Cadillac V-Performance racing team Konica Minolta Cadillac finished second in today's running of the IMSA WeatherTech Championship Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America.
The race marked the end of Cadillac's undefeated season at seven straight wins in eight races. The No.31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R finished fourth and the No.5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R came to the checker in sixth.
Ricky Taylor had the wheel of the No.10 Konica Minolta Cadillac for the start of the two-hour-and-forty-minute race. The older Taylor had a good jump at the start and was able to race out to a nice lead on a clear track as the remaining prototype field was dicing it up behind him. Just 15-minutes into the race, a full course caution flew bunching the field. Taylor was able to get a good restart before pitting 30-minutes later. He reentered the track and had the red No.31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac behind him in second.
On the second yellow of the race, two hours in, Jordan Taylor was at the wheel of the Konica Minolta Cadillac and was passed for the lead by the 22 and 85 prototypes. Under the third caution of the race, the 85 pitted for fuel, putting Taylor into second. The race restarted with just 17-minutes remaining, the younger Taylor could not catch the No.22 ESM Nissan of Luis Felipe Durani for the win.
"We had the race in control at the beginning when we had that nice lead," Jordan Taylor said. "When the yellow came out and they were up behind us I knew that it would be damage control. On the restarts, with our lack of downforce, it is hard to get heat in the tires while they can just attack. Our car takes a little to work its way in. Our pace was good at the end of the race. We can't complain too much, it was a good points day. We will head to Laguna and Road Atlanta in great shape."
Ricky Taylor added, "I was able to lead the race early. This is a very good points day after a couple of tough races for our team. The points gap should be over 20 points now for the championship. So we need to get through Laguna [Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca] and then go onto Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta and really attack. It was really hard to race with the Nissan cars at the end with their top speed. The Konica Minolta team did a perfect job today. Happy for the team and everyone at Cadillac."
Eric Curran and Dane Cameron were in contention for a podium finish up until the last moments of the race in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac, but settled for fourth place at the finish.
"We just seem to be missing that last little bit," Cameron said. "We seem to have it in practice, we were close. We might have made a wrong choice on adjustments for the race, lacking a bit of overall grip. It is tough right now with the BoP [Balance of Performance] given to the Cadillac cars. Eric did a great job at the beginning. He had a little front damage there at the start, but held on to run second. It is hard to say what that was costing, definitely not helping. We are lacking straight line speed, if we got held up in a pack it was tough to move. An ok day. We will go from here to Mazda Raceway. We are getting closer. We need to find a little more. We need a little back on the straight line speed to race these guys."
Curran added, "I think we gave it our all. The BoP favors the other cars. We had a slow stop at the end that may have cost us a position. The car ran good all race long. We just didn't have the speed of the front runners. Maybe we can get a realignment after this weekend for the next two races. I had a good first couple of stints and ran second at the beginning of the race. We will go back to work and be ready to race at Laguna."
The No.5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac had contact in the pits while doing their driver change 50-minuntes into the race with the No. 90 prototype. The hit forced the team to bring the car back in for a new left rear tire and to replace the rear wing section of the car. The team made quick work of the repairs, but exited on the tail end of the lead lap and subsequently went down a lap. During the last caution period they were able to regain their lap around the 4-mile, 14-turn Road America circuit to finish sixth.
"The whole race we had some push and understeer," Fittipaldi said. "The 90 hitting us from behind in the pits really compromised our race. We had to pit again and fix the car and we went down a lap. We got it back, but we were far behind. I think we had a car to finish a little better maybe in the top four. We need to keep doing the same things that are good in the race. I could be happier, but I am not completely upset. We brought the car to the finish for Cadillac. We will go onto the next one."
Barbosa said, "I didn't know that we got hit in the pits. I realized it when I went into Turn 1 with the smoke and then all of the right hand turns the smoke was there, so I had to pit for repairs. Something was rubbing on the tire. The field is very competitive. When something puts you back, it costs you a lot. Our result was compromised from no fault of our own. I just kept on digging. We were able to make the lap back. I was running in the back and doing the best I could. We lose a lot of downforce around other cars and our lack of straight line speed hurts us. We will go on to the next two races and try to win them."
The IMSA WeatherTech Championship penultimate prototype race will run at the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix, Sept. 22-24.
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