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Cadillac at The Glen: Runner-up finish

No. 01 Cadillac V-Series.R pushes through six hours of mixed conditions

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 23, 2024) – Battling both Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) competition and the elements, Cadillac Racing came away with a hard-fought second place Sunday in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.

Renger van der Zande and Sebastien Bourdais shared seat time in the No. 01 Cadillac V-Series.R through high humidity at the late-morning race start, intermittent rain in the middle sections of the contest, a deluge that brought out a 40-minute red flag and a race to the finish to earn their fourth podium in six IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races.

“Congratulations to Cadillac Racing team and the No. 01 Cadillac V-Series.R on their runner-up finish in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. Every member of the team can be very proud of their efforts on preparing the racecar for success, from both a technology and durability standpoint,” said John Roth, global vice president of Cadillac. “The podium finish today showcases the remarkable capabilities, expertise and determination of the Cadillac Racing team.”

With a drying track and GTP competitors back on Michelin slicks following the red flag stoppage, the final green flag flew to create a 16-minute, 25-second sprint on the 3.4-mile, 11-turn Watkins Glen International road course. Van der Zande, who qualified second a day earlier, overtook the pole-winning No. 40 Acura ARX-06 on the restart for second in the running order and challenged the leading No. 7 Porsche 963 through every corner and took the checked flag 0.749 of a second arrears.

Cadillac Racing has earned at least one podium finish in all six races, including a 1-2 finish at Long Beach. The No. 01 Cadillac V-Series.R remains second in the GTP team/driver championship standings.

Bourdais and van der Zande, along with Pipo Derani and Jack Aitken, drivers of the No. 31 Whelen Cadillac V-Series.R, faced similar driving conditions a week earlier during the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The No. 31 Whelen Cadillac V-Series.R’s fortunes turned surrounding its second round of service stops. First, with Aitken behind the wheel and an 11-second advantage over the second-place runner, the racecar spun exiting Turn 5 and Aitken was overtaken for the lead. He pitted on the next lap for service and a driver change to Derani.

With Derani on new tires, the No. 31 Whelen Cadillac V-Series.R made light contact with traffic and ran off course in Turn 1, necessitating an unscheduled pit stop for tires and a nose change. The sequence put the hybrid Cadillac a lap down that it was unable to recover. The No. 31 Whelen Cadillac V-Series.R placed eighth.

Round 7 of the IMSA GTP season will be contested Aug. 2-4 at the 4-mile, 14-turn Road America. The 2-hour, 40-minute IMSA SportsCar Weekend will be streamed on Peacock for the U.S. audience and IMSA.tv for the global audience at 3 p.m. ET Sunday, Aug. 4.

For editorial use: Cadillac Racing photos from the race weekend at The Glen

No. 01 Cadillac V-Series.R wins Front Runner Award

The No. 01 Cadillac V-Series.R team earned the VP Racing Fuels Front Runner Award in the GTP class, which is given to the team that leads the most laps in the most races through the first half of the season. Chip Ganassi Racing director of operations Mike O’Gara accepted the award on behalf of the team during prerace activities.

What they’re saying

No. 01 Cadillac V-Series.R

Renger van der Zande: “It was really enjoyable to fight for the win. Congrats to the car that won, and I think we’re happy to be P2. We had a good start and had speed in the car on the dry track, but it faded away a bit. We were doing OK until the rain came. And when the track dried out and we were on slicks, we gave it our all. We’ll take the points home to go into the final few races of the championship.”

Sebastien Bourdais: “It was a really tricky race. I felt like there were a lot of chances to take when it was sprinkling on dry tires. I didn’t feel comfortable because with that hard tire if you misjudge it and you fence the car the race is over. I was torn because I knew I was losing time, but I knew we can’t take the chances right now. It’s really not my forte to play casino with how much grip you’re going to get on the corner when you don’t know how much rain came down from the last time you came around. We made the switch to slicks after the rains and I feel comfortable there. It’s drying. We made good gains and were back in the fight. Overall, Renger did an awesome job at the end and he just executed. We’ll just keep digging and stacking up points and hopefully we’ll get even.”

No. 31 Whelen Cadillac V-Series.R

Jack Aitken: “I think the race started with so much promise. I had a pretty average first lap, dropped down to fourth (from qualifying third) and it was a case of being patient. The race was coming more and more to us and we picked them off one by one to get to the lead. I felt quite comfortable and everything was going smooth. Then, just a misjudgment by me in the Bus Stop caught the car at a bad angle and had a half-spin. It was not the end of the world; dropped us down to fourth – back where we started. Then it kind of had a cascade of events. Pipo (Derani) had an incident on his outlap with a couple of other cars and picked up some damage, and we just never really got back into the race, which is a bit surprising. Strategically, it didn’t fall our way. Pretty painful race for us, especially with the way it started. We’ll carry on, enjoy the break and come back to Road America fresh.”

Tom Blomqvist: “It was a tough day for the team. It was kind of pear-shaped. The race was going so well, then kind of derailed. Jack (Aitken) did an incredible first two stints and around the pit cycle we had two little incidents that put us a lap down. But in these races, a lap down, maybe you’re on the cusp of being out of contention but you normally bank on getting that back. The other guys played their hand and kept us a lap down, and there really wasn’t an opportunity to get it back with the yellows. I was on slicks, wets, did a lot of yellow laps and not any dry laps. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do much to help out there.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com

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