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  • 08/06/2018 8:29 AM | Anonymous

     Reprint from Sunday Group Management

    Elkhart Lake, Wisc (5 August 2018) Whelen Engineering Racing drivers Felipe Nasr and Eric Curran finished third in Sunday’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase with the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing DPi-V.R. 

    The result is the second consecutive podium finish for the duo after scoring third at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in July as the first-year pairing grew their advantage in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with two rounds of racing remaining in the season. 

    Curran started the race from seventh on the grid and moved up to run in sixth by the fourth lap, although he suffered damage to the Cadillac Prototype in the early laps with the typical hard fought racing that IMSA WeatherTech fans have come to expect.  Despite the damage, Curran held the position until a quick call from Whelen Engineering Racing performance engineer Tim Keene saw Curran take to the pits on lap 15. 

     A fast stop for fuel, tires, and a driver change to Nasr came at an ideal time as the field was slowed for a full course caution.  The exchange saw the Whelen Engineering Cadillac up front for the Lap 19 restart, with Nasr holding the point for 37 of the next 39 laps. 

    A lap 58 final stop for fuel saw Nasr return to the fray fifth in the order. Fully fueled, Nasr made a hard charge to the finish, clicking off fast laps as he looked to retake the lead. That charge back to the lead was only halted when the two leading Prototype machines were able to go all the way to the finish before both ran out of fuel on the cool-down lap. 

    While the strong run up front had promised another possible victory for Nasr and Curran, the podium result generated a welcome collection of points to go with the new trophies for the team. 

    "It was a lot of hard work done by all of the Action Express boys,” said Nasr. “Eric (Curran) had a fantastic start and made up positions quickly. Unfortunately, he got hit in the back which caused us to lose a piece of the car. The damage was pretty big so we lost the rear tires very quickly and it was all about changing the driving style, and it worked! We knew the problem and had to face it so we could make the best out of it. At some point we were looking good to win the race, but it was a good points day and another podium which makes two in a row. I am super proud of all my Whelen guys and Eric. It was a good day!” 

    "We will take it,” said Curran. “It looked like there could be a victory there today, but we will take a third place finish in the Whelen Cadillac. It was a crazy race with a crazy start. We got tangled up and lost a part of the rear wing which caused us to lose downforce in the back which we fought all race long. My teammate (Felipe Nasr) did a killer job again today and ended up third. It was great points day and this Whelen Cadillac keeps winning podiums. The Action Express guys also nailed the pit stops so it was good team work all day. It would have been nice to win but we will take third.” 

    The next race for the Action Express Racing squad will be the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix featuring America’s Tire 250 on September 7th – 9th.

  • 06/04/2018 8:50 AM | Anonymous

    Source: Sunday Group Management - Partial Reprint

    Second victory in three years at Belle Isle comes on Sonny Whelen’s Birthday


    Detroit, Mich. (2 June 2018)   Whelen Engineering Racing used teamwork, strategy, and great race pace to score its first victory of the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season on Saturday in the Chevrolet Dealers Grand Prix in Detroit. 

    Drivers Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr shared the driving duties in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing DPi-V.R to capture their third podium finish of the 2018 season. The post-race celebrations, which included a jump into the Victory Circle fountain for both drivers, were further boosted by the fact that the race victory came on the birthday of long-time motorsport and Team Fox supporter Sonny Whelen.

    A crash in Friday’s practice session could have set the team effort back, but instead the group rallied to make repairs in time for qualifying. Curran started the race from sixth in the order and was able to move to run in fifth before taking to the pit lane for a stop for fuel and a driver change. Nasr returned to the field 18th in the order but worked his way forward to the top five by lap 38. 

    A final fuel-only pit stop on lap 39 set the stage for Nasr’s run to the front as he claimed the lead on lap 44 and refused to relinquish the point to score a big win for the team. 

    "It is a combination of everything,” said Gary Nelson about the teams run to victory. “The drivers did one heck of a job and we are really thrilled with what they did today. The pit stops were great. I think we have the best pit crew out there and we nailed the timing of those stops with the 31 today.”

    "A big shout out to the Action Express, Cadillac, and GM guys who helped us get this win,” said Curran. “This is the place to be, and the place to win in our Whelen Cadillac. Hats off to the engineering team who took a not so perfect weekend and turned it around. The team did an awesome job with the car. This is my second win in the last number of years and if you are going to win a race, this is the best place to win one. It feels so satisfying to have our first win of the year. It is also a special win as it is Sonny Whelen’s birthday from Whelen. Felipe Nasr did a killer job and put it together perfectly. Again, hats off to all the guys.”

