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  • 10/14/2018 8:22 AM | Anonymous
    REPRINT POST RACE REPORT FROM WTR WEBSITE


    The No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R trio of Jordan Taylor, Renger van der Zande and Ryan Hunter-Reay ended one of their team’s most challenging seasons to date with a much-neeed exclamation point as van der Zande’s dramatic pass for the lead two corners from the finish line brought home the victory in the 21st annual Petit Le Mans IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship endurance marathon at Road Atlanta. 

    It was the team’s only victory of 2018 and kept alive a streak of 15 consecutive seasons with at least one win since team owner and three-time sportscar-racing champion Wayne Taylor and his long-time business partner and former co-driver Max “The Ax” Angelelli first fielded the No. 10 Prototype in Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series competition in 2004. 

    The victory, the team’s second at the iconic 10-hour race since 2014, also solidified a third-place finish in the final championship standings after having clinched the 2017 championship at this event a year ago. 

    “I feel like I have never been more happy than I am tonight,” said team owner Wayne Taylor. “These guys, this team, our partners Konica Minolta, Cadillac, ECR Engines, everybody associated with this program, this was for them. It was a really tough weekend because we didn’t have the fastest car. We were five-and-a-half miles an hour slower than most of those other cars in a straight line. But, as usual, this team, when it’s time to do something and pull stuff out – our engineers and our drivers – they find a way to make it happen. Thank goodness because for all 15 years we’ve been doing this, we’ve never had a year without winning a race. And for the Petit Le Mans, it’s now three wins because I won as a driver and now twice as a team owner with Max. I can’t say enough about our chassis maker Dallara – it’s not only the technical side of everything they do with us, it’s the relationship we have with them. They truly, truly feel the pain with us and they win and lose with us, so I can’t say enough about them. We’ve got just really good partners. This year was a difficult year, but this is one heck of a way to make us feel good during the offseason.” 

    After struggling to qualify 12th for today’s race, victory might have seemed improbable for the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R team, even though it has mastered the art of contending for wins in time and again in the series’ iconic endurance events at Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen and Road Atlanta over the last decade and a half. 

    The 32-year-old van der Zande, who replaced Ricky Taylor as Jordan Taylor’s full-time co-driver at the outset of 2018, drove a patient opening stint in working his way into the top-10. He handed the car over to Taylor at the one-hour, 13-minute mark during the first caution period of the race, and lightning-quick work by the crew enabled Taylor to restart just outside the top-five. 

    Taylor and Hunter-Reay on their opening stints, and then van der Zande during his second stint, took charge over the next five and a half hours and, with the help of consistently quick pit stops and driver changes, kept the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R in and around the top-five. The Dutch driver first took the lead during a round of green-flag pit stops at the six-hour, 45-minute mark, and he and Taylor were able to lead 55 of the next 60 laps until just past the eight-hour mark. 

    Van der Zande took over with 92 minutes remaining in the race and would take the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R the rest of the way. He rejoined the race in fifth place and gradually worked his way toward the front during the initial fuel-and-tire run, leading the final five laps before making his final fuel-and-tire stop with 43 minutes remaining. 

    He resumed in third place behind the No. 5 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R of Felipe Albuquerque and the No. 22 Tequila Patron ESM Nissan of Pipo Derani. Van der Zande passed Derani with seven minutes to go in the race, and he carefully bided his time in chasing down Albuquerque for the lead as the team suspected the No. 5 Cadillac would not have enough fuel to get to the checkered flag. 

    It was a nail-biting final few minutes as a determined Albuquerque was able to hold off van der Zande. But finally, just two turns from the finish, the No. 5 car sputtered and van der Zande got around him on the outside and took the win. 

    “It took 10 races to get my first win with the team and we finally got it done,” said the Dutchman. “I’m super happy and super proud of the team and I think this was a real team effort. We kept it on the black stuff, we gave it our all at the right time, but mainly on the fuel mileage and hitting the numbers they gave me was a big calculation at the end and the team got it done. We knew we were going to struggle during the day when it was hot. When I got in for Ryan on my second-to-last stint, it was starting to cool down and that’s when I started to feel like we do have a good car because it felt horrible before that. It was steering in, it was braking, it was doing everything I wanted. The closer we got to the end of the race, the better the car was getting, I could attack everywhere. At the end, it was a very calculation kind of game on track because you want to get position but you want to save fuel, as well. That’s the game that we played and we played it very nice. I’m very happy. We have a baby coming any time now so I have to head home now. I’ll be very anxious until it happens but this is a very nice thing to happen to end the season.” 

