The Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R team is looking to extend its racing success in Florida by winning the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring this Saturday, March 17th. With the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the bag, a win at Sebring would signify a victory for Mustang Sampling Racing in what is called the “36 Hours of Florida” – the 36 combined hours of endurance racing presented by the first two races of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship calendar.
Wayne Taylor Racing, which won the 36 Hours of Florida last year on its way to taking each of the first five races of the season, will be looking for redemption after its DNF result at the Rolex 24. The team’s No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R suffered five consecutive tire punctures at Daytona, prompting them to throw in the towel lest one of their drivers get injured.
“Daytona left a bad taste in our mouths,” Wayne Taylor Racing driver Jordan Taylor said about the team’s tribulations at the 2018 Rolex 24. “We had the car to beat that weekend. To have our chances taken away to battle for the victory by something out of our control was extremely frustrating.
“But I think it motivates us all that much more. Nothing in this sport is given to you, so we can’t live in the past, there’s no point to keep talking about it. We just move forward and focus on the next race.”
Taylor says the team had “a great test at Sebring,” saying it was “the first test where I felt like we made progress with every change we made. I was really excited by the end of the test with the Cadillac we were leaving with. As long as conditions are similar for the 12-hour, I’m very confident in what we’re coming back with.”
Joao Barbosa, who drives the No. 5 Cadillac DPi-V.R for Mustang Sampling Racing, says the team is ready for the challenges of Sebring.
“Racing-wise, we are ready. The test gave us all a lot of laps and so we were comfortable with how we were with the car,” Barbosa says. “It is a tough race and the track is very challenging. For the drivers, it is very physical, and for the car, it goes through a lot every lap with the bumps and so mechanically it is hard on them.
“The track is unlike any other, with the bumps in Turn 1 and 17, especially 17! I like that challenge a lot and hopefully they will never repave that track! It is a cool characteristic and it has a lot of personality, it challenges the drives every time.”
After the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona earlier this year, the Cadillac DPi-V.R was given an additional 10 kg (22 pounds) of ballast for Balance of Performance (BoP) heading into Sebring. Cadillac took first and second in the Prototype class at Daytona in January.