Whelen Engineering drivers Pipo Derani (Brazil), Olivier Pla (France) and the No. 31 Cadillac will return to Canadian Tire Motorsports Park July 1-3 for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Chevrolet Grand Prix. This weekend’s race marks the first time the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship has competed in Canada since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Derani and Pla are coming off a fifth-place finish in last weekend’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. The duo heads into this weekend’s race still looking for their first win of the season. That said, CTMP is a track Action Express Racing has enjoyed some success at over the years. Since 2014, Action Express Racing has two wins (2016, 2017), four podiums, and six Top-5 finishes at CTMP. Pla has also had success at the 2.459-mile, 10-turn course. He won this race, in his only appearance, back in 2014.
“I’ve been there once, back in 2014,” Pla said of competing at CTMP. “It was a race I won. I love that place. I would say it is similar to Watkins Glen because of the high-speed corners, some elevation, and you need commitment. So, I really like that pace – especially Turn 1, Turn 2, and Turn 3. They are super-fast corners.”
Derani’s best finish at CTMP was fourth in 2019 with former co-driver Felipe Nasr.
“I’m looking forward to going back to Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, which is a very fast and exciting track to drive,” Derani said. “It’s a similar, but short version of Watkins Glen more or less. It’s going to be interesting for sure. We think that it’s hard to beat the Acuras on a high downforce track like we saw at Watkins Glen. But nevertheless, we hope to get back on the podium in our No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac, which would be good for us after many difficult races. Getting ourselves back onto the podium and in contention would be a good thing to happen this weekend. So, I’m looking forward to that and looking forward to driving around this very fast racetrack.”
The Chevrolet Grand Prix race weekend begins with Practice #1 at 2:40 p.m. (ET) Friday, July 1. On track action resumes with Practice #2 at 8:15 a.m., followed by DPi qualifying at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, July 2. The green flag drops on Round Eight at 3:05 p.m. Sunday, July 3.
Source. Kyle Chura Associates