    “It was pretty crazy,” Taylor said. “It was a never-give-up strategy today. It was 10 hours and one of the toughest Petit Le Mans races there’s been in a long time, especially in the Prototype class. It was a tough year not having a win until now, and it would’ve been very disappointing to leave this season without a win. But our guys were unbelievable – the whole Konica Minolta crew. We were making up positions on every pit stops, which kept us up front for track position. And for the last two hours, Renger was saving fuel. If we wouldn’t have stuck to that strategy like we did, we would’ve ended up like the 5 car. We were pushing him every lap to save fuel and hit his numbers, and he was still able to keep the pressure on and it worked, passing for the win with two corners to go. To go through 10 hours of racing is unbelievable. Wayne Taylor Racing has won at least one race for all 15 years of its existence, so it’s a great way to end the way and a great way to lead into 2019.” 

    “This is a big one – Petit Le Mans is huge,” Hunter-Reay said. “It’s so great racing with this team. I have such a great time with them, it’s easy to come from my full-time job in IndyCar and jump in here and work with these drivers. Jordan and Renger did a fantastic job today. Renger, to finish the race like that, was outstanding. We’ve come close, we finished second at Sebring, we had a great car at Daytona before we had some issues, and this is just fantastic to finish the year like this. We went from qualifying on the pole to winning (the IndyCar season finale) at Sonoma and now to this, it’s just been a fantastic to the 2018 season. Petit Le Mans is a big one. Next up, we have our eyes on winning the Rolex 24 At Daytona. I’d love to win that race. I just love being back here in IMSA.”

  • 10/14/2018 8:20 AM | Anonymous

    Reprint from Sunday Group Management

    BRASELTON, Ga. (13 October 2018) – Whelen Engineering Racing captured its second IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship title in three years Saturday night, finishing seventh with the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R driven by Eric Curran, Felipe Nasr and Gabby Chaves in the 21st Motul Petit Le Mans.

    The result secured the IMSA WeatherTech Driver Championships for Curran and Nasr, as well as the Team Championship for Whelen Engineering Racing. The IMSA title is the second in three seasons for Whelen Engineering and Curran, and also capped an impressive first season of IMSA competition for Nasr. 

    The Team and Driver Championships were not the only mission that was accomplished, as the team also secured the 2018 Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup at the four-hour mark of the race. Action Express Racing has won the 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 Endurance Cup titles as well as the 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2018 IMSA WeatherTech Championships. 

    Curran and Nasr combined to lead 77 laps at the 2.54-mile circuit, and later ran second for 24 consecutive laps during the eighth hour. 

    A record-setting race pace saw a range of strategies develop to set the stage for a dramatic final thirty minutes of racing as teams took different approaches to fuel strategy.

    Nasr had to balance his pace with a fuel strategy as the pursuing championship squad used an alternate pit stop plan to gain track position late in the race. But with clear instructions from the Whelen Engineering Racing pit box,  a disciplined drive from Nasr saw the team take exactly the result that was required to secure the title.

    “It was amazing to pull it off at the end,” said Curran. “The last 20 minutes were just on the edge, and it really wasn’t looking good for us. We had Felipe (Nasr) back off on the fuel and save as much as he could, so we wouldn’t have to do one more stop.” 

    “Our Whelen Cadillac was strong the whole race long,” Curran continued. “It’s interesting to win a championship by going slow. It’s a funny way to do it. What an unbelievable teammate! Felipe and I won the Tequila Patron Endurance Cup as well, and Gabby (Chaves) did a great job in the car. It’s been an unbelievable year.”

    “This is definitely the best yet,” said Action Express Racing Owner, Bob Johnson. “This was so exciting, I don’t know how you top this. Thank goodness we’ve got these young drivers like Felipe (Nasr) who can do the endurance events and spend three hours in the car there at the end! This was very big. It was a great job up on the top of the box, a phenomenal strategy. The entire team did a great job and this feels fantastic!”

