Whelen Engineering Cadillac wins at Sebring
The Whelen Engineering Cadillac team won today's running of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Cadillac Grand Prix of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway. The Konica Minolta Cadillac was second with the Mustang Sampling Cadillac coming third completing the podium sweep.
"I think this place likes me," Derani said. "It was a fantastic day for us. Our last win was last year at Petit Le Mans. This team is so used to winning. The two races at Daytona did not go our way and that's not what this team expects. We finally got back on the top step of the podium. This is my fourth win in five attempts at Sebring. Obviously, it was not the 12-Hours [of Sebring] this time around. But, I love this place. We had a dominant car the whole way. It's fantastic when you can roll off the truck with a set-up that's as good as we had today. We were fastest in FP2 (free practice #2). We took pole position and we won the race. A big thank you to the entire Whelen Engineering Cadillac team. They did a phenomenal job to put us in this position today."
Renger Van Der Zande ran upfront behind Derani throughout his opening stint in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R. The Dutchman turned the car over to teammate Ryan Briscoe. Briscoe kept the black Konica Minolta Cadillac upfront to take second place.
"It was a really good result today," Briscoe said. "Unfortunately, there was a lot of time management at the end. I'm really proud of the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac guys. We made a lot of changes to the car after we started the day on a bad foot after morning practice, so we had a great set-up during the race, so thank you to the engineers so we'll keep pushing from here on. Now, it's time to hydrate."
A small miscue by Sebastian Bourdais missing pit lane on the reconnaissance lap forced the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R to start from the back of the DPi grid. He and teammate Joao Barbosa were able to recover and take the third step on the podium as the Mazda cars misjudged the fuel strategy and ran out on the last lap.
"We had the plan going into the event that I would start, do one stint and then comeback and finish," Bourdais said. "Both Joao and Christian [Fittipaldi] felt it was the right thing to do. Then with where the yellows fell we didn't want to end up with a short stop. It ended up being a good thing us. The Mazda cars ran out of fuel, not good for them, but good for us. The team was telling me to push them hard because they thought they could not make it. It didn't seem like it was going to happen I got the 55 halfway around the track on the last lap and 77 on the last turn. It made for a dramatic finish. Another podium for us - three in a row!"
Stephen Simpson started the No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi-V.R and ran strong in the top-five in his opening run. Handing off to Tristan Vautier, the Frenchman had to pit late in the race for fuel resulting in an eighth place finish.
"Struggle for us with the 85 Cadillac today," Vautier said. "I think our overall pace was ok. We stopped early for our driver change and that affected our fuel strategy, we were a few laps short. I had to stop again late in the race and that was costly. We could have gotten the two Mazda cars. Overall a good day for the team with the five car and for Cadillac Racing with the one-two-three finish."
Corvette 1-2 in GTLM
Corvette Racing went 1-2 at Sebring International Raceway as Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner took a GT Le Mans (GTLM) victory in the Cadillac Grand Prix for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on Saturday.
The No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R took a 0.480-second victory over the pole-sitting No. 3 Corvette of Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia – class winners two weeks ago at Daytona. It was the 12th victory for Corvette Racing at the 3.7-mile, 17-turn road course in central Florida, and the result moves Chevrolet into the GTLM Manufacturer’s Championship lead after three races.
The team also won its 101st race in IMSA, 109th in program history and finished 1-2 for the 61st time. Gavin won for the seventh time at Sebring, and Milner took his third victory at the circuit.
The two Corvettes ran second and third early but took control of the race following the first pit stop just past the half-hour mark. Two GTLM competitors collided in the pitlane, and the C8.Rs emerged 1-2 with Taylor leading Gavin. They continued that formation until the midway point of the race when the Corvettes stopped a lap apart from each other.
Fuel-saving by Gavin during his stint allowed Milner to take the lead as the No. 4 C8.R went a lap longer than the team car. Garcia entered the race about three seconds back from Milner as the pair made their final stops separately about 20 minutes later.
Garcia closed the gap to Milner over the final 20 minutes but not enough to overtake the No. 4 Corvette. The Garcia/Taylor duo did, however, leave Sebring with the GTLM Driver’s Championship lead, as did the No. 3 Corvette in the Team standings.