    "It was a tough race but I will take it! Eric (Curran) and the entire Action Express Racing team did a great job,” said Nasr. “After our first practice, we ended up hurting the back of the car. The guys put the car back together and we had an amazing qualifying. The race itself was all about getting the right calls and we took the Continental tires to the very end, which they hang on amazingly so I was able to drive the car fast until the end. We didn’t have a great start to  the weekend but here we are,  and I couldn't have asked for a better day to be honest. I am super happy!”

     

    The next race on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will be the Sahlen’s Six Hour at Watkins Glen International on July 1.

     

  • 06/01/2018 8:45 PM | Anonymous
    Source: Sunday Group Management

    FS2 providing live race coverage starting at 12:30 PM ET

     Detroit, Mich. (1 June 2018) Action Express Racing delivered another great team effort on Friday. The team will start Saturday’s Chevrolet Grand Prix presented by Lear on the second row with the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing DPi-V.R of Filipe Albuquerque and Joao Barbosa, and the third row with the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing DPi-V.R of Felipe Nasr and Eric Curran following Friday’s 12-minute qualifying session. 

    The team has a strong record at the 2.35-mile circuit set just outside of the shadows created  by the General Motors Renaissance center in Detroit, and will look to return to the Motor City podium on Saturday for round five of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

    The day featured two practice sessions  for the team to develop the set-up for the quickly-changing temporary street circuit, which is also playing host to a range of other racing series on the fan-focused weekend. The second session of the day included a setback after Nasr suffered a quick spin that caused damage to the Whelen Engineering Racing entry. But the team quickly clicked into motion to make repairs, with the car ready to go well ahead of the qualifying session. 

    The qualifying session was curtailed as IMSA shortened the session to 12 minutes following a delay for weather, and then it was stopped for a mid-session red flag following a crash by another Prototype.  With Curran (No. 31 Whelen Engineering) and Barbosa (No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing) taking the controls for qualifying, both racers had to deal with traffic as well as the abbreviated schedule as they claimed their spots on the grid. 

    "Hats off to the Action Express Racing guys, especially on the No. 31 Whelen car,” said Curran. “It was all them today. Felipe (Nasr) had a little issue in practice earlier and we had damage to the back of the car. But these guys are on it. A couple hours later, the No. 31 Whelen Cadillac looks like brand new! We went out there and pushed hard, but it was a strange qualifying session with a wreck, debris on track, and then the red flag in the middle. We are sixth, but we really didn't get a fair run at it. I missed the last practice session because of the morning incident. I feel strong here and think this is a good place. I feel good so let's just see what tomorrow brings even though we aren't starting where we wanted to be. We will just keep going." 

    "The qualifying session was a weird one and unfortunate it happened that way,” said Barbosa of the truncated track time. “We had a good car and it got better every lap but we just didn’t get many laps! It's going to be very tough to beat the guys in the front who have been showing a lot of pace during practice. If I had two good laps at the end, I could have done a little bit better.  I was able to do a decent job, the car was getting better so I was looking forward to another lap. That didn't happen, but we have a good race car. Cadillac is running very well. We will have good pace in the race.” 

    An 8:00 AM warm-up will open the activities on Saturday, with the race set to go green at 12:40 PM ET (FS2 coverage and IMSA Radio).

    Keep updated via twitter.com/axracing 




  • 06/01/2018 8:58 AM | Anonymous

    Source: Wayne Taylor Racing

    The No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R will start Saturday’s Chevrolet Sports Car Classic from the inside of the fourth row after IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying Friday evening on the Streets of Belle Isle in downtown Detroit.

    The No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R will start Saturday’s Chevrolet Sports Car Classic from the inside of the fourth row after IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying Friday evening on the Streets of Belle Isle in downtown Detroit.

    Renger van der Zande, who with co-driver Jordan Taylor is looking to score the team’s fifth Detroit victory in the last six years this weekend, clocked a fast lap of 1 minute, 22.273 seconds at 102.828 mph during a slightly shortened qualifying session around the 2.36-mile, 13-turn temporary street circuit due to a red-flag stoppage. It was good for seventh among the 26 car-and-driver combinations that will take the green flag for Saturday’s one-hour, 40 minute sprint race.

    “It’s been a rough day – we’ve been chasing the setup a little bit over the bumps here but, for qualifying we made a very good step forward,” said van der Zande, the Dutch driving veteran who scored back-to-back LMPC-class wins here with the Starworks Motorsport team in 2015 and 2016. “The only issue was the red flag, which made it all come down to a two-lap shootout at the end, which was really cool in one way but, at the same time, it would have been good to get the whole session in. I gave it my all and got a pretty good lap. It was nowhere near the pole but at least we’re a little bit ahead of where we were in practice. Then, into turn 11, I was fully sideways and almost spun off on an even quicker lap, but those are the risks you have to take, sometimes. I went over a bump, got a little wide, kept the throttle down to see if we could make it, but I had to lift, anyway, and lost a few tenths there. Altogether, it wasn’t the greatest, but in the race, anything can happen, for sure. We should be able to make another few steps forward because we’ve at least found the right direction.”

  • 05/07/2018 9:59 AM | Anonymous

    Source: Sunday Group Management Press Release


     

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    Leads Cadillac runners with another top-five finish


    Mansfield, Ohio (6 May 2018)  Looking to make a successful defense of the team’s 2013 Mid-Ohio race victory, the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R finished fourth with drivers Filipe Albuquerque (PRT) and João Barbosa (PRT) coming home just one spot shy of the podium despite excellent teamwork all weekend long. 

    The race was round four of the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, with the team looking to score a third victory of the year with the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R.  From the pit stops to the strategy to the performance of the drivers, the team executed fully on the race plan, but just came up short of a return to the Mid-Ohio podium.

    Barbosa started the race from sixth on the grid and was able to hold station in the opening segments of the race before turning the car over to his fellow Rolex 24 At Daytona champion Albuquerque. The Mustang Sampling squad delivered when it came time for the pit stops, helping the team move forward with excellent execution. The visit to Mid-Ohio was the first for Albuquerque, who ran a strong race pace through the extended green flag run to come home fourth at the finish as the leading Cadillac DPi-V.R. 

    "It was an interesting race with no yellows, I wasn't expecting that certainly not at Mid-Ohio since it's a very narrow track with a lot of traffic,” said Barbosa. “Everyone behaved, which is really good! Our race was the best it could be. The team did a great job and we were able to make up a few positions. We didn't have the outright pace, but we had a consistent car, great pit stops, and great strategy. That's all we had today, so we move on to Detroit and hopefully we can be stronger there."

    "The track it's self is pretty interesting, but we did’t have the pace that I wish we did,” said Albuquerque. “Overall the winning car was in a different category than everyone else. But it was a clean race with no adventures with the safety car, which could have played a little better for us. We did win our race being the best Cadillac. It was a smart race because we gained points towards the championship. In my opinion, Action Express won the race, our race-we did a brilliant job with strategy, with our stops and made the most of whatever we had."

    The next race on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will be the Chevrolet Grand Prix in Detroit on June 2. 

     

     

    Mustang Sampling

    Mustang Sampling

    Mustang Sampling Website

     

    (L-R) Christian Fittipaldi, Filipe Albuquerque, Joao Barbosa


    João Barbosa

    The three-time and co-defending IMSA TPNAEC Champion, João Barbosa returns to Action Express Racing to drive the familiar #5 gold, black and white Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R seeking his third IMSA WeatherTech Championship at the pinnacle of North American sports car competition. João resides in Charlotte, NC with his wife and two sons. He is an avid runner and cyclist. 

    Filipe Albuquerque

    Filipe joins the defending Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup and two-time IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship winning No .5 MustangSampling Cadillac Dpi-V.R for the full 2018 IMSA campaign. Filipe resides in his hometown  of Cambria, Portugal. 

    Christian Fittipaldi

    Two-time IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Champion driver Christian Fittipaldi returns to Action Express Racing for his sixth full season of competition following a fourth consecutive Tequila Patron' North American Endurance Cup title with co-driver João Barbosa. Fittipaldi has been appointed Sporting Director for Action Express Racing, and will continue to race in the endurance events starting in 2018.  Outside of sports car racing, the Brazilian satiates his need for competition by racing in mountain bike and karting events, both in the U.S. and his home country of Brazil.

