2017

Mustang Sampling Team Battles Back to Finish on Podium in Austin

  • ActionExpress_4.IMSA_josemariodias_08097

    ActionExpress_4.IMSA_josemariodias_08097

    View post

AUSTIN, TX (May 6, 2017) - The No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R team showed speed early in the weekend practice sessions, qualified fourth, and overcame running out of fuel to complete the sweep for Cadillac at Circuit of the Americas.

Christian Fittipaldi started fourth and picked up third during his first stint of the race. The Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R pitted at the 50-minute mark for four tires, fuel and a driver change to Joao Barbosa. The No. 5 Team gained their driver another spot on pit road as they passed for second as the 1-hour mark approached.

The No. 5 Mustang Sampling Team would run between second and third, but with just about 30-minutes remaining, Barbosa ran out of fuel on pit lane. His teammates' crew helped to push the car to the pit box for a splash of gas. Joao would battle back from sixth position, and with 13-minutes remaining, he was able to get past the No. 2 to complete the podium sweep for Cadillac.

Joao Barbosa, No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R:

"We've definitely made improvements from practice to the race," said Barbosa. "We stretched our fuel strategy toward the end, and barely made it to pit lane, but I have to thank my teammates for pushing us into our pit box. This shows we have a great team and why we won the last three championships."

Christian Fittipaldi, No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R:

"I just paced myself at the beginning of the race," Fittipaldi said. "These cars are pretty sensitive when they are running close behind a fast car, so you need to understand the situation and run clean laps. We came from sixth, so I'm glad to finish third today. It's time to turn the page and move onto Detroit, where historically we've always run pretty strong. We're definitely looking forward to the next race."

The IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship will travel to Detroit for the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic to run June 2-3.
Points Standings:
IMSA Weather Tech Championship: 2nd (119 points)

Tequila Patron North American Endurance Championship: 2nd (25 points)

Mustang Sampling Team Completes Strong Weekend with 2nd Place Finish

  • Sebring 2017

    Sebring 2017

    View post

SEBRING, FL (March 19, 2017) As the checkered flag waved over the start/finish line for the 65th running of the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring, the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R team is proud of the result, but wanted one position better. The No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R was fast during several practice sessions leading into qualifying, where they qualified 2nd and led much of the race through the daylight until darkness began to fall.

 

Christian Fittipaldi took the green flag at 10:40 a.m. ET on Saturday in No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R prototype from second place for the 12-hour classic.

Christian would remain in the top three during his opening two-hour stint before giving way to Filipe Albuquerque.

 

After getting out of the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R following first stint, Fittipaldi was pleased with the early performance of the team. "It is still very early in the race," Fittipaldi said. "No one is really risking too much and we are taking care of each other. So far, mechanically the Cadillac has been flawless. I am really happy with the cars performance and the pit stops. We've made three of them and improved the car each time."

The No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R would take the lead shortly after Filipe's stint began by overtaking teammate, Eric Curran. Filipe continued to set the pace as the four-hour mark approached to award Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup points, earning the maximum five points for leading the first segment of the race.

 

For the next eight hours, the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R swapped the lead with the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R as the teams cycled through pit stops and driver changes.
At the 10:55 mark, a full-course yellow would allow the Mustang Sampling Team to close back in on the leader setting up a final one hour sprint to the finish.

Though multiple pit-stops and strategy plays remained, the No. 5  Mustang Sampling Cadillac team of Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi and Filipe Albuquerque finished second at Sebring Int'l Raceway. "I am really proud of the Mustang Sampling Cadillac team," Barbosa said. "It is a great sweep of the podium for Cadillac. We missed just a little bit when the conditions changed from daytime to night, but second is a great result. I am very proud of our whole team."

 

Filipe Albuquerque, who spent much of his stints either leading or running 2nd, gave thoughts on his evening. "We ran a good race and made no real mistakes," Albuquerque said. "We led a lot of the race, but when the track got cooler, the No. 10 Cadillac just came alive. They had just a little bit more today, but we will work to close the gap at Long Beach."

 

Next up the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship heads west to the streets of Long Beach for the Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach April 7-8.