    “It was an exhausting last stint, to be honest, three-plus hours in the car,” Nasr said. “Somehow, we lost power halfway through the stint so the only chance we had to make it happen was to look at that fuel mileage, and hitting that target perfectly on every lap. 

    “I want to thank Eric, Gabby and Mike (Conway),” Nasr added. “Even though Mike wasn’t here this weekend, he’s been a great part of the team. And thanks to all the Action Express guys who made all the calls, all our sponsors, everyone who is behind this effort. The Whelen car has won two championships! I’m so excited. This is my first year in the series, and getting the championship, I couldn’t ask for a better way for the season to go. It seemed impossible, but somehow, we made it. I just need time for it all to sink in.”

    Driving the Whelen Engineering Cadillac for the first time, Chaves ran as high as fourth during his turn at the wheel.

    “The car was good,” Chaves said. “I was just trying to manage the tire wear and the traffic, which was rough. I tried to stay clean, and let the guys who have been doing this all year wrap it up. The hardest part for me was that the GTD guys seemed to be very aware during practice. But during the race, it was a totally different game. So I had to adjust my approach after that first stint. Congrats to Eric and Felipe on a great season.”

    The Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup began with the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona and continued through the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. This marked the fifth consecutive year that Action Express Racing captured the unique championship.

    “For sure, winning the Patron Endurance Cup is a big deal for the team,” Curran said. “It’s fun for us on the No. 31 side, but the No. 5 car has been amazing – they’ve won it year after year after year. Action Express as a whole really gets it done.”

  • 10/14/2018 8:15 AM | Anonymous
    Reprint from Sunday Group Management

    BRASELTON, Ga. (13 October 2018) – After winning the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, Mustang Sampling Racing came only one turn shy of bookending the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, running out of fuel virtually in sight of the checkered flag for Saturday's 21st Motul Petit Le Mans after 10 hours of intense racing at Road Atlanta.

    Filipe Albuquerque dominated the final two hours in No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi V-R co-driven by Christian Fittipaldi and Tristan Vautier, pacing the field twice for 38 laps after a pair of on-track passes. He passed Jordan Taylor out of Turn 3 to take the lead with just under two hours to go, and led through his final pit stop. Albuquerque then passed the Nissan of Pipo Derani with 27 minutes left and led the field through the final lap.

    “When Felipe came out of Turn 7 [on the last lap] I thought we had it,” said Fittipaldi, who joined Albuquerque and Joao Barbosa in winning the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona. “I thought that was it, we only had the straightaways and it would be OK. But then he started having a misfire down the straight and unfortunately, not only the 10 (winner Jordan Taylor) but a few other cars went by and we missed out on even being on the podium.”

    Albuquerque also won at Long Beach with Barbosa, who did not drive at Petit Le Mans after fracturing a rib in a lap one incident at the most recent event at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. 

    “We really have had bad luck in the second half of the season,” Albuquerque said. “It was very frustrating. We had problems early in the race, but we recovered and came back to the lead. The car was just brilliant from Lap 1, so I hated to have to race to the fuel at the end. We thought we had it, but apparently, we couldn’t catch it. One corner, that’s all it was, and to not even get a podium is very hard. Everybody did great, and Tristan (Vautier) did an amazing job, jumping in and helping us. I guess it was just not meant to be.”

    While they did not lead the race during the opening eight hours, Albuquerque, Fittipaldi and Vautier kept the team in contention, with each driver running as high as second.

    Vautier was available to fill in on short notice due to his regular team – Spirit of Daytona Racing – not participating in the finale.

    “We were so close to winning Petit!” Vautier said. “It was very tense, those last moments. Filipe drove an amazing race, getting into the lead, and then driving to those fuel numbers. We were that close, one or two corners from winning Petit Le Mans. Just an amazing experience with the team. I’m very grateful they gave me the call to come and jump in. It’s a shame we couldn’t bring it back in a podium position, but thank you to the team for an amazing job. It’s an incredible organization. Thank you to Filipe, Christian and Joao for being so welcoming. I’m happy for the Action Express team as a whole, because the No. 31 won the championship and that was the main mission today. I’m disappointed, but very grateful.”

    The finale was bittersweet for Fittipaldi, who stepped aside from regular driving duties to serve as Action Express Facing's sporting director. The 2019 season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona will be his final IMSA Prototype race.

