Whelen Engineering Racing will be looking to battle back into IMSA title contention in Sunday’s Monterey SportsCar Championship at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
The No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R driven by Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani is second in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship DPi standings entering the penultimate round of the season, trailing the leaders by only seven points. Winners earlier in the season in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the Whelen Engineering Cadillac is coming off back-to-back fourth-place finishes at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Road America.
“I’m looking forward to being back in Laguna Seca this weekend as the championship reaches its final races,” Nasr said. “We are eager to make every opportunity out there count.”
Last year, Derani won the Laguna Seca round racing with a different team, while Nasr and Eric Curran qualified ninth and finished fifth for Whelen Engineering Racing, maintaining their points lead en route to eventually claiming the Prototype title. The 2018 event also marked the team announcement that Derani was joining the squad for the 2019 IMSA season.
“I’m excited to go back racing, especially back in California and Laguna Seca where I won last year,” said Derani. “We haven’t had the results that we want to have, but hopefully we can turn things round this weekend. We are really focused on the championship fight and getting back on that podium.”
Whelen Engineering Racing is looking for its first victory at Laguna Seca. The No. 31 Whelen Corvette DP finished third and led four laps in 2016, while the No. 31 Cadillac Prototype placed second and led 48 laps in its debut the following year.
With this year’s IMSA race being broadcast live on NBC (3:00 PM ET) for the first time this season, the opportunity to shine in front of the national audience is something that the team is hoping to make the most of.
“I’m hungry to get the job done and Pipo knows the circuit pretty well, so we should be aiming for a solid weekend for Action Express Racing,” Nasr said.
Following Sunday’s race, only the Motul Petit Le Mans on Oct. 12 remains on the 2019 IMSA schedule. Whelen Engineering Racing enters the finale seeking two championships. In addition to the DPi title – which would be Action Express Racing’s fifth season crown in six years – the team looks for its sixth consecutive title in the Michelin Endurance Cup, a unique competition encompassing the four longest races on the IMSA schedule.
Whelen Engineering took season titles in 2016 and 2018, in addition to winning the Michelin Endurance Cup the past two seasons.
Source. Sunday Group