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Whelen Engineering drivers Pipo Derani (Brazil), Olivier Pla (France) and Mike Conway (Great Britain) finished fifth in Sunday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International.

Pla qualified the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R fifth on the DPi grid, with a lap time of 1:30.500, to start today’s six-hour classic. Pla put in a double stint and kept the car in the top five before handing the car over to Derani. From there, both Derani and Conway had the car as high as fourth during their double stints.

Unfortunately, on lap 144, IMSA officials threw the red flag for lightning in the area with about an hour and a half left in the race. At that point, the clock continued to run, while the rain came down. After more than an hour, the skies cleared, and the green flag flew with 21 minutes remaining. Pla was in the car at the time. One lap later, Pla came to pit lane and Derani got in for the final 20-minute shootout. In the waning laps, Derani did what he could to pick up some positions. He simply ran out of time and brought the car home fifth.

“We did what we could with what we had,” Derani said. “It was a difficult race for us. We had to fight back from a penalty. But it is what it is. We’ll fight hard the next time around.”

“I think we couldn’t do much more than we did today,” Pla said. “We’re going to go to Canada and try to get a better result.”

“They [the Acuras] are fast and good on fuel,” Conway said. “They were tough to beat today. But we did our best. It’s unfortunate we didn’t quite have enough. It was a tough one. At least we got some points, which is good for the team.”

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship heads north of the border this week for the Chevrolet Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park July 1-3.

Source. Kyle Chura Associates/Photo. Brian Cleary


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