    "Congratulations to the Whelen guys for winning the championship, it was an awesome run," Fittipaldi said. “We were strong this year as well, but we just were unfortunate a few times, and today was one of those times. But this is a solid group of guys, we’ll turn the page to a new chapter and try and win Daytona again to start the new season.”


  • 08/06/2018 8:29 AM | Anonymous

     Reprint from Sunday Group Management

    Elkhart Lake, Wisc (5 August 2018) Whelen Engineering Racing drivers Felipe Nasr and Eric Curran finished third in Sunday’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase with the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing DPi-V.R. 

    The result is the second consecutive podium finish for the duo after scoring third at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in July as the first-year pairing grew their advantage in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with two rounds of racing remaining in the season. 

    Curran started the race from seventh on the grid and moved up to run in sixth by the fourth lap, although he suffered damage to the Cadillac Prototype in the early laps with the typical hard fought racing that IMSA WeatherTech fans have come to expect.  Despite the damage, Curran held the position until a quick call from Whelen Engineering Racing performance engineer Tim Keene saw Curran take to the pits on lap 15. 

     A fast stop for fuel, tires, and a driver change to Nasr came at an ideal time as the field was slowed for a full course caution.  The exchange saw the Whelen Engineering Cadillac up front for the Lap 19 restart, with Nasr holding the point for 37 of the next 39 laps. 

    A lap 58 final stop for fuel saw Nasr return to the fray fifth in the order. Fully fueled, Nasr made a hard charge to the finish, clicking off fast laps as he looked to retake the lead. That charge back to the lead was only halted when the two leading Prototype machines were able to go all the way to the finish before both ran out of fuel on the cool-down lap. 

    While the strong run up front had promised another possible victory for Nasr and Curran, the podium result generated a welcome collection of points to go with the new trophies for the team. 

    "It was a lot of hard work done by all of the Action Express boys,” said Nasr. “Eric (Curran) had a fantastic start and made up positions quickly. Unfortunately, he got hit in the back which caused us to lose a piece of the car. The damage was pretty big so we lost the rear tires very quickly and it was all about changing the driving style, and it worked! We knew the problem and had to face it so we could make the best out of it. At some point we were looking good to win the race, but it was a good points day and another podium which makes two in a row. I am super proud of all my Whelen guys and Eric. It was a good day!” 

    "We will take it,” said Curran. “It looked like there could be a victory there today, but we will take a third place finish in the Whelen Cadillac. It was a crazy race with a crazy start. We got tangled up and lost a part of the rear wing which caused us to lose downforce in the back which we fought all race long. My teammate (Felipe Nasr) did a killer job again today and ended up third. It was great points day and this Whelen Cadillac keeps winning podiums. The Action Express guys also nailed the pit stops so it was good team work all day. It would have been nice to win but we will take third.” 

    The next race for the Action Express Racing squad will be the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix featuring America’s Tire 250 on September 7th – 9th.

  • 06/04/2018 8:50 AM | Anonymous

    Source: Sunday Group Management - Partial Reprint

    Second victory in three years at Belle Isle comes on Sonny Whelen’s Birthday


    Detroit, Mich. (2 June 2018)   Whelen Engineering Racing used teamwork, strategy, and great race pace to score its first victory of the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season on Saturday in the Chevrolet Dealers Grand Prix in Detroit. 

    Drivers Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr shared the driving duties in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing DPi-V.R to capture their third podium finish of the 2018 season. The post-race celebrations, which included a jump into the Victory Circle fountain for both drivers, were further boosted by the fact that the race victory came on the birthday of long-time motorsport and Team Fox supporter Sonny Whelen.

    A crash in Friday’s practice session could have set the team effort back, but instead the group rallied to make repairs in time for qualifying. Curran started the race from sixth in the order and was able to move to run in fifth before taking to the pit lane for a stop for fuel and a driver change. Nasr returned to the field 18th in the order but worked his way forward to the top five by lap 38. 

    A final fuel-only pit stop on lap 39 set the stage for Nasr’s run to the front as he claimed the lead on lap 44 and refused to relinquish the point to score a big win for the team. 

    "It is a combination of everything,” said Gary Nelson about the teams run to victory. “The drivers did one heck of a job and we are really thrilled with what they did today. The pit stops were great. I think we have the best pit crew out there and we nailed the timing of those stops with the 31 today.”

