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Author Topic: Cadillac Wins IMSA Prototype Championship, Whelen Engineering Cadillac Wins Driv  (Read 372 times)

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Cadillac Wins IMSA Prototype Championship, Whelen Engineering Cadillac Wins Drivers, Team Championships


Cadillac won the IMSA Prototype Manufacturer Championship today at the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Motul Petit Le Mans. The championship comes on the strength of the run by the Whelen Engineering Cadillac team which won the drivers' and team championship with their eighth-place performance in today's season finale at Road Atlanta. The Konica Minolta Cadillac team won the 10-hour race, their first of the season.


2018 Cadillac Season Ending Honors:
Cadillac wins IMSA Prototype Manufacturer Championship
Whelen Engineering Cadillac drivers Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr win IMSA Prototype Drivers' Championship
Whelen Engineering Cadillac wins the IMSA Prototype Team Championship
Cadillac wins Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup (TPNAEC) Manufacturer Championship
Whelen Engineering Cadillac drivers Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr win TPNAEC Drivers' Championship
Whelen Engineering Cadillac wins TPNAEC team championship
At the drop of the green the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R in the hands of Felipe Nasr began to make its way to the front of the pack from the ninth-place qualifying position. Two hours into the race Eric Curran took the lead in the red Cadillac DPi-V.R with the help from a fortunate pit stop just when a full course yellow was slowing the action. He exited the pits and when the race restarted he was the leader. With the team constantly preaching to not risk the car in the Road Atlanta race traffic, Nasr, Curran and third driver Gabby Chaves were able to do just enough, finish within one place of the No. 54 Core Oreca in eighth to win the IMSA Prototype Championship.


"This is unbelievable," Curran said. "Talk about down to the wire, it just doesn't get closer than that in racing. We didn't think we could make it on fuel, we kept backing Felipe up to hit the number running four or five seconds off the pace at the end. The 54 Core car had to stop and that made the difference. The Whelen Cadillac was great all day. We led a lot of the race. The engineers on the box, the pit stops were all spot on. What a great day! It feels great to win two of these championships in a two-year window. I am unbelievably happy!"


"I have no words at all," Nasr said. "It was an exhausting last stint, to be honest, three plus hours in the car. Somehow, we lost power halfway through the stint so the only chance we had was to hit the fuel target. I still can't believe it, it was impossible but somehow, we made it! I want to thank Eric, Gabby, and Mike (Conway) - even though he's not here this weekend, he's been a great part of the team. And thank you to the Action Express guys who made all the calls, all our sponsors - the Whelan car has won two championships! This is my first year in the series and I couldn't ask for a better way for the season to go. It's been a great year, I just need time for it all to sink in."


"I had a great time out there today," Chaves said. "The Whelen Cadillac was great to drive here at Road Atlanta. I was able to lead a few laps. When I was in the car we were a little off pit sequence with the other cars so we were hanging around the top five. My job this weekend was to keep a good pace going and keep the car clean. Eric and Felipe did the hard work like they have been doing all year. They deserve the championship."


By winning the first segment of the race, the Whelen Engineering Cadillac team won the TPNAEC team championship. For Action Express it is their fifth TPNAEC team championship. The strong performance of the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac team and the No. 10 Konica Minolta team also contributed valuable points to the endurance championship today.


Cadillac takes the IMSA Prototype Championship Manufacturer trophy for the second consecutive year. All three teams posted wins on the season to help the brand capture top manufacturer honors once again in 2018.


"It was a great night at Petit Le Mans with the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R winning the championship," Steve Carlisle, General Motors senior vice president and president, Cadillac said. "Cadillac, for the second year in a row, is the IMSA Prototype driver and manufacturer champions! That is a testament to the Wayne Taylor, Action Express and Spirit of Daytona teams all performing to a very high standard all season. The drivers' and manufacturers trophies are shared by everyone at Cadillac, our teams, suppliers and customers. We have proven that V-Performance is once again the standard of power in IMSA Prototype competition."


"Congratulations to Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr on winning Cadillac's second consecutive IMSA Prototype drivers' championship," Mark Reuss, GM Executive Vice President and President Global Product Group and Cadillac said. "The No. 31 Action Express Cadillac DPi-V.R team took the momentum from their victory at the Detroit Grand Prix through the season to take the title. Cadillac V-Performance power, combined with strong team work, proved to be a winning combination. Also, thanks to all of the Cadillac DPi teams for delivering valuable points to earn Cadillac's second consecutive manufacturer championship."


 
 Hunter-Reay, left, Van Der Zande, Taylor win Petit.
The No. 10 Konica-Minolta Cadillac team was driving without reservation all race. The trio of Jordan Taylor, Renger Van Der Zande and Ryan Hunter-Reay were not in a championship points position and drove for the win. The team led briefly into the early evening. In the last half hour of the race, Van Der Zande was using all of the Cadillac DPi-V.R to chase down the leading No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac. The Mustang Sampling Cadillac was conserving fuel and stumbled heading into the second to last turn allowing Van Der Zande to pass for the win within 200 yards of the finish line.


"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."


"Took nine races to get my first win with the team," Van Der Zande said. "We finally got it done. 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."


The No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac team with Filipe Albuquerque, Christian Fittipaldi and Tristan Vautier suffered through early race contact and a penalty to come back and take the race lead. With one lap to go, Albuquerque was behind the wheel and leading when he took the white flag. Being very close on fuel the car stumbled into Turn 10 and the Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R passed him within site of the finish line. He was able to get the car down the hill and across to the checker in fourth.