 

Points Standings:
IMSA Weather Tech Championship: 2nd (33 points)
Tequila Patron North American Endurance Championship: 2nd (16 points)

Mustang Sampling Looks To Repeat 2015 Magic at Sebring

  • No. 5 Mustang Sampling Team Sebring 2015

    No. 5 Mustang Sampling Team Sebring 2015

    View post

SEBRING, FL (March 14, 2017) In 2015, Mustang Sampling Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototype from Action Express Racing ended a 50-year drought for the automotive giant by turning in a near perfect performance and winning the 63rd edition of the Twelve Hours of Sebring by an entire lap. Ahead of the 2017 event, the team is looking to repeat their historic performance.

Last year, the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Team combined with team car, the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Chevrolet Corvette DP, to lead more than half of the total laps and carried the banner for GM in the prototype class. However, after two late restarts, the No. 5 Mustang Sampling team just missed out on the checkered flag and ultimately settled for a podium finish in the 64th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

For the 2017 season, after a switch from Corvette to the new Cadillac DPi-V.R prototype, the teams are focused on learning the new vehicle and finding their competitive edge following the season start at Daytona.

"We ran a solid two-days of testing in Sebring," said 2015 winner Christian Fittipaldi. "We're happy, but continue to develop our No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R for an even better chance to challenge for the win."

When the race starts at Sebring, there's no doubt the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Team will be looking for the win. If the team's crowded trophy shelf, historic performance in 2015 and dedication to mastering the new Prototype package is any indication, fans have a good chance at seeing the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Team on the podium in the winner's circle.

The 65th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring gets underway on Saturday, March 18 at 10:40 a.m. ET and will be shown on FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports GO app and IMSA.com.

Veteran Drivers Complete Strong Weekend with 2nd Place Finish

  • No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R Rolex 24 2017 - photo by Jose Mario Dias

    No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R Rolex 24 2017 - photo by Jose Mario Dias

    View post

DAYTONA BEACH, FL (January 29, 2017) As the checkered flag waved over the start/finish line for the 55th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R team is proud of the result, but asking what might have been. The No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R was fastest in several practice sessions leading into qualifying, where they captured the pole, and led much of the race especially coming down to the wire.

 

Joao Barbosa took the green flag at 2:30 p.m. ET on Saturday in No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R prototype from pole position with teammate Dane Cameron in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac closely behind for the 24-hour marathon. Joao would lead the first 31 minutes into the race until he was passed by his teammate Dane Cameron in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac shortly before the first pit-stop.

 

After getting out of the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R following a double stint, Barbosa was pleased with the early performance of the team. "I was able to get a good feel for the car in my first stint," Barbosa said. "The Cadillac is running really strong and we are playing out our strategy. The pace is very fast. I settled into a cautious rhythm and being careful with traffic. In the No.5 car, we are following our plan. We are not pushing the pace, but our Cadillacs are fast. Every lap we do in the race we are learning a little bit more about the car. It is really easy to fall into the temptation of pushing the car that little more. We are just settling into a rhythm."

 

The No. 10 Cadillac would lead as the six-hour mark approached, but an intensifying rain brought him to pit lane for rain tires, forcing him to surrender the lead to endurance driver Filipe Albuquerque, who had taken on rain tires during an earlier full-course caution thus earning the maximum five points for leading the first segment of the season. The forward-thinking strategy proves why the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R team is the three-time and defending Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup championship-winning team.

 

Filipe Albuquerque set the fastest lap of the race (1:36.269 seconds), before losing a lap around midnight with a punctured tire that damaged the wing. All through the night, the No. 5 Mustang Sampling team stuck with its plan of not taking risks, but needing to regain the lost lap required tremendous patience and control from all team members. The drivers knew they could drive harder and recover the lost lap with a fast the Mustang Sampling Cadillac, but pushing that threshold could end the night early.

 

As the race unfolded, the driving conditions became treacherous as a steady down pour of rain overnight and cold temperatures made it difficult to keep heat in the tires. Christian Fittipaldi explained, "The night was pretty crazy," Fittipaldi said. "I ran a long time under yellow. It just started pouring hard. It was very hard to keep heat in the tires. I was able to keep it on the black stuff. We still have a long way to go. We are marching along to our plan. The No. 10 Cadillac is very strong. It was fast in the dry and they are doing a good job in the changing and wet conditions as well. We are giving it our all. I think we have something for them. Even the No. 90 car was good in the wet conditions."