    "A big shout out to the Action Express, Cadillac, and GM guys who helped us get this win,” said Curran. “This is the place to be, and the place to win in our Whelen Cadillac. Hats off to the engineering team who took a not so perfect weekend and turned it around. The team did an awesome job with the car. This is my second win in the last number of years and if you are going to win a race, this is the best place to win one. It feels so satisfying to have our first win of the year. It is also a special win as it is Sonny Whelen’s birthday from Whelen. Felipe Nasr did a killer job and put it together perfectly. Again, hats off to all the guys.”

    "It was a tough race but I will take it! Eric (Curran) and the entire Action Express Racing team did a great job,” said Nasr. “After our first practice, we ended up hurting the back of the car. The guys put the car back together and we had an amazing qualifying. The race itself was all about getting the right calls and we took the Continental tires to the very end, which they hang on amazingly so I was able to drive the car fast until the end. We didn’t have a great start to  the weekend but here we are,  and I couldn't have asked for a better day to be honest. I am super happy!”

     

    The next race on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will be the Sahlen’s Six Hour at Watkins Glen International on July 1.

     

  • 06/01/2018 8:45 PM | Anonymous
    Source: Sunday Group Management

    FS2 providing live race coverage starting at 12:30 PM ET

     Detroit, Mich. (1 June 2018) Action Express Racing delivered another great team effort on Friday. The team will start Saturday’s Chevrolet Grand Prix presented by Lear on the second row with the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing DPi-V.R of Filipe Albuquerque and Joao Barbosa, and the third row with the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing DPi-V.R of Felipe Nasr and Eric Curran following Friday’s 12-minute qualifying session. 

    The team has a strong record at the 2.35-mile circuit set just outside of the shadows created  by the General Motors Renaissance center in Detroit, and will look to return to the Motor City podium on Saturday for round five of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

    The day featured two practice sessions  for the team to develop the set-up for the quickly-changing temporary street circuit, which is also playing host to a range of other racing series on the fan-focused weekend. The second session of the day included a setback after Nasr suffered a quick spin that caused damage to the Whelen Engineering Racing entry. But the team quickly clicked into motion to make repairs, with the car ready to go well ahead of the qualifying session. 

    The qualifying session was curtailed as IMSA shortened the session to 12 minutes following a delay for weather, and then it was stopped for a mid-session red flag following a crash by another Prototype.  With Curran (No. 31 Whelen Engineering) and Barbosa (No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing) taking the controls for qualifying, both racers had to deal with traffic as well as the abbreviated schedule as they claimed their spots on the grid. 

    "Hats off to the Action Express Racing guys, especially on the No. 31 Whelen car,” said Curran. “It was all them today. Felipe (Nasr) had a little issue in practice earlier and we had damage to the back of the car. But these guys are on it. A couple hours later, the No. 31 Whelen Cadillac looks like brand new! We went out there and pushed hard, but it was a strange qualifying session with a wreck, debris on track, and then the red flag in the middle. We are sixth, but we really didn't get a fair run at it. I missed the last practice session because of the morning incident. I feel strong here and think this is a good place. I feel good so let's just see what tomorrow brings even though we aren't starting where we wanted to be. We will just keep going." 

    "The qualifying session was a weird one and unfortunate it happened that way,” said Barbosa of the truncated track time. “We had a good car and it got better every lap but we just didn’t get many laps! It's going to be very tough to beat the guys in the front who have been showing a lot of pace during practice. If I had two good laps at the end, I could have done a little bit better.  I was able to do a decent job, the car was getting better so I was looking forward to another lap. That didn't happen, but we have a good race car. Cadillac is running very well. We will have good pace in the race.” 

    An 8:00 AM warm-up will open the activities on Saturday, with the race set to go green at 12:40 PM ET (FS2 coverage and IMSA Radio).

    Keep updated via twitter.com/axracing 




  • 06/01/2018 8:58 AM | Anonymous

    Source: Wayne Taylor Racing

    The No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R will start Saturday’s Chevrolet Sports Car Classic from the inside of the fourth row after IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying Friday evening on the Streets of Belle Isle in downtown Detroit.

    The No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R will start Saturday’s Chevrolet Sports Car Classic from the inside of the fourth row after IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying Friday evening on the Streets of Belle Isle in downtown Detroit.