    About Mustang Sampling

    Mustang Sampling, LLC is the innovator of Analytically Accurate® solutions within sample conditioning systems. We provide custom solutions of products and services globally to the Natural Gas, Natural Gas Liquids (NGL), and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) industries. Mustang Sampling continues to pioneer integrated control systems, allowing our customers to maintain phase stability from sample extraction at the pipeline through sample analysis. Our products are continuously improved and subjected to the highest quality standards which provides our customers with the best sample conditioning solutions. 


  • 05/07/2018 9:15 AM | Anonymous

    Source: Wayne Taylor Racing


    2018 Mid Ohio Post Race Report

    2018 Mid Ohio Post Race Report

    Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R Finishes Right Where it Started In Caution-Free WeatherTech Series IMSA Sports Car Challenge



    The No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R duo of Jordan Taylor and Renger van der Zande finished right where it started in Sunday’s IMSA Sports Car Challenge, bringing home a solid fifth-place finish in the WeatherTech Championship series’ return to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington. 

    It was the first time since 2013 series competitors have raced on the scenic, 2.238-mile, 13-turn road course, where passing is notoriously difficult and races are instead won or lost by strategy and execution on pit road. 

    Thus, the caution-free 125 laps run in today’s two-hour, 40-minute race did not afford the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R much of an opportunity to make major moves to the front of the pack from its fifth spot on the starting grid. 

    Through each of the three rounds of green-flag pit stops the team executed today, Taylor and van der Zande resumed in fifth place. Taylor crossed the finish line 57 seconds behind his older brother and former co-driver Ricky Taylor, who left after last year’s championship-winning season to join the new, two-car Team Penske Prototype-class effort and scored the victory today with teammate Helio Castroneves. 

    Van der Zande, the Dutch driving veteran who stepped in as Jordan Taylor’s full-time co-driver this season, qualified fifth Saturday behind a pair of Acuras and a pair of Mazdas. He drove a solid opening two stints but could not make any headway. He momentarily picked up a position when the No. 55 Mazda DPi of Jonathan Bomarito and Spencer Pigot retired on lap 74, but the No. 5 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R of Joao Barbosa and Felipe Albuquerque came out just ahead during the second round of green-flag stops, having pitted five laps before the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R during that cycle. 

    “We were racing the 5 car today,” van der Zande said. “Every other car in front us was at a different level of speed. I drove very hard. I drove very fast. I thought my stint was flawless, basically. Somehow, the 5 beat us, which we have to find out why. At the same time, Jordan did a great job, the team did a great job. I love this track. Apart from the fact you can’t overtake cars in your own class, I really enjoyed the track itself. It’s an intense track. To get the lap time you want, you really have to nail it, which makes it quite special. I was really happy to be racing here this weekend.” 

    Taylor kept pace but also could not make any progress toward the leaders during his flawless driving stints to the finish. 

    “I think we were kind of in our own race today,” he said. “We couldn’t really race with the lead pack, which was the top four cars. So basically we were racing for fifth and sixth for most of the race and, once someone else fell out, we were battling for fourth and fifth. We thought we had the right strategy. I’m not sure what went wrong, how we got jumped, but I still think it was the right strategy. But considering what we have, I think we can be happy with a fifth-place finish. Looking at the championship, it’s good to be consistent, especially when you have so many good cars in the field, now. You can’t risk a bad finish. So, considering how we didn’t have the fastest car, I think coming away with good points is pretty good.” 

    The fifth-place finish enabled the team to pick up one spot from fourth to third in the Prototype-class standings, five points behind the second-place No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R of Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr, and 15 points behind the front-running No. 5 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R. 

    Ricky Taylor’s victory today was the 20th of his career and first with a team other than his father’s. It was also the first for the new Team Penske camp, which includes Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron in the car that finished second here today. 

    “As I said at the beginning of the year, I have two chances of winning, now,” said team owner Wayne Taylor. “Obviously, I want my team to win for Konica Minolta and Cadillac with Jordan and Renger. But this weekend, we really didn’t have a chance against the Acuras. I’m just really proud of Ricky and Helio on their win. I really wanted Ricky to be the first one to win for them. That makes Ricky the 50th driver to win a race for Roger Penske. I’ve always loved Mid-Ohio. The fans really love sportscar racing here, and it’s still similar to what it was like when I was driving here in 1990 and 1991. And I really like coming here. I love this place.” 

