Mustang Sampling Team Fast Again In Long Beach

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LONG BEACH, CA (April 8, 2017) - The No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R team showed throughout the weekend, it was primed to perform on the demanding streets of Long Beach and vie for the team's first checkered flag of the season.

Christian Fittipaldi started second and remained in third throughout the early stages of the race. The Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R completed fast laps and seemingly playing the right strategy when Christian was hit by a slower GTD car shortly before the halfway point of the 100-minute affair. The severe damage to the rear of the Mustang Sampling Cadillac required multiple pit stops for tires, fuel, and a driver change to Joao. However, the team never wavered and salvaged a seventh place finish along with key points toward the championship battle.

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

"Unfortunately, it wasn't our day today," Barbosa said. "We have a great team and we'll keep moving forward.

We were able to stay out of trouble the remainder of the day, and get as many points as possible before we head to the next race."

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

"Not our day," Fittipaldi said. "I passed a slower GTD car on the back straight then as I was entering the next turn, I felt a hit from behind. Unfortunate for our Mustang Sampling Team, but the guys fixed the car where we could finish the race. Now, we turn the page and move on to Austin and the Circuit of the Americas."


The IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship travels to the Circuit of the Americas for the Advanced Auto Parts SportsCar Showdown May 4-6.
Points Standings:
IMSA Weather Tech Championship: 2nd (89 points)

Tequila Patron North American Endurance Championship: 2nd (16 points)


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

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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.

No. 5 Mustang Sampling® Cadillac DPi-V.R Races at Daytona this Weekend

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The 2017 Rolex 24 events will begin January 24th for the No. 5 Mustang Sampling® Cadillac DPi-V.R.
Race Duration: 24 hours
Circuit Length: 3.56 miles
The race will begin Saturday, January 28 at 2:00 pm EST and run through Sunday, January 11 ending at 2:00 pm.  Events will be broadcast on Fox, FS2, FS1, and IMSA.TV.

Roar Before the 24 2017 Weekend Starts Today

  • No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R

    No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R

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Roar Before the 24 Preview

IMSA's final pre-season test, the Roar Before the 24, is being held this weekend at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. The No.5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R drivers are looking forward to the added track time before the running of the 55th Annual Rolex 24 at Daytona, January 28-29.

Three-time consecutive IMSA Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup Champions João Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi will co-drive the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R. Christian joins João as a newly elected member of the Road Racing Driver's Club for 2016.   Filipe Albuquerque will also return as the 2017 TPