Home » Tire Strategy Helps Cadillac Racing Win Long Beach 2024

Tire Strategy Helps Cadillac Racing Win Long Beach 2024

Tire Strategy Helps Cadillac Racing Win Long Beach 2024

Two Cadillac Racing V-Series.R race cars battled it out at Long Beach on April 20th, 2024, but it wasn’t on-track speed that decided the victor. Pit strategy was absolutely critical as the clock ticked down, and one Caddy team’s gamble put it ahead at the line. 

Drivers only had to pit once during the 100-minute race in California. During that single stop, the No. 01 V-Series.R of Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande pitted a lap later than the No. 31 V-Series.R of Pipo Derani and Jack Aitken. The No. 01 Caddy team elected to head back out without swapping tires, while the No. 31 V-Series.R team took on two left-side tires. Van der Zande got out of the pits ahead of Aitken, slicing back into the lead for the last hour of the race and never looking back. 

However, van der Zande couldn’t check out from the field with Aitken following in his tire tracks. Both Cadillac Racing teams were blisteringly fast, and the No. 01 V-Series.R crossed the line just 0.564 seconds ahead of the No. 31 V-Series.R. 

“It was quite cold, then the sun came out and it started to warm up,” said van der Zande. “We left it to the last minute to decide [on tires]. They made the right choice for sure. Strategy won this race. The tires were kind of gone at the end; it was quite slippery. But I’m very proud of my team.”

Aitken wasn’t too upset about his second-place run. He praised the No. 01 Cadillac Racing team for its pit strategy, and admitted that was the deciding factor for the win.

“It was pretty much the same as the last 50 minutes. I gave it everything,” he said. “It was a big call for them to go on one set [of tires], and they jumped us there. I really tried. But it was a great drive by Renger.” 

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Written by
Alexandra is a Colorado-based journalist with a passion for all things involving horsepower, be it automotive or equestrian.

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