Derani seeking repeat of 2021; a Cadillac DPi-V.R has won 2 of past 3 IMSA races
DETROIT (Aug. 2, 2022) – Pipo Derani had “a fantastic weekend; perfect to be honest” last August in co-driving the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R to victory at Road America.
The reigning IMSA champion would welcome a repeat this weekend in the IMSA Fastlane SportsCar Weekend on the 4.048-mile, 14-turn road course in Wisconsin.
“Road America is a fantastic racetrack,” said Derani, who also won in a DPi in 2017. “Last year, it was a fantastic win for us starting from the pole after a wet qualifying. It was a race that we had pressure from the beginning to the end.”
Dry conditions with ambient temperatures pushing 90 degrees Fahrenheit are forecast for practice, qualifications and the 2-hour, 40-minute race Aug. 7 (11:40 a.m. ET on Peacock and IMSA Radio, noon on USA).
“It’s very fast, very technical as well and presents a big challenge for the teams to be able to do a perfect setup,” added Derani, who co-drove to third place in the most recent IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. “It hasn’t been an easy season for us, but hopefully in the last two races of the year we can show a little bit better results and get a win.”
Cadillac Racing has registered two podium finishes in each of the past two years at Road America, with Derani co-driving to third place after the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R qualified seventh in 2020, and Renger van der Zande co-driving to third place in 2021 and second in 2020.
Van der Zande and Sebastien Bourdais have hit their stride in the No. 01 V-Performance Academy Cadillac DPi-V.R, winning two of the past three races and placing third in the other.
“We’ve been running at the front, winning races, feeling strong,” Bourdais said. “Renger put on an incredible performance at Mosport (July 3) in really challenging conditions. He kind of went for it especially in traffic, which was really awesome. Looking forward to trying to repeat that at Road America.
“It’s a beautiful racetrack. I only managed to win there once in Champ Car days, but I have a lot of really good memories. It’s one of those places that is extremely rewarding if you get the lap right. It’s one of those cases where it feels really brilliant when you put a lap together, and hopefully we can do that in qualifying and have a great race day.”
Olivier Pla, who joined Derani in the Action Express Racing team in early June at Detroit, concurred.
“It is a high commitment track, but at the same time it’s very technical,” said Pla, who will make his fourth IMSA start at Road America. “It is a little bit bumpy and has some fast corners, which makes for a good show on TV and for the fans. During the racing, there will be a lot of overtaking and traffic management will be key.
“Two of my favorite corners are the Carousel, which is a long right hander that’s very fast and very long, and the famous Kink, which is flat, and you need to have a perfect line. I’m looking forward to this event. Last year, Action Express won the race. So, we have one target this time also.”
Cadillac Racing is tied for the lead in the Manufacturer Championship standings as it seeks its fourth title since the inception of the DPi class in 2017.
Cadillac DPi roster for IMSA Fastlane SportsCar Weekend
No. 01 V-Performance Academy Cadillac DPi-V.R (Cadillac Racing)
Renger van der Zande, Sebastien Bourdais
Van der Zande and Bourdais co-drove the No. 01 Cadillac DPi-V.R to the victory at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park on July 3, on the Belle Isle street circuit June 4 and the streets of Long Beach on April 9 – starting from the pole in the latter two. … CTMP was the 18th IMSA victory for van der Zande and 10th for Bourdais. … Bourdais set the qualifying lap record time at Long Beach and Belle Isle. He also set the lap record time in earning the pole for the March 19 Twelve Hours of Sebring and for the May 15 Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio. … Bourdais is a four-time INDYCAR champion. … Bourdais and van der Zande competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.
Entry: Three wins, four poles, third in standings
Car chief-Phil Binks
Lead engineer-John Hennek
Race strategist-Peter Baron
No. 02 Cadillac Accessories Cadillac DPi-V.R (Cadillac Racing)
Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn
First-year entry in expanded Cadillac Racing DPi program. … Bamber and Lynn co-drove to a runner-up finish on the streets of Long Beach on April 9 after starting second. They placed third June 4 on the Belle Isle street circuit… They, along with Neel Jani, co-drove to victory March 19 in the Twelve Hours of Sebring. … Bamber salutes his home country with a silver fern design on the sides of his helmet — a quasi-national emblem used for various official New Zealand symbol. … Bamber recently moved to Nashville. “Good barbeque,” he said. … Lynn competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June. … Both have tested the new Cadillac racing LMDh car.
Team: One win, one runner-up finish, one other podium finish
Car chief-Jamie Coates
Lead engineer-Danielle Shephard
Race strategist-Michael Harvey
No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R (Action Express Racing)
Pipo Derani, Olivier Pla, Mike Conway
Derani co-drove to victory from the pole in the 2021 race at Road America. … Pla made his debut in the No. 31 Cadillac on June 4 at Detroit. … He and Derani co-drove to third place at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park on July 3. … Derani and Tristan Nunez co-drove to third place on the Laguna Seca road course after starting sixth. They followed with a third-place finish May 15 at Mid-Ohio. … Derani and Nunez, joined by Mike Conway, started second and finished third in the March 19 Twelve Hours of Sebring. … The three-driver team started seventh and finished fourth in the Rolex 24 At Daytona to open the season. … Derani and Felipe Nasr were the 2021 IMSA DPi Driver Champions and Whelen Engineering/Action Express Racing was the Team Champion. … Derani and Pla were teammates for the second consecutive year for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.
Team: Three podium finishes
Car chief-Bill Keuler
Technical director/lead engineer-Iain Watt
Race strategist-Tim Keene
No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R (JDC-Miller MotorSports)
Tristan Vautier, Richard Westbrook, Loic Duval
Vautier and Westbrook co-drove to third place on the streets of Long Beach on April 9 after starting fifth. Vautier and Westbrook, joined by Loic Duval, drove to second place in the March 19 Twelve Hours of Sebring and opened the ’22 season by starting second and finishing third at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. … Westbrook is a London-trained chef. … Vautier and Westbrook competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June, with Westbrook earning a podium finish.
Team: Three podium finishes
Car chief-Josh Kerrigan
Lead engineer-Rick Cameron
Race strategist-John Church
Cadillac Racing at Road America 2021-2017
2021: First (No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R) start first – Pipo Derani, Felipe Nasr
Third (No. 01 Cadillac DPi-V.R) start fourth – Renger van der Zande, Kevin Magnussen Sixth (No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R) start fifth – Tristan Vautier, Loic Duval
2020: Second (No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R) start fifth – Renger van der Zande, Ryan Briscoe
Third (No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R) start seventh – Pipo Derani, Felipe Nasr Fourth (No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R) start sixth – Joao Barbosa, Sebastien Bourdais Seventh (No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi-V.R) start eighth – Tristan Vautier, Chris Miller
2019: Fourth (No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R) start sixth – Pipo Derani, Felipe Nasr
Fifth (No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R) start 10th – Renger van der Zande, Jordan Taylor Sixth (No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R) start seventh – Joao Barbosa, Felipe Albuquerque Eighth (No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi-V.R) start eighth – Tristan Vautier, Misha Goikhberg Ninth (No. 84 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi-V.R) start fifth – Simon Trummer, Stephen Simpson
2018: Third (No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R) start eighth — Felipe Nasr, Eric Curran
Fourth (No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R) start third – Renger van der Zande, Jordan Taylor Seventh (No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R) start sixth – Joao Barbosa, Felipe Albuquerque
2017: Second (No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R) start first – Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor
Fourth (No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R) start sixth – Dane Cameron, Eric Curran Sixth (No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R) start 11th – Christian Fittipaldi, Joao Barbosa
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