Cadillac Racing had a rough go at Road America on August 6th, 2023, and troubles for the luxury marque started well before the green flag even dropped.
Things went south two hours before the start of the two-hour 40-minute race during a warmup session. The No. 31 Cadillac V-Series.R, driven by Pipo Derani and Alexander Sims, spun out and backed into the tire barrier in Turn 12 with Sims behind the wheel. The Cadillac Racing crew got to work to repair the race car for the green flag. Derani took control, but had to start at the rear due to the extensive work required to make the No. 31 V-Series.R race-worthy.
Unsurprisingly, the No. 31 V-Series.R didn’t handle quite like it did before being damaged. The rest of the race was relatively quiet for Derani and Sims, who drove the repaired race car to a rather disappointing sixth-place finish.
“We take the positives from what the crew and team did to get the car into the race after what happened in warmup to [Sims] on cold tires,” Derani said. “Just to have gone into the race to score some points is great. Obviously, difficult situation with the tires being too cold in warmup and getting Alex off-guard. We’ve been seeing that happen a lot this year. It was us today and could be someone else tomorrow. We leave here without the lead in the championship, but it’s one of those things that are out of your control. But the positive is we finished the race and scored points in the championship.”
Meanwhile, the No. 01 Cadillac Racing machine, driven by Renger van der Zande and Sebastien Bourdais, had an equally disappointing run. Tire issues plagued the team, causing van der Zande to fight with an ill-handling race car. Ultimately, this entry would finish fourth, only marginally better than its sibling team.
“The middle stint was hurt by the flat spot on the front tire and later in that stint I flat-spotted the right-front as well,” said van der Zande. “I don’t know why the second one happened but the first was just cold tire and off-line. It’s just a slippery track. I didn’t expect that to happen but it compromised our race day. I would have been able to fight the Acuras for position on normal tires, but I’m happy with the finish given how tough it is to pass off-line and move on from there.”