 

The rain was so intense around 4:00 a.m. the Mustang Sampling team felt lucky just to be making laps. Shortly before daybreak, Iain Watt (No. 5 race team engineer) used a brilliant strategy that not only got our lap back but the No. 5 was leading into sunrise. The team continued to let competitiors lead while managing their Cadillac's speed enough to stay in the top three.

 

With three hours to go, the Mustang Sampling Team set its' sites on the finish. The No. 5 Cadillac DPi-V.R was able to take the lead and pull away from 2nd place by 19 seconds with about 20 minutes remaining. With no more pits stops planned, the final caution of the race occurred which erased the big lead and put the No. 10 car tucked-in behind the No. 5. Inside of 10-minutes remaining, Ricky Taylor drove his Cadillac DPi-V.R to the apex of Turn 1 to make a pass on Albuquerque in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac. Taylor and Albuquerque touched, Albuquerque spun and Taylor went on to win the 55th running of the Rolex 24 Hour At Daytona.

 

At the finish, the No. 5  Mustang Sampling Cadillac team of Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi and Filipe Albuquerque finished second at the Daytona Int'l Speedway. Filipe was not happy with the way things ended. "The last hour, when we put new tires back on for the last stint, our Cadillac ran really well," Filipe said. "Unfortunately, the officials don't agree that is move was unfair and they are the most important guys. It is, what it is. Thank you to the No. 5 Mustang Sampling team, we were always up front and our Cadillac DPi-V.R was amazing."

 

Gary Nelson, team manager, recapped his thoughts on the race. "We just kept coming back all night, working to get our lap back," Nelson said. "Once we did, Iain made a series of calls that got our car out of the pits first, and we were the leader after the last couple of pit stops looking at the checkered flag. The contact that occurred with just a few laps remaining was unfortunate, but I am most proud of how our team performed from the day we received our first Cadillac DPi-V.R in October all the way through the post-race ceremony."

 

Next up for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida, held at the historic road course in Central Florida March 15-18.

Veteran Drivers Eye Return to DAYTONA Victory Lane

  • View post

DENVER, N.C. (January 24, 2017) - As an afternoon sky starts the quest for another chance at racing immortality, the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R driven by João Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi, and Filipe Albuquerque are looking to once again stand atop the podium in Daytona.

The No. 5 Mustang Sampling Team is poised to start the season as defending Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup Champions at the Daytona International Speedway when the green flag drops at 2:30 p.m. ET Saturday.

For João, there is no added pressure as defending champions, but to start the year off on a positive note.

"I don't feel any added pressure as defending TPNAEC champions, but I think we all feel some extra pressure to have a good race. We are racing a brand new car and we have a team that can win but what makes this race difficult are the things out of our control."

Barbosa continued, "The guys at the shop are doing a tremendous job preparing the Cadillac DPi-V.R for this race. Once the race starts, we can get back to what we do best and that's racing. I think we have a good shot at the win."

Fittipaldi and Albuquerque are focused mentally and physically, however, you can't ignore the rigors that come with driving for 24 hours.

"I have confidence in the car, the team and my co-drivers heading into the weekend," Fittipaldi said. "For me, during the race it will be tough, we will each do as many as four stints. I try to sleep as much as possible and stay hydrated. It is a long race, especially with just three drivers. You just have to be sure you are rested and mentally ready to go for your next turn at the wheel."

Filipe Albuquerque tunes his mental game to prepare for the 24-hour endurance grind. "Personally, I do more endurance training than explosion. I run between 45 mins and 1 hour to simulate a stint time," stated Filipe. "I like running because it's mental and without music so its only me and my thoughts."

When time allows, Filipe also gets virtual. "I get on my home simulator and drive the track where I am going to race next. It's good to get the ritual of a lap."

 

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship 55th

Rolex 24 At Daytona Broadcast schedule

(All Times Eastern):
IMSA.com - LIVE - Thursday, Jan. 26, 3:00 pm - 4:40 pm EST (*Outside U.S Only)

FOX - LIVE - Saturday, Jan. 28,  2:00 pm to 5:00 pm EST (Race starts at 2:30 p.m.)

FS2 -  LIVE - Saturday, Jan. 28,  5:00 pm to 10:00 pm

FS2 -  LIVE - Saturday, Jan. 28,  11:00 pm to 11:55 pm

FS2 -  LIVE - Sunday, Jan. 29,    12:00 am to 1:00 pm

FS1 -  LIVE - Sunday, Jan. 29,    1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

 

See full race schedule HERE

No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R

Back to top