The No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac Dpi-V.R managed to squeeze onto the podium at Road America over the weekend, claiming a third-place finish in the most recent IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race. Wayne Taylor Racing’s No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac prototype was close behind in fourth, and the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac ended the race several places down in seventh.
The No. 31 car’s third-place finish was especially impressive given that the team only qualified ninth, well behind the Konica Minolta team, which qualified fourth, and the Mustang Sampling team in seventh. The team’s success in reaching the podium hinged on a maneuver that came early on in the race, just before the second caution, wherein starting driver Eric Curran pitted to trade off with Felipe Nasr and the car moved from sixth to first before the pits closed. Some 20 minutes later, the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac moved up into second, and the two Action Express Racing Cadillacs led the field from the top two positions.
Sadly, that wouldn’t last until the checkered flag, and some late-in-the-race pit stops to refuel cost both Action Express Racing Cadillacs a few positions. During the last hour of the 2-hour-and-40-minute road race, the No. 10 Konica Minolta car even assumed the race lead for a few laps, but with no late-race caution to limit the damage from pitting, the team was forced back to fourth.
No. 10 Cadillac DPi-V.R driver Jordan Taylor summed up the race rather succinctly, saying:
It was an up-and-down day. Renger had a strong start and we were running third. And then a couple yellows threw the race into a twist, strategy-wise and some guys were able to take advantage of that and get ahead of us. We were sixth for the whole middle section and once we got to the last… hour and a half, it was all about strategy since we were kind of mid-pack. So, it was either risking to go for the win, or risking to stay where we were. We went aggressive to go for the win, beat a yellow, and then basically called as good a strategy as we could’ve from that point of view.
We ended up fourth and a couple of cars that finished ahead of us ran out of fuel right after they took the checker, so it could’ve been as high as maybe second. Another top-five is OK, but a win would’ve been nice.
Two Oreca LMP2 cars – the No. 54 CORE autosport car, and the No. 99 of JDC-Miller Motorsports – finished ahead of the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R. The three Cadillac V-Performance Racing teams will get another chance to best the LMP2s next month at the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix in Salinas, California.