Elkhart Lake, Wisc. (31 July 2017) Mustang Sampling Racing returns to Road America this weekend as the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship heads to Wisconsin for the annual visit to the hugely popular natural terrain circuit.
Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi will share the driving duties in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R. as they look to make a strong close to the 2017 IMSA season with three rounds yet to run. The team, which captured both the 2014 and 2015 WeatherTech Championships, has been a podium performer for the last three years on the 4-mile circuit with Barbosa and Fittipaldi.
In addition to being historically strong at Road America, Mustang Sampling Racing’s off season preparation and its continual effort for improvements have seen the team gaining momentum. A breakthrough victory in June’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International could serve as a turning point for the team as it targets a strong close to the 2017 IMSA campaign.
“Historically, as seasons roll along, we get stronger, while other people run out of gas a little bit,” said Action Express team manager Gary Nelson. “I believe that’s the result of our preparation. The long straightaways at Road America require a mix of downforce and aero drag, and we seem to be able to find that combination very well and are able to match that to our gearing. Our trend has been to come on strong at Elkhart Lake and the other races late in the season, and I hope to see that happening again this year.”
Fittipaldi and Barbosa won in the WeatherTech Championship’s Road America debut in 2014 in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP, and then finished second behind teammates Curran and Cameron at the circuit the past two seasons.
“I think racing the Cadillac for the first time at Road America is going to be a big learning curve, but I think we’ve made a lot of progress since our race at Detroit,” Barbosa said. “Road America is a great race track for the drivers, and I think it’s going to be an amazing track with the new DPi cars, with all the downforce and speed that they have. Action Express has always done a good job there, so I’m looking forward to seeing if we can continue the success we’ve had there.”
No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing, Road America
2016: Road America Start 2 Finish 2 Christian Fittipaldi, Joao Barbosa (9 laps led)
2015: Road America Start 2 Finish 2 Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi (2 laps led)
2014: Road America Start 2 Finish 1 Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi (34 laps led)
2017 Continental Tire Road Race Showcase Schedule:
Friday, August 4, 2017: 11:10 AM – 12:20 PM CT – Practice 1
4:10 PM – 5:10 PM CT — Practice 2
Saturday, August 5, 2017: 8:55 AM – 9:55 AM CT — Practice 3
1:50 PM – 2:05 PM CT — Prototype Qualifying
Sunday, August 6, 2017: 8:30 AM – 8:50 AM CT — Warm Up
1:35 PM – 4:15 PM CT – Continental Tire Road Race Showcase
TV Coverage: 2:30PM — FS1