Cadillac Wins Long Beach

Cadillac V-Performance Racing team Mustang Sampling won today's running of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix of Long Beach.

At the drop of the green flag on the 100-minute race, Felipe Nasr in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R had a strong start from second on the grid, but was not able to get by the pole sitting Acura of Juan Montoya. A full course caution flew before the field of 14 Prototypes and eight GTLM cars could complete a lap of the 1.97-mile, 11-turn closed street circuit. Thirty-minutes into the race, Nasr passed Montoya for the lead. As the rest of the Prototype field made pit stops 30-minutes into the event, Nasr stayed out and ran qualifying lap times to lead by more than 10-seconds.

When Nasr came to the pits for fuel, tires and to put Eric Curran in the red Cadillac, the No. 5 Mustang Sampling DPi-V.R with Filipe Albuquerque at the wheel assumed the lead. Behind the 5 there was a battle between brothers. Jordan Taylor in the No. 10 Cadillac DPi-V.R was trailing his older brother Ricky in the Acura. With just eight minutes remaining, Jordan was able to pass his older brother for the last podium spot. The Whelen Cadillac came to the checker in seventh after some contact with a GTLM car.

"It was an interesting race," Barbosa said. "Qualifying didn't go so well, 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. 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 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."

Taylor versus Taylor had Jordan winning this round and coming third with teammate van der Zande.

"From where we started to finish third is great," 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. I think Ricky was struggling with his car and I went for it, I think he gave me a lot of room. I am glad we didn't touch each other or my dad would have been upset. I think we are going to have some fun racing each other this year. I had a moment going into Turn 11, I think Ricky had some pick-up on his tires and he was a little cautious. He braked early and I didn't expect it and I went wide a little bit and then turned in and didn't lose a position. I think I have a little poop in my pants as a result."

"It is fantastic, van der Zande said. "Halfway through the race, I didn't think we would get good points today. Jordan made a great move on Ricky and drove a great race. He also made a big save during his stint. I was just staying in position and saving fuel. Third today is great and we scored valuable points."

The Whelen Engineering Cadillac team had an extended stop, compared to the other competitors due to a one-stop strategy. Returning to the race on cold tires, Curran was hit by a GTLM car and damaged the front dive plane affecting the handling of the red Cadillac DPi-V.R for the remainder of his time in the car.

"We had a long pit stop to get all of the fuel in the car," Curran said. "Going out on cold tires with lack of front grip and with the GTLM cars being a little quicker than us early in a run a guy dinged the back of me and I clipped the left front and that affected the dive plane. We went for a one-stop strategy and I am not sure that was the answer today. It is too bad. I kept changing the sway bars and had a good car at the end of the race. Congrats to the five car, they did two stops we did one and they beat us. That is the tale of the day for us."

"I did all I could to be honest," Nasr said. "We had a fantastic start and I was able to stay right behind Juan Pablo (Montoya) for most of the beginning and managing the fuel at the same time. The handling of the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac was just amazing today - we were probably the fastest out there. I knew my chance came when I was right behind him. About halfway through my stint I got past him and then it was just qualifying laps. I was able to open up the gap before handing the car over to Eric (Curran). My part of the job today, I did the best that I could."

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will travel to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for round four, May 4-6.