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CADILLAC ROLL INTO MID-OHIO UNDEFEATED

CADILLAC ROLL INTO MID-OHIO UNDEFEATED
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Cadillac teams will be looking to keep the brand on the top step of the podium at his weekend’s round four of the IMSA WeatherTech Championship race at Mid-Ohio. The brand has posted wins at the first three races of the season at Daytona, Sebring and Long Beach. This win streak is mirroring that of the 2017 season when Cadillac won the first five events of the maiden IMSA DPi season.

The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, located an hour north of Columbus, is a winding road course that encompasses 2.25-miles and 13 turns. The undulating road course is best known for its Keyhole and Carousel turns. The track rewards a good handling car that has exit speed out of the Keyhole to set-up competitors for the best passing zone down the long back stretch to Turn 4.

Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani, along with the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R team, lead the IMSA DPi points standings based upon their win at Sebring, runner-up finish at Daytona and sixth place run at Long Beach.

“We had a tough outing at Long Beach but the car was quick,” Nasr said. “We were heading for a victory, but motor racing is always full of surprises. We are still on top of the point standings and will want to continue that after Mid-Ohio. Mid-Ohio is a fantastic, fast-flowing track. It’s a pleasure to drive, but it has a very low grip level. That means it’s a tricky balance – finding a good set-up between the aero grip for the fast sectors and the mechanical grip for the slow parts. We’ll plan to continue doing our step-by-step approach to the race.”

Filipe Albuquerque and Joao Barbosa are third in the DPi points standings. The Long Beach winners will be driving for another top finish in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling DPi-V.R Cadillac.

“Mid-Ohio is a very technical track, it’s not easy to overtake but it makes for good tight racing,” Barbosa said. “All the tracks challenge the drivers in different ways, and definitely Mid-Ohio with the elevation changes and grip level, it’s one of those tracks that puts you to the test.”

Jordan Taylor and Renger Van Der Zande will be looking for a comeback performance in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R. The team had an unfortunate DNF at Long Beach. The Rolex 24 winners will be looking for a strong run in Ohio where their fortunes have not been great in the past.

“Since Petit Le Mans last year, we had two wins and a second-place finish, so we have been operating as a team at a very high level,” Taylor said. “I don’t see why we won’t be back fighting for wins in Ohio. We got lucky at Long Beach that we didn’t lose too many points, but we can’t have another one of those weekends. Mid-Ohio and Road America are the only two tracks where the team has yet to score a win. I enjoy driving at Mid-Ohio. It’s a very natural and old-school road course. As a driver, it’s one of the most technical tracks that we go to, so it’s a big challenge to put a good lap together. It also can create some big questions on setup for the engineer, so finding the right compromise is always interesting.”

Simon Trummer and Stephen Simpson, No. 84 JDC/Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi-V.R, have put in simulator time preparing for Mid-Ohio.

“I have always enjoyed Mid-Ohio, it is a flowing track which is really enjoyable to drive,” Simpson said. “One of the big challenges is traffic as there are not many places to get by GT cars so you do have to be more patient than normal. Last year we had the fastest lap of the race and I’m looking to build on that and our P5 finish from the last race. I think our Cadillac DPi will be strong at Mid-Ohio. We had a positive day on the Dallara simulator last week and the whole JDC/Miller Motorsports team has been putting in a great deal of hard work and effort to move us up the grid and start challenging for podiums and wins.”

The No. 85 JDC/Miller Cadillac DPi-V.R with Misha Goikhberg and Tristan Vautier will be blending Goikhberg’s experience at the central Ohio circuit in sports cars with that of Vautier’s who brings his open-wheel laps to the team.

“So far, I’ve only drove IndyCar there in 2013 and 2015, with for best result a 6th-place finish with Dale Coyne Racing in 2015,” Vautier said. “Mid-Ohio has a lot of medium-speed corners and is quite twisty with only one long straight. On paper it should be a good track for the Cadillac – let’s see when we get there! We will focus the set-up of the JDC/Miller Cadillac to be good at the exit of Turn 2 as it leads onto the main straight, which is the main passing zone on the track. It will be important to have good traction out of that turn to make passes at the end of the straight or defend a position.”

The Juncos Cadillac team had a strong showing in Long Beach, leading laps with a chance at a top finish. Will Owen and Kyle Kaiser will be working hard with the team to get a good set-up on the No. 50 Juncos Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R on the notoriously low grip Mid-Ohio surface.

“I’m excited to be returning to Mid-Ohio after not racing there for almost three years,” Owen said. “It’s another classic American track, and it was always fun in open-wheel cars. I’m sure its low-grip surface will be challenging for the DPi cars, so we will have to be on our game right away to find the best set-up for our No. 50 Juncos Cadillac DPi-V.R car. It’s also great news that Kyle is joining us too, we made a good team at Long Beach and the team found some momentum. Hopefully we can keep that up this weekend!”

The next event for the IMSA WeatherTech Sport Car Championship will be the Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio, May 3-5.

Source. Kyle Chura/Cadillac Racing/Photo. Cadillac/Richard Prince

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