Cadillac to Start Second at Long Beach

Long Beach, Calif., April 12, 2019
Whelen Engineering Cadillac to Start Second at Long Beach
Whelen Engineering Cadillac will start on the front row in second position for tomorrow’s running of the IMSA WeatherTech Championship Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach.
Cadillac Racing Long Beach qualifying:
2. No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R
4. No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R
7. No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R
8. No. 84 JDC/Miller Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R
9. No. 85 JDC/Miller Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R
10. No. 50 Juncos Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R
Felipe Nasr posted the top time for the six Cadillac DPi-V.R race cars at the tight 1.968-mile, 11-turn closed street course that surrounds the Long Beach Convention Center. Nasr put in a lap of 1:11.550 that will have he and teammate Pipo Derani starting from the front row next to the pole sitting Acura.
“We’re on the front row again for Long Beach, which is a good start for us,” Nasr said. “Those Acura cars were fast, so congrats to them for getting pole position. I felt pretty happy during the practice sessions and heading into qualifying. The Whelen Engineering team has done an amazing job to work on the details ahead of qualifying. We made really good changes and the car continued to improve.”
Teammate to Nasr, Joao Barbosa will start directly behind in fourth in the Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R. Barbosa put in a lap of 1:11.870. He will hand-off to Filipe Albuquerque.
“We made a few changes for qualifying and the Mustang Sampling car feels pretty good,” Barbosa said. “I think that we can improve the handling a little bit for the race but the Cadillac is very consistent. Maybe the outright speed isn’t there right now but we are not that far off. I think as far as race pace goes, we are actually pretty good, so I’m looking forward to the race tomorrow. The team has done a really great job bringing really competitive cars and to give us a chance to fight for the win. Now it’s up to us to perform tomorrow.”
Jordan Taylor, who recently had an appendectomy, qualified the Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R. Cleared to drive after his operation he ran a lap of 1:12.312. Renger Van Der Zande shares the black Cadillac for the Rolex 24 hour winning Wayne Taylor led team.
“We had issues in the first practice session,” Jordan Taylor said. “We have been a little off pace today. We did some big changes which we could feel in the car, but it wasn’t in the right direction and didn’t make us any faster. We can take a couple more swings for the race. We will look at our notes from the past years. Also, the guys will work some magic on the strategy to get us closer to the front. I was a little nervous coming here (regarding his appendectomy) to see how I would feel in the car. After the first session I felt good. I feel the most normal I have all week. I would feel better if we were a little faster.”
Simon Trummer was the front qualifier of the two JDC/Miller Racing Cadillac cars. He posted a lap of 1:12.455 that will have him starting eighth. He is partnered with Stephen Simpson in the No. 84 Cadillac DPi-V.R entry.
“It was a difficult day for us,” Trummer said. “Long Beach is really not my favorite track. We struggled in the second practice session this afternoon. In the morning it was better. So in qualifying I really didn’t know what to expect. I thought we were going to be last. But we ended up just behind the No. 10 so that is an improvement. We need to see what we can do in the race. Stephen knows the circuit well and we will look to him to finish the strong.”
Misha Goikhberg followed his teammate Trummer in the No. 85 JDC/Miller Cadillac DPi-V.R with a lap effort of 1:12.650. He will start in ninth with teammate Tristan Vautier.
“We struggled a little bit in qualifying,” Goikhberg said. “We didn’t develop the car quite good enough for the changing track conditions. We were better in the first practice than the second. We are learning about this new Cadillac still. It is tough starting P9, but we will make it work for tomorrow.”
The No. 50 Juncos Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R driven by Kyle Kaiser in qualifying will start in tenth based upon his lap time of 1:12.694. He will hand the wheel to teammate Will Owen to finish the 100-minute race tomorrow.
“Overall I am happy how qualifying went,” Kaiser said. “Even though it’s not where we were hoping to start the race from there is a lot to take away from it. The balance overall right now is pretty solid. It was just challenging trying to put a lap together. It’s going to be a really good race. I know there are a lot of different strategies we can play with to get our No. 50 Cadillac DPi-V.R car up front. I would like to thank Cadillac, Juncos Racing, and everyone involved for getting me out here and getting me in this race. I know Will and I are going to make a great team and we are going to have a lot of fun tomorrow.”
The IMSA WeatherTech Sport Car Championship Bubba Burger Long Beach Grand Prix will be televised on NBCSN starting at 4:40 p.m. ET, Saturday, April 13.
Photo credit: Cadillac/Richard Prince