPi-V.R. He was able to post his fastest lap just before the red flag stopped the session with a time of 1:11.724. The Dane will hand over to teammate Renger van der Zande tomorrow in the 100-minute race.
“I think P2 is pretty good for tomorrow,” Magnussen said. “Of course, you always want pole position, but we didn’t get that today. I think we have a fast V-Performance Academy Cadillac. There’s a race tomorrow and that is where the trophies are.”
The No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R was qualified by Loic Duval. The French duo of Duval and Tristan Vautier showed speed all day running in the top three in practice. Duval put in a time of 1:11.827 that will have him starting third right behind the pole sitter.
“We saw it coming,” Duval said. “The Cadillac is strong here. We saw in free practice two that we were fighting with the other the guys for fast lap. It is nice to be P3. We had a hard time in the last few races, so it is good for the team to be fast here. I am a competitor. It’s a shame that I couldn’t go for the pole it was close. It is still a positive effort by the team. I am confident for the race tomorrow that we can make the podium and maybe get by some guys. It will be a strategic race, so let’s see what we can do tomorrow.”
Cadillac Long Beach Qualifying Results:
1. No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R, Felipe Nasr, Pipo Derani, 1:11.620
2. No. 01 V-Performance Academy Cadillac DPi-V.R, Renger van der Zande, Kevin Magnussen, 1:11.724
3. No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R, Tristan Vautier, Loic Duval, 1:11.827
Source. Kyle Chura/Cadillac Racing/Photo. Richard Prince