Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R Wins Sebring 12 Hours By: Cadillac
Cadillac sweeps the podium 1-2-3
Cadillac V-Performance racing team Konica Minolta Cadillac won the 65thrunning of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring today. The team followed up their historic win at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona just eight weeks ago.
◾First Sebring 12 hours win for Cadillac.
◾Cadillac sweeps Prototype podium with 1-2-3 finish.
◾Cadillac follows up Daytona 24 win with Sebring victory.
◾Cadillac reliability and development pays off with second consecutive IMSA win.
◾Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R wins Sebring and Daytona.
◾Konica Minolta Cadillac wins, followed by Mustang Sampling Cadillac and Whelen Engineering Cadillac.
A Cadillac DPi-V.R prototype led the race for 11 of the events 12 hours. Each of the three Cadillacs led the race with the final stages renewing the battle between the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R and the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R from Daytona. In the end it was the Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor and Alex Lynn driven Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R that took the checkered flag at 10:40 p.m. this evening and the win. The No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R driven by Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi and Filipe Albuquerque were second and the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R piloted by Dane Cameron, Eric Curran and Mike Conway completed the all Cadillac podium in third.
At the start the of the once around the clock classic the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R took the lead just an hour into the race, followed closely by the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R in third. Three-hours-and-thirty-minutes into the race, the No. 31 Whelen Cadillac DPi-V.R had contact with the No. 22 ESM Prototype. Eric Curran was at the wheel when he exited Turn 17 and tucked under the 22 to pass on the inside when the 22 driver turned in to go onto pit lane. Curran hit the 22 and was stalled in the middle of the track. He had to be towed to the paddock where the team quickly fired the Cadillac DPi-V.R 6.2L engine and he rejoined the race, three laps down. The team then received a stop-and-go-penalty for working on the car in pit lane when the pits were closed.
For the next 11 hours the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R was swapping the lead with the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R as the teams cycled through pit stops. At the 8:20 mark, the Mustang Sampling Cadillac and the Konica Minolta Cadillac pitted at the same time under yellow. The Konica Minolta team passed for the lead as they needed less fuel. As the race went green 10-minutes later the No. 31 Whelen Engineering car passed for third, making it a Cadillac 1-2-3 at the finish of 12-hours of racing.
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Ricky Taylor, No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac:
'A 1-2-3 for Cadillac is unbelievable,' Ricky Taylor said. 'To say that a brand-new car out of the box has run 36-hours of racing absolutely flawless, I don't think that has ever happened. It is a testament to Cadillac and all of the development partners it says so much about the brand and serious effort they have brought to sports car racing. The Cadillac is the toughest cars to beat. The Mustang Sampling and Whelen cars are fast. I am sure they are going to bring it at Long Beach.'
Jordan Taylor, No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac:
'It was a great run,' Jordan Taylor said. 'It is more proof that this platform is great. We've run 36 hours of racing without a single problem. It is great to have Konica Minolta in victory lane again and to celebrate that with Ricky and Alex is really special.'
Alex Lynn, No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac:
'It is absolutely unbelievable. I am at a loss for words to describe it. Jordan and Ricky are amazing teammates they drove an awesome race today. The team was flawless. It is 36 hours of zero problems for Cadillac on the race track. The team has won the two biggest races in America and a podium sweep for Cadillac. Great result for all concerned.'
Joao Barbosa, No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R:
'I am really proud of the Mustang Sampling Cadillac team,' Barbosa said. 'It is a great sweep of the podium for Cadillac. We have some work to do. We just missing a little bit when the conditions changed from hot to cool. I think were we have to work the most is with our fueling. We were not able to use all of the fuel, so we need to look at that aspect. Second is a great result for the team. I am very proud of our whole team.'
Christian Fittipaldi, No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R:
'Another strong run by the Mustang Sampling team,' Fittipaldi said. 'The team put in a lot prep time and lot of work all week. The Cadillac ran flawlessly the whole race. No mechanical problems in the 24 or the 12 hour here today. I thinks that sets the tone for the rest of the season. Unfortunately we got beat. Hats off to the No. 10 Cadillac. They did a good job from the afternoon to the end of the race. After the first four hours they just seemed to get stronger and stronger. We will celebrate, turn the page and move onto Long Beach.'
Filipe Albuquerque, No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R:
'In the end we need to be happy today with our result,' Albuquerque said. 'We ran a good race. We made no real mistakes. We led a lot of the race. When it was getting cooler, the No. 10 Cadillac just came alive. We could not match their pace. I was doing qualifying lap times to not lose too much. They just had a little bit more today. They deserve the win. We just need to work, work and close the gap at Long Beach.'
Eric Curran, No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R:
'It is nice to Cadillac 1-2-3 here at Sebring,' Curran said. 'Obviously the Cadillac has shown good pace and great reliability early in the season. I got tangled up with the 22 car at the beginning and unfortunately lost a bunch of laps. We fought back and got within a couple of laps at the end and get up on the podium. Our luck is going to get better on the Whelen side. We are looking to be really strong at Long Beach.'
Dane Cameron, No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R:
'Certainly good to recover from laps down at the beginning,' Cameron said. 'It is good to celebrate on the podium after a tough Daytona. Also nice to get some points. We have some work to do as a team to get up to the other guys. We will start into the sprint races and see what happens.'
Mike Conway, No. 31Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R:
'It is good to help Cadillac sweep the podium. We would have liked to been in the fight all the way through. We fought back, regained some laps, but not enough in the end. When the 10 car pitted early that cost us the opportunity to get back on the lead lap. A great job by the Whelen team and Cadillac today. I will rejoin the team in October at Petit Le Mans. I wish he guys all the luck and hopefully Cadillac can keep on winning.'
The IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship next heads west to the streets of Long Beach for the Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach April 7-8.