Sixth-place finish for Sims’ Cadillac V-Series.R in 2-hour, 40-minute race
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Aug. 6, 2023) – Cadillac Racing overcame pre-race issues for the #31 to record a sixth-place finish on Sunday in the IMSA Sports Car Weekend at Road America.
The pole-winning No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac V-Series.R experienced adversity two hours before the green flag when Alexander got caught off-guard by cold tires on the fast Turn 12 and made heavy rear impact with the barrier. Sims was checked at the infield care centre and cleared to drive, and the crew quickly prepared to commence systematic work on the Cadillac Racing hybrid racecar.
After an extensive exchange of parts and bodywork that took less than 90 minutes, the car rolled out of the prep area to cheers from the throng of spectators gathered and joined the grid with Pipo Derani behind the wheel. Per IMSA regulations, the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac V-Series.R started from the rear of the GTP field.
“It was a great effort by the entire team, including Pipo handing off wrenches and being fully engaged, to get the car on the grid for the warmup laps and take the green flag with no mechanical issues,” team manager Gary Nelson said. “The crew worked systematically and, as always, professionally. We are appreciative of the crew of the No. 01 Cadillac V-Series.R checking if we needed any parts or assistance. Cadillac Racing works as one team.”
Derani and Sims did not find the pace it had when Derani reset the track lap record in qualifying and soldiered on to sixth place. The No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac V-Series.R fell out of the IMSA Driver/Team Championship lead and enters the penultimate race of the season 14 points arrears. Derani, Sims and Jack Aitken lead the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup standings with one race left.
Cadillac retained its IMSA Manufacturer Championship points lead.
The No. 7 Porsche 963, which qualified second, won the race to mark the sixth different winner in seven races.
Next up is the TireRack.com Battle on the Bricks on Sept. 15-17 on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. Both Cadillac V-Series.R recently tested on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn circuit that incorporates sections of the famous oval.
Alexander Sims: “The real credit today goes to the team that got us back out. They were faced with massive difficult conditions after my mistake in warmup, so they really got us the points today. The race was unfortunately not much better than the start of warmup. It seemed like we really struggled for pace. I was hoping Pipo might have good pace on a new set of tires, but he didn’t seem to be able to pull up. I had only two tires and double stinted right-side tires and it was really tough. It’s the way it goes in IMSA. We got the best points we could get under the circumstances, and we’ll go on to the next one.”