"When Filipe came out of Turn 7, I thought we had it," Fittipaldi said. "I thought that was it, we only had the straightaways and it would be okay. But then he started having a misfire down the straight and unfortunately, not only the 10 but all the other cars went by and we didn't even finish on the podium. Congratulations to the Whelen guys for winning the championship, it was an awesome run. It was an awesome run for us this season, 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."


"We really have had bad luck in the second half of the season, it was very frustrating," Albuquerque said. "We had problems early in the race with the offset, recovered and came back to lead. The car was just brilliant from lap one, 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. Everyone did great, and Tristen did an amazing job, jumping in and helping us. I guess it was just not meant to be."


"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 going for broke and were that close, 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 and the entire team for being so welcoming, I'm very grateful. I'm happy for the team as a whole, because the 31 won the championship and that was the main mission today. I'm disappointed, but very grateful."


The teams will celebrate the wins and collect their trophies at the IMSA WeatherTech Night o of Champions tomorrow and then look to January for the Roar Before the 24 test in just three months to kick-off the 2019 season. Cadillac will have seven DPi-V.R cars on the grid for the Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona to run January 24-27.


Cadillac DPi-V.R 2018 Results
Track Drivers Qualify Finish Points
Daytona Filipe Albuquerque
Joao Barbosa
Christian Fittipaldi 3 1   
  Eric Curran
Felipe Nasr
Mike Conway 7 2   
  Jordan Taylor
Renger Van Der Zande
Ryan Hunter-Reay 1 15   
  Matt McMurry
Tristan Vautier
Eddie Cheever III 5 20   
Sebring Filipe Albuquerque
Joao Barbosa
Christian Fittipaldi 8 10 3 (56)
  Eric Curran
Felipe Nasr
Mike Conway 5 3 1 (62)
  Jordan Taylor
Renger Van Der Zande
Ryan Hunter-Reay 10 2 7 (48) 
  Matt McMurry
Tristan Vautier
Eddie Cheever III 1 12 11 (30)
Long Beach Filipe Albuquerque
Joao Barbosa 5 1 35 (1)
  Eric Curran
Felipe Nasr 2 7 32 (2)
  Jordan Taylor
Renger Van Der Zande 6 3 16 (4)
Mid-Ohio Filipe Albuquerque
Joao Barbosa 6 4 119
  Eric Curran
Felipe Nasr 12 8 109
  Jordan Taylor
Renger Van Der Zande 4 5 104
Detroit Filipe Albuquerque
Joao Barbosa 4 6 144
  Eric Curran
Felipe Nasr 6 1 144
  Jordan Taylor
Renger Van Der Zande 7 5 130
  Matt McMurry
Tristan Vautier 12 13 48
Watkins Glen Filipe Albuquerque
Christian Fittipaldi
Gabby Chaves 14 6 169 (1)
  Eric Curran
Felipe Nasr
Mike Conway 11 7 168 (2)
  Jordan Taylor
Renger Van Der Zande 8 5 156 (4)
  Matt McMurry
Tristan Vautier 12 11 68 (24)
CTMP Filipe Albuquerque
Christian Fittipaldi 11 4 197
(2)
  Jordan Taylor
Renger Van Der Zande 4 2 188
(3)
  Eric Curran
Felipe Nasr 12 3 198
(1)
Road America Filipe Albuquerque
Joao Barbosa 7 7 221
(2)
  Jordan Taylor
Renger Van Der Zande 4 4 216
(4)
  Eric Curran
Felipe Nasr 9 3 228
(1)
Laguna Seca Filipe Albuquerque
Joao Barbosa 11 DNS 221 (6)
  Jordan Taylor
Renger Van Der Zande 1 12 235
(3)
  Eric Curran
Felipe Nasr 9 5 254
(1)
Petit Le Mans Filipe Albuquerque
Christian Fittipaldi
Tristan Vautier 6 4   
  Jordan Taylor
Renger Van Der Zande
Ryan Hunter-Reay 12 1   
  Eric Curran
Felipe Nasr
Gabby Chaves 9 8   


Photo credits, Cadillac/Richard Prince.


 
Eric Curran, left, and Felipe Nasr.
 



 


 
 
 
The Cadillac DPi-V.R teams won every title in the inaugural season of the IMSA DPi formula including: Cadillac wins DPi manufacturer championship; Cadillac wins TPNAEC (Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup) manufacturer title; Jordan and Ricky Taylor 2017 IMSA WeatherTech DPi driver champions; Konica Minolta Cadillac team champions; Mustang Sampling Cadillac drivers Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi and Filipe Albuquerque won the TPNAEC DPi driver championship; Mustang Sampling Cadillac won the TPNAEC DPi team championship; Whelen Engineering drivers Dane Cameron and Eric Curran finish second in the driver's championship; Mustang Sampling Cadillac drivers Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi finish third in the driver's championship; Cadillac teams combine to win seven races in 2017: Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona, Twelve Hours of Sebring, Long Beach, Circuit of the Americas, Detroit, Watkins Glen, and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
A leading luxury auto brand since 1902, Cadillac is growing globally, driven by an expanding product portfolio that features distinctive design and technology. Today Cadillac is growing globally, driven by an expanding product portfolio featuring distinctive design and technology. More information on Cadillac appears at www.cadillac.com. Cadillac's media website with information, images and video can be found at media.cadillac.com.
 
Additional information can be viewed at Cadillac.com, GM.com, media.gm.com; Twitter @Cadillac; Facebook, GM, Cadillac.
 
The Cadillac Racing media guide can be viewed at media.cadillac.com.  For additional information please contact Kyle Chura, kyle@kcapr.com or (248) 821-0468.

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