    Renger van der Zande, who with co-driver Jordan Taylor is looking to score the team’s fifth Detroit victory in the last six years this weekend, clocked a fast lap of 1 minute, 22.273 seconds at 102.828 mph during a slightly shortened qualifying session around the 2.36-mile, 13-turn temporary street circuit due to a red-flag stoppage. It was good for seventh among the 26 car-and-driver combinations that will take the green flag for Saturday’s one-hour, 40 minute sprint race.

    “It’s been a rough day – we’ve been chasing the setup a little bit over the bumps here but, for qualifying we made a very good step forward,” said van der Zande, the Dutch driving veteran who scored back-to-back LMPC-class wins here with the Starworks Motorsport team in 2015 and 2016. “The only issue was the red flag, which made it all come down to a two-lap shootout at the end, which was really cool in one way but, at the same time, it would have been good to get the whole session in. I gave it my all and got a pretty good lap. It was nowhere near the pole but at least we’re a little bit ahead of where we were in practice. Then, into turn 11, I was fully sideways and almost spun off on an even quicker lap, but those are the risks you have to take, sometimes. I went over a bump, got a little wide, kept the throttle down to see if we could make it, but I had to lift, anyway, and lost a few tenths there. Altogether, it wasn’t the greatest, but in the race, anything can happen, for sure. We should be able to make another few steps forward because we’ve at least found the right direction.”

  • 05/07/2018 9:59 AM | Anonymous

    Source: Sunday Group Management Press Release


     

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    Leads Cadillac runners with another top-five finish


    Mansfield, Ohio (6 May 2018)  Looking to make a successful defense of the team’s 2013 Mid-Ohio race victory, the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R finished fourth with drivers Filipe Albuquerque (PRT) and João Barbosa (PRT) coming home just one spot shy of the podium despite excellent teamwork all weekend long. 

    The race was round four of the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, with the team looking to score a third victory of the year with the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R.  From the pit stops to the strategy to the performance of the drivers, the team executed fully on the race plan, but just came up short of a return to the Mid-Ohio podium.

    Barbosa started the race from sixth on the grid and was able to hold station in the opening segments of the race before turning the car over to his fellow Rolex 24 At Daytona champion Albuquerque. The Mustang Sampling squad delivered when it came time for the pit stops, helping the team move forward with excellent execution. The visit to Mid-Ohio was the first for Albuquerque, who ran a strong race pace through the extended green flag run to come home fourth at the finish as the leading Cadillac DPi-V.R. 

    "It was an interesting race with no yellows, I wasn't expecting that certainly not at Mid-Ohio since it's a very narrow track with a lot of traffic,” said Barbosa. “Everyone behaved, which is really good! Our race was the best it could be. The team did a great job and we were able to make up a few positions. We didn't have the outright pace, but we had a consistent car, great pit stops, and great strategy. That's all we had today, so we move on to Detroit and hopefully we can be stronger there."

    "The track it's self is pretty interesting, but we did’t have the pace that I wish we did,” said Albuquerque. “Overall the winning car was in a different category than everyone else. But it was a clean race with no adventures with the safety car, which could have played a little better for us. We did win our race being the best Cadillac. It was a smart race because we gained points towards the championship. In my opinion, Action Express won the race, our race-we did a brilliant job with strategy, with our stops and made the most of whatever we had."

    The next race on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will be the Chevrolet Grand Prix in Detroit on June 2. 

     

     

    Mustang Sampling

    Mustang Sampling

    Mustang Sampling Website

     

    (L-R) Christian Fittipaldi, Filipe Albuquerque, Joao Barbosa


    João Barbosa

    The three-time and co-defending IMSA TPNAEC Champion, João Barbosa returns to Action Express Racing to drive the familiar #5 gold, black and white Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R seeking his third IMSA WeatherTech Championship at the pinnacle of North American sports car competition. João resides in Charlotte, NC with his wife and two sons. He is an avid runner and cyclist. 

    Filipe Albuquerque

    Filipe joins the defending Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup and two-time IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship winning No .5 MustangSampling Cadillac Dpi-V.R for the full 2018 IMSA campaign. Filipe resides in his hometown  of Cambria, Portugal. 