Saturday’s victory also came on the one-year anniversary of the 2020 Corvette Stingray production car’s public debut. It is the road-going counterpart to the C8.R.
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – GTLM RACE-WINNER: "It's been an amazing day. Thanks to Corvette Racing and Tommy for doing a wonderful job to bring the car home at the end. It was the strategy and pit stops that made the difference. Our guys did an outstanding job throughout the race. Our Corvette C8.R has really come alive in the last two races. It was a great result for the No. 3 Corvette to get the 100th victory in IMSA for Corvette Racing at Daytona. For us to get No. 101 and my 49th in IMSA is fantastic. A great day. I do want to dedicate this win to a great friend of mine who passed away just before Daytona - Nick Moss, who supported me throughout all my career. He came to Le Mans with me 15 times and was an amazing, amazing friend. He passed away after a long battle with cancer, and I want to dedicate this win to him."
HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT SETTING UP FOR A SPRINT RACE FOR SEBRING INSTEAD OF 12 HOURS?
"It's a far shorter timespan so you may go more aggressively on your brakes. You're also not having to factor in that night finish or how the track is going to evolve. You have a very short window where the track is going to improve or not. It's a tight window. We focused on that. These races are happening very, very quick. You hardly have time to get the cars ready between sessions. Just before the start, our guys were thrashing away to make some changes that in the end made our car really good and led us to standing here talking to you. We have them to thank for that, for making all those changes and the guys working in the engineering room going over all the numbers. This is still a brand new car and we are really trying to learn as we go. It's a phenomenal car and we want to win more and more. Bring on Road America."
DID YOU SEE WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PORSCHES?
"It was only after the race that people started talking to me about it. The guys didn't mention it to me. I just saw that one of the Porsches had left missing its front bumper. It was all of us trying to leave together and there wasn't enough room. I was already in the fast lane and had priority."
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – GTLM RACE-WINNER: "It's an amazing achievement to get 100 wins and now 101. The success of this team is incredible, and to be a small part of that is obviously an honor. It took us awhile to get 100 so it's nice to get over the hump to get 101 and not have to talk about that one! Today was all about strategy and not making mistakes. It looked like we were going to have a pretty good race with the Porsches. It was all pretty close but then all fell apart there as far as that goes. In the end, it was left to myself and Antonio and of course Jordan and Olly at the start. Olly in the end really made the race for us with saving fuel and having a bit better pit stop and get out in front of the 3 car. That was pretty much the end. Antonio got pretty close there at the end. He was there for sure. The plan was with a couple laps to go once he got there, it wasn't worth throwing away a win and 1-2 finish for Corvette Racing. So he was probably a little bit nicer to me than he could have been! But it was an awesome day. It's great to drive with Olly and it's an incredible achievement for him to get 50 IMSA wins. We'll work on that in the upcoming races."
HAD THE PORSCHES NOT HAD THEIR INCIDENTS IN PITLANE, HOW CLOSE OF A RACE WOULD IT HAVE BEEN?
"It was looking like it was going to be very, very close pace wise. I think you saw that in the pitstop as well. We all came in together and we were all going to leave together. It looked like with all the strategy details, it was going to be a close race whether it was on fuel mileage or tires or whatever. They have been fast all season and continue to be quite quick. We'll for sure have some work to do to find an advantage somewhere if we can and ultimately not make mistakes throughout the race. We saw today how one small one can ruin your race. We'll have to be extra vigilant about no pitlane incidents or making mistakes on the track.... those little details that aren't so sexy in some way but that's what makes the race for you in the end."
DragonSpeed Loses LMP2 win
DragonSpeed was been stripped of its LMP2 class victory in Saturday’s Cadillac Grand Prix of Sebring due to a drive-time infringement.
The No. 81 Oreca 07 Gibson of Gustavo Menezes crossed the line 12 seconds ahead of the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports entry, which was declared as class winners due to Menezes’ co-driver Henrik Hedman not meeting the minimum drive time of 45 minutes.
It gave top class honors to Patrick Kelly and Spencer Pigot, in his LMP2 debut.
Per IMSA, Menezes and Hedman have been moved to the rear of the LMP2 results, finishing fifth in class.
Timing and scoring data shows Hedman pitted on Lap 21, two seconds short of the minimum time according to the team.
Feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Go to our forums to discuss this article