Victory eluded the four Cadillac DPi-V.R race cars that ran at last weekend’s Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring – the second round of the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship – with the No. 22 Tequila Patron Nissan DPi ultimately eking out a win. But the results weren’t all bad; Cadillac managed to capture the other two spots on the podium, helping Wayne Taylor Racing and its No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R secure a second-place finish, and sending the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac home with third.
For Wayne Taylor Racing, the 12 Hours of Sebring provided some vindication after the team’s disappointing DNF at the Rolex 24 at Daytona earlier in the year – especially as the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac started from eighth on the grid and had to work its way up the field from there.
Driver Renger Van Der Zande, who’s replaced Ricky Taylor for the 2018 season, called the win “fantastic.”
“It was hard to find a real race car,” he said. “We were testing in the heat and the race finishes in the night when it is cool so you are in survival mode during the heat of the day. The car really comes alive at night. The engineers are super stars and they know what they are doing. They give me everything I need to perform. It was an eventful day. I got tapped on the rear and they made a quick fix.
“I have a lot of faith in my new team. They don’t give up and they stay calm when things happen. We were the best of the rest today.”
Teammate Jordan Taylor was similarly pleased. “Not a win, but to come home with a second the way we started is good,” he said after the race. “The team adapted well to everything that happened on track and in the pits. Great day for the team they executed well and it was a great points day after what happened in Daytona.”
Of the No. 31 car’s third-place finish, Whelen Engineering driver Felipe Nasr said that overall, the team “had a great race.”
“It was tough out there,” he said. “At night everyone was set for those last two hours. We had to save fuel – it was the only choice we had – and give up track position. I want to win, the team wants to win, but we have to take it as it comes.
“Today we had a great race. The Whelen Cadillac was unbelievably good. We led a lot of laps for many hours and stayed in the top three. The last two hours are what count and of course I’m a little disappointed because everybody wants to win but on the other hand, we are leading both of the championships and we have to take it. It is a really great achievement for the team. We will take it.”
The No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R, which won the Rolex 24 at Daytona earlier in the season, finished tenth in class – sixteenth overall – after a crash around the eight-hour mark cost the team 13 laps for a suspension repair. The No. 90 Spirit of Daytona car, which had been on the lead lap, hit a tire wall at Turn 17 with roughly two hours left in the race, forcing its retirement.