    Christian Fittipaldi

    Two-time IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Champion driver Christian Fittipaldi returns to Action Express Racing for his sixth full season of competition following a fourth consecutive Tequila Patron' North American Endurance Cup title with co-driver João Barbosa. Fittipaldi has been appointed Sporting Director for Action Express Racing, and will continue to race in the endurance events starting in 2018.  Outside of sports car racing, the Brazilian satiates his need for competition by racing in mountain bike and karting events, both in the U.S. and his home country of Brazil.

    About Mustang Sampling

    Mustang Sampling, LLC is the innovator of Analytically Accurate® solutions within sample conditioning systems. We provide custom solutions of products and services globally to the Natural Gas, Natural Gas Liquids (NGL), and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) industries. Mustang Sampling continues to pioneer integrated control systems, allowing our customers to maintain phase stability from sample extraction at the pipeline through sample analysis. Our products are continuously improved and subjected to the highest quality standards which provides our customers with the best sample conditioning solutions. 


  • 05/07/2018 9:15 AM | Anonymous

    Source: Wayne Taylor Racing


    2018 Mid Ohio Post Race Report

    2018 Mid Ohio Post Race Report

    Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R Finishes Right Where it Started In Caution-Free WeatherTech Series IMSA Sports Car Challenge



    The No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R duo of Jordan Taylor and Renger van der Zande finished right where it started in Sunday’s IMSA Sports Car Challenge, bringing home a solid fifth-place finish in the WeatherTech Championship series’ return to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington. 

    It was the first time since 2013 series competitors have raced on the scenic, 2.238-mile, 13-turn road course, where passing is notoriously difficult and races are instead won or lost by strategy and execution on pit road. 

    Thus, the caution-free 125 laps run in today’s two-hour, 40-minute race did not afford the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R much of an opportunity to make major moves to the front of the pack from its fifth spot on the starting grid. 

    Through each of the three rounds of green-flag pit stops the team executed today, Taylor and van der Zande resumed in fifth place. Taylor crossed the finish line 57 seconds behind his older brother and former co-driver Ricky Taylor, who left after last year’s championship-winning season to join the new, two-car Team Penske Prototype-class effort and scored the victory today with teammate Helio Castroneves. 

    Van der Zande, the Dutch driving veteran who stepped in as Jordan Taylor’s full-time co-driver this season, qualified fifth Saturday behind a pair of Acuras and a pair of Mazdas. He drove a solid opening two stints but could not make any headway. He momentarily picked up a position when the No. 55 Mazda DPi of Jonathan Bomarito and Spencer Pigot retired on lap 74, but the No. 5 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R of Joao Barbosa and Felipe Albuquerque came out just ahead during the second round of green-flag stops, having pitted five laps before the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R during that cycle. 

    “We were racing the 5 car today,” van der Zande said. “Every other car in front us was at a different level of speed. I drove very hard. I drove very fast. I thought my stint was flawless, basically. Somehow, the 5 beat us, which we have to find out why. At the same time, Jordan did a great job, the team did a great job. I love this track. Apart from the fact you can’t overtake cars in your own class, I really enjoyed the track itself. It’s an intense track. To get the lap time you want, you really have to nail it, which makes it quite special. I was really happy to be racing here this weekend.” 

    Taylor kept pace but also could not make any progress toward the leaders during his flawless driving stints to the finish. 

    “I think we were kind of in our own race today,” he said. “We couldn’t really race with the lead pack, which was the top four cars. So basically we were racing for fifth and sixth for most of the race and, once someone else fell out, we were battling for fourth and fifth. We thought we had the right strategy. I’m not sure what went wrong, how we got jumped, but I still think it was the right strategy. But considering what we have, I think we can be happy with a fifth-place finish. Looking at the championship, it’s good to be consistent, especially when you have so many good cars in the field, now. You can’t risk a bad finish. So, considering how we didn’t have the fastest car, I think coming away with good points is pretty good.” 

    The fifth-place finish enabled the team to pick up one spot from fourth to third in the Prototype-class standings, five points behind the second-place No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R of Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr, and 15 points behind the front-running No. 5 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R. 

    Ricky Taylor’s victory today was the 20th of his career and first with a team other than his father’s. It was also the first for the new Team Penske camp, which includes Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron in the car that finished second here today. 

