The two Cadillac DPi-V.R race cars fielded by Action Express Racing qualified third and sixth for today’s Mid-Ohio Sport Car Challenge – the fourth round of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
The No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing DPi-V.R driven by Filipe Albuquerque and Joao Barbosa qualified third, while the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing DPi-V.R of Felipe Nasr and Eric Curran qualified sixth during Saturday’s 15-minute qualifying sessions.
No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R
The Mustang Sampling Racing team arrives at Mid-Ohio’s natural terrain circuit after a victory at April’s BUBBA Burger Grand Prix at Long Beach, the most recent round of IMSA WeatherTech competition. Notably, today’s run will mark the first IMSA event at Mid-Ohio since 2013, when the team scored victory with drivers Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi.
During the qualifying session, Barbosa found ways to improve his times lap after lap. That continued effort saw him clock his quickest effort on his final lap, with a fast time of 1:12.943 seconds, enabling him to secure third on the grid for the defending race winner.
“The race is going to be a very interesting race and we will be starting right in the middle of the mix,” said Barbosa. “It’s a long race and anything can happen. Our Cadillac is pretty good on long runs, so we will have to stay patient and see what we have for the race since this is not an easy place to overtake. A lot is going to come down to traffic and traffic management without losing too much time. The Action Express guys can do excellent pit stops. We will be ready for the race. It’s not going to be easy but I think we will end up having a good result.”
No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R
Having had Friday’s practice sessions interrupted by rain with precipitation possible for Sunday, the Whelen Engineering squad says they’re ready for whatever takes place on race day, no matter the conditions.
“The car was decent,” said Curran. “We made a lot of changes before qualifying and I think most of them are good. With the rain, we have a little lack of laps so far this weekend so I wish we had one more session to keep improving the car and keep getting comfortable. It would have been nice to be that quick in practice to be ready for qualifying, but it is what it is. It is a tight group and it will be a competitive race, but I just wish we were further up the pack. I’m ok with whatever the weather turns out to be, but I prefer if it doesn’t rain so we can just keep pounding laps and getting better and better!”
The No. 31 DPi-V.R will start mid-pack in sixth for Sunday’s race.
IMSA Mid-Ohio Race Details
Today’s two hour and forty-minute-long race at Mid-Ohio kicks off with a warm-up at 8:00 AM Eastern Time. The flag goes green at 1:00 PM Eastern, with coverage available on IMSA Radio.