    Round five on the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship calendar is the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix on the Streets of Belle Isle temporary circuit Saturday, June 2, with live FS2 television beginning at 12:30 p.m. EDT. Taylor and van der Zande will be vying for the team’s fifth victory in its last six visits to the annual IndyCar Series-headlined event.

  • 05/07/2018 9:07 AM | Anonymous

    Source: Sunday Management Group

     

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    Mansfield, Ohio (6 May 2018)- The No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing DPi-V.R  finished the Mid-Ohio Grand Prix eighth on Sunday as Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr teamed for the fourth round of the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The race marked the return of IMSA to the technical track set in rural Ohio with a long history of sports car racing through the decades.

    With 34 cars sharing the 2.238-mile circuit for the two-hour, forty minute race, there were high expectations for drama between the three classes in competition. Instead, the race ran at a relentless pace for the entirety of the the event from green to checkered flag. Pit stops are always critical, and the 125 lap event saw the team produce three well-executed stops as track position was as vital as ever with the extended green flag run.  

    Curran started the race from twelfth on the grid, but was able to make a pair of moves to slot in to tenth on the opening lap. The American racer continued to move forward, taking seventh position before turning for pit lane as Nasr took the controls. Returning to the action in 11th on lap 35, the former Formula 1 pilot made the most of the green flag run to advance to eighth before taking the checkered flag.

    "It's fun to come back to Mid-Ohio and run our Whelen Cadillac around here,” said Curran. “We got a little off on the initial set up of the car with the car being really loose. We made some adjustments to make up for it later in our run. But the leaders had a ton of speed today so we’ll just move on to the next one. We got a few points and came away with an 8th place finish but we just have to keep charging forward and get back up to the front. I look forward to racing in Detroit."

    "I worked very hard today,” said Nasr. “It was a difficult weekend for us in general. I felt like I did everything I could today. This track is a lot more difficult to overtake even compared to Long Beach because of the loss of downforce. Looking at the positive, we still scored a few points and I am ready for the next race already to make up some ground." 

    The next race on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will be the Chevrolet Grand Prix in Detroit on June 2.

    Whelen Timeline: http://www.whelen.com/pb/Automotive/ProductSheets/Misc/Whelen_History.pdf

    Follow twitter.com/ax_racing for updates and visit the all-new http://axracing.com for team information, photos, and additional updates.

     

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    Felipe Nasr

    Felipe Nasr has joined Action Express Racing for the 2018  IMSA WeatherTech Prototype Championship SportsCar Season with co-driver Eric Curran in the No, 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R.  The former Formula 1 racer has one start with Action Express Racing (Rolex 24 At Daytona, 2013) as he moves full time into endurance sports car racing in 2018.  

    Eric Curran

    2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Champion Eric Curran returns to Whelen Engineering Racing as a full-time pilot alongside Felipe Nasr.  Eric has been racing under the Whelen Engineering banner since the 2007 season, and is  President of West Coast Exotic Cars located in California. Eric and his fiancé, Chelsey reside in Sarasota, FL and Murrieta CA
     

    About Whelen Engineering

    Whelen Engineering designs and manufactures reliable and powerful warning lights, white illumination lighting, sirens, controllers, and high-powered warning systems for Automotive, Aviation, and Mass Notification industries worldwide. With two state-of-the-art facilities in Connecticut and New Hampshire, Whelen has the largest design staff in the industry and over 1,500 dedicated employees. 

    Visit www.whelen.com for more information.

    Team Fox

    Team Fox is the sports and event fundraising arm of the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Disease Research.  They are considered a major associate sponsor of the Whelen Racing Team.  The Team Fox logo appears on the rear fenders of the Whelen Racing Team car.  Visit michaeljfox.org for additional information. 
  • 04/16/2018 8:35 AM | Anonymous
    Source: Sunday Group Management
    Partial Reprint

     

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    Long Beach, Calif. (14 April 2018)  After the racing gods handed the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R a setback at Sebring, the team came roaring back to score a convincing victory on the streets of Long Beach on Saturday with drivers Filipe Albuquerque (PRT) and João Barbosa (PRT). 

    The 100 minute race is the shortest of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, and marks round three of the 2018 schedule.