    “As I said at the beginning of the year, I have two chances of winning, now,” said team owner Wayne Taylor. “Obviously, I want my team to win for Konica Minolta and Cadillac with Jordan and Renger. But this weekend, we really didn’t have a chance against the Acuras. I’m just really proud of Ricky and Helio on their win. I really wanted Ricky to be the first one to win for them. That makes Ricky the 50th driver to win a race for Roger Penske. I’ve always loved Mid-Ohio. The fans really love sportscar racing here, and it’s still similar to what it was like when I was driving here in 1990 and 1991. And I really like coming here. I love this place.” 

    Round five on the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship calendar is the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix on the Streets of Belle Isle temporary circuit Saturday, June 2, with live FS2 television beginning at 12:30 p.m. EDT. Taylor and van der Zande will be vying for the team’s fifth victory in its last six visits to the annual IndyCar Series-headlined event.

  • 05/07/2018 9:07 AM | Anonymous

    Source: Sunday Management Group

     

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    Mansfield, Ohio (6 May 2018)- The No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing DPi-V.R  finished the Mid-Ohio Grand Prix eighth on Sunday as Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr teamed for the fourth round of the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The race marked the return of IMSA to the technical track set in rural Ohio with a long history of sports car racing through the decades.

    With 34 cars sharing the 2.238-mile circuit for the two-hour, forty minute race, there were high expectations for drama between the three classes in competition. Instead, the race ran at a relentless pace for the entirety of the the event from green to checkered flag. Pit stops are always critical, and the 125 lap event saw the team produce three well-executed stops as track position was as vital as ever with the extended green flag run.  

    Curran started the race from twelfth on the grid, but was able to make a pair of moves to slot in to tenth on the opening lap. The American racer continued to move forward, taking seventh position before turning for pit lane as Nasr took the controls. Returning to the action in 11th on lap 35, the former Formula 1 pilot made the most of the green flag run to advance to eighth before taking the checkered flag.

    "It's fun to come back to Mid-Ohio and run our Whelen Cadillac around here,” said Curran. “We got a little off on the initial set up of the car with the car being really loose. We made some adjustments to make up for it later in our run. But the leaders had a ton of speed today so we’ll just move on to the next one. We got a few points and came away with an 8th place finish but we just have to keep charging forward and get back up to the front. I look forward to racing in Detroit."

    "I worked very hard today,” said Nasr. “It was a difficult weekend for us in general. I felt like I did everything I could today. This track is a lot more difficult to overtake even compared to Long Beach because of the loss of downforce. Looking at the positive, we still scored a few points and I am ready for the next race already to make up some ground." 

    The next race on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will be the Chevrolet Grand Prix in Detroit on June 2.

    Whelen Timeline: http://www.whelen.com/pb/Automotive/ProductSheets/Misc/Whelen_History.pdf

    Follow twitter.com/ax_racing for updates and visit the all-new http://axracing.com for team information, photos, and additional updates.

     

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    Felipe Nasr

    Felipe Nasr has joined Action Express Racing for the 2018  IMSA WeatherTech Prototype Championship SportsCar Season with co-driver Eric Curran in the No, 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R.  The former Formula 1 racer has one start with Action Express Racing (Rolex 24 At Daytona, 2013) as he moves full time into endurance sports car racing in 2018.  

    Eric Curran

    2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Champion Eric Curran returns to Whelen Engineering Racing as a full-time pilot alongside Felipe Nasr.  Eric has been racing under the Whelen Engineering banner since the 2007 season, and is  President of West Coast Exotic Cars located in California. Eric and his fiancé, Chelsey reside in Sarasota, FL and Murrieta CA
     

    About Whelen Engineering

    Whelen Engineering designs and manufactures reliable and powerful warning lights, white illumination lighting, sirens, controllers, and high-powered warning systems for Automotive, Aviation, and Mass Notification industries worldwide. With two state-of-the-art facilities in Connecticut and New Hampshire, Whelen has the largest design staff in the industry and over 1,500 dedicated employees. 

    Visit www.whelen.com for more information.

    Team Fox

    Team Fox is the sports and event fundraising arm of the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Disease Research.  They are considered a major associate sponsor of the Whelen Racing Team.  The Team Fox logo appears on the rear fenders of the Whelen Racing Team car.  Visit michaeljfox.org for additional information. 
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