    Barbosa opened the race on the tight twisty 1.9-mile circuit from fifth on the grid, and was able to balance the pace he needed to hold on to his fifth place starting position with the fuel economy that the team was asking for the fuel strategy to work out. 

    A full course caution on lap 22 saw the No. 5 Cadillac take to the pits on lap 24 with Barbosa turning the car over to Albuquerque on a rapid swap that included a full load of fuel and four new Continental tires. 

    Making his debut on the street circuit and first-ever IMSA sprint race start, Albuquerque soaked up the challenge of every lap as he began to reel in the leader and make forward progress. 

    Passes for position on laps 32 and 38, and then a quick final run through pit lane for a final stop saw the Mustang Sampling Racing colors out front once again on lap 40. After building an advantage for nearly ten laps, the lead was erased with a lap 49 caution. But the pace continued to be strong on the restart as Albuquerque held the point all the way to the checkered flag.

    The victory is the second of the season for the Mustang Sampling squad (Rolex 24 At Daytona) and the 20th for the Action Express Racing organization.  The No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R has now moved to the top of the provisional points standings. 

    “It was an interesting race,” Barbosa said. “Qualifying didn’t go so well, but the team made some changes to the Cadillac for the race and it was really good. I was able to save quite a bit of fuel compared to the guys in the front during my stint. That was our strategy. The engineers just nailed it. Everyone from ECR and Cadillac have done an awesome job and the Cadillac DPi-V.R was really strong. We had great support from Mustang Sampling and the Continental tires were great all race. It was one of those weekends where you really didn’t know what to expect and it fell our way for the win!  It was a great points day and nice to get some back after a tough Sebring. The two pit stops were great and it was a good run for us.”

    “Brilliant! Daytona was great and at Sebring we had a bit of a struggle,” Albuquerque said. “Joao (Barbosa) did a great job to start the race. This is my first time at Long Beach. At the beginning of my stint I could pass people. The strategy for us by the team was perfect. We got in the lead and I was able to manage the race from the lead. We were unstoppable. We had a good Cadillac all weekend. This was my first time on a street course in a prototype and it was fun. When the yellow came out I was in the lead and feeling good. I had to concentrate on the restart, not getting too comfortable with these walls lining the track. The Nissan and Acura were battling behind me, so I just managed my race and brought the Mustang Sampling Cadillac home for the win.”

    The team will look forward to the next outing as the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship returns to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on May 6th. The team won the last time it competed at the track in 2013. 

     

     

    Mustang Sampling

    Mustang Sampling

    Mustang Sampling Website

     

    (L-R) Joao Barbosa, Filipe Albuquerque, Christian Fittipaldi


    João Barbosa

    The three-time and co-defending IMSA TPNAEC Champion, João Barbosa returns to Action Express Racing to drive the familiar #5 gold, black and white Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R seeking his third IMSA WeatherTech Championship at the pinnacle of North American sports car competition. João resides in Charlotte, NC with his wife and two sons. He is an avid runner and cyclist. 

    Filipe Albuquerque

    Filipe joins the defending Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup and two-time IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship winning No .5 MustangSampling Cadillac Dpi-V.R for the full 2018 IMSA campaign. Filipe resides in his hometown  of Cambria, Portugal. 

    Christian Fittipaldi

    Two-time IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Champion driver Christian Fittipaldi returns to Action Express Racing for his sixth full season of competition following a fourth consecutive Tequila Patron' North American Endurance Cup title with co-driver João Barbosa. Fittipaldi has been appointed Sporting Director for Action Express Racing, and will continue to race in the endurnace events starting in 2018.  Outside of sports car racing, the Brazilian satiates his need for competition by racing in mountain bike and karting events, both in the U.S. and his home country of Brazil.

  • 04/16/2018 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    Source: Wayne Taylor Racing


    2018 Long Beach Post Race Report

    A fourth consecutive victory on the Grand Prix of Long Beach (Calif.) street circuit was not to be for the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R team Saturday. But a solid third-place run from the sixth starting position in the first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship sprint race of the season by the new full-time driving tandem of Jordan Taylor and Renger van der Zande is certainly a welcome result. 

    Since finishing second here in 2014, Taylor and his older brother Ricky Taylor had been the dominant and undisputed kings of the beach, taking home the first-place trophy from the Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix each of the last three seasons. 

    But this year’s renewal of the annual one-hour, 40-minute street fight was expected to be much more competitive with a host of new teams and world-class drivers beefing up the Prototype class for 2018, and this weekend’s event lived up to those expectations. One of those new powerhouse teams is the two-car Team Penske effort, to where Ricky Taylor departed following his 2017 championship season with his younger brother on the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R team. 

    Coincidentally, the Taylor brothers found themselves nose-to-tail during a key restart with 23 minutes remaining in today’s race with Ricky Taylor holding down third place in his No. 7 Team Penske Acura DPi. Less than two laps after the race went back to green, fourth-place Jordan Taylor made a stellar save avoiding his older brother while negotiating the tight, right-hand hairpin known as turn 11 that empties onto the long front straight along Shoreline Drive. The younger Taylor continued to apply pressure to his older brother from behind, briefly getting by coming out of turn 11 with 10 minutes remaining. Ricky Taylor retook third place by the time they arrived at turn one. 

    But, one lap later, with less than nine minutes remaining, Jordan Taylor completed a pass of his older brother in turn one and never looked back from there, taking the checkered flag behind race winner Felipe Albuquerque in the No. 5 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R and runner-up Ryan Dalziel in the No. 2 ESM Nissan DPi. 

    “From where we started to finish third, we’re very happy with that.” Taylor said. “It is a tough track to pass on, so finishing third is a good points day. You never know what you are going to get on a street course. Anything can happen when you go around a corner, you can end up in the wall. To come away with third place after second place at Sebring, those are the kinds of days that can go a long way toward our championship chances. I think Ricky was a little nice to us. He was struggling big-time with his car. I could see him fighting it everywhere, just kind of hanging on. I put some pressure on him and I was going to go for it, but I saw him defend and he went a little wide, so I was able to capitalize on it. It was a good battle. Thankfully we didn’t touch each other or my dad would have been pretty upset. I think we are going to have some fun racing each other this year. I had a moment going into turn 11 after the restart. I think Ricky had some pick-up on his tires and he was a little cautious and hit the brakes a little early, so it caught me off guard. I hit the brakes and it went completely sideways and I was sure I was in the runoff. But, when I opened my eyes, I realized on was on the track, so I turned left and we didn’t even lose a position. That was a big moment. But, overall, to leave here with third, we can feel really good about that.” 

    Van der Zande, the 32-year-old Dutch driving veteran who opened the season with a dramatic pole qualifying effort at the Rolex 24 At Daytona endurance marathon, qualified fourth here late Friday afternoon but had his best lap nullified because of a track limit line infraction and had to settle for sixth on the starting grid. 

    He started today’s race cleanly and worked hard to keep the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R in touch with the leaders during what turned out to be a 39-minute opening stint that ended during the second full-course caution of the day, when he pitted for tires and fuel and to turn the car over to Taylor. 

    “This is a fantastic result, all things considered,” van der Zande said. “Halfway through the race, I didn’t think we would get good points today, but there we went. Jordan made a great move on Ricky and, apart from that, a big save while he was chasing Ricky before that. I had a bit of a hard stint. There wasn’t too much going on. I was just staying in position and saving fuel. I think altogether we can be happy with this. It’s great to score points like we did and be on the podium at the end of the day.” 

    With the team’s second consecutive podium finish and fifth in a row at Long Beach, it moves up one position in the standings to fourth, 13 points behind the race-winning No. 5 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R and just one point out of third, occupied by the No. 54 Oreca LMP2, which finished 10th today. 

    “As usual, everybody did a great job,” team owner Wayne Taylor said. “We didn’t seem to have the car to win this weekend. Hats off to the 5 team on their win and to ESM for getting second, but it was very nice to get a podium considering where we started. We qualified fourth and had an infringement during qualifying, so we had to start sixth, so it was a bit tough because it’s so competitive and you just can’t pass anyone, anywhere. Watching Ricky and Jordan battling at the end, there, was probably the toughest 20 minutes of my life. But, to get a podium is a good result today. We’ve now had two in a row and that’s how you win championships.” 

    Round four on the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship calendar is the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Showdown at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington three weeks hence. Race day is Sunday, May 6 with live television provided by FS2 beginning at 1 p.m. EDT.

  • 03/18/2018 5:06 AM | Anonymous

    Reprint: Sunday Group Management
    Contact: Matt Cleary, media@sundaymanagement.com (317) 908-2975 (m)

     

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    Sebring, Fla. (17 March 2018)  With race-leading pace, well-executed pit stops, and a focus on the finish, Whelen Engineering Racing showed strength in Saturday’s 12 Hours of Sebring. The team brought home another IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship podium result on Saturday with the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R, notching the second podium finish of the 2018 season and the third consecutive podium result for the team at Sebring International Raceway. 

    Drivers Felipe Nasr (BRA), Eric Curran (USA), and Mike Conway (UK) opened the season with a run to second place in the Rolex 24 At Daytona and were looking to improve on that result on Saturday after leading the race for multiple segments of the 12 hour event. 

    The race ran at a wide-open pace with extensive green flag running for the opening four hours, but the nature of the race changed as a series of full course cautions kept the strategies evolving with every lap. The drivers kept their focus on the front, with all three racers posting strong performances. The team held up its end of the bargain with swift pit stops and well-executed pit strategy. 

    Nearly two hours of green flag running made for a sprint to the finish line as darkness covered the track. Nasr was on board for the final segments, and had to strike the best balance between outright pace and making sure the Whelen Engineering entry had the fuel to make the finish. 

    That balance kept the first-year IMSA pilot from making forward progress late in the race, but he held on to score third at the finish as the team continues to keep the big picture in mind. 

    Whelen Engineering Racing will return to IMSA WeatherTech competition in the Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach on April 14th

    Felipe Nasr, No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R:

    “It was tough out there,” Nasr said. “At night everyone was set for those last two hours. We had to save fuel - it was the only choice we had -  and give up track position. I want to win, the team wants to win, but we have to take it as it comes. Today we had a great race. The Whelen Cadillac was unbelievably good. We led a lot of laps for many hours and stayed in the top three. The last two hours are what count and of course I'm a little disappointed because everybody wants to win but on the other hand, we are leading both of the championships and we have to take it. It is a really great achievement for the team. We will take it.” 

     Eric Curran, No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R:

    “Overall a really good day,” Curran said. “Crazy race, but still good fun here at Sebring. We led a lot of the race and we thought we had a car that was capable of winning. The Whelen Cadillac was good and reliable. The Action Express guys killed it with the pit stops. Overall it was a great points day. We just need to win one of these Sebring 12 hours. It all started for me here at Sebring with Sonny (Whelen) and my first race with Sonny was a win, I would love to get another one. We’ve had three podiums in a row in three years, but not a win in the prototype. We've come so close, we're strong enough, so next year!" 

    Mike Conway, No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R:

    “It was the same as last year, we were third last year too,” Conway said. “It's a shame. We were really fighting it out toward the end of the race. We could just keep ahead of the Nissan in clean air. In traffic they seemed to have an easier time with their straight-line speed. We fought as hard as we could and gave it everything, we just came up a little shy at the end. It is a good result for the 31 Whelen Cadillac and good points for the championship. I wish the team luck the rest of the season and I hope they can win the championship.” 

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    Felipe Nasr

    Felipe Nasr has joined Action Express Racing for the 2018  IMSA WeatherTech Prototype Championship SportsCar Season with co-driver Eric Curran in the No, 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R.  The former Formula 1 racer has one start with Action Express Racing (Rolex 24 At Daytona, 2013) as he moves full time into endurance sports car racing in 2018.  

     

    MIke Conway

    Mike Conway returns to Action Express Racing in 2018 as a Whelen Engineering Racing endurance driver for the Rolex 24, Sebring 12 Hour, and Petit Le Mans events. Conway has years of experience across several different racing platforms that include winning outings in IndyCar and World Endurance Championship competition as well as big performances in FIA Formula E.

    Eric Curran

    2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Champion Eric Curran returns to Whelen Engineering Racing as a full-time pilot alongside Felipe Nasr.  Eric has been racing under the Whelen Engineering banner since the 2007 season, and is  President of West Coast Exotic Cars located in California. Eric and his fiancé, Chelsey reside in Sarasota, FL and Murrieta CA
     

     

    Stuart Middleton

    The newest, and youngest racer to join Whelen Engineering Racing, Stuart Middleton already has earned some significant accolades.  Middleton became a Ginetta Junior Scholarship winner in 2014, secured the Ginetta Junior Winter Series Championship title in 2015, and netted the Ginetta Junior Series vice-championship in 2016. Middleton is making his IMSA debut after winning the Whelen Sunoco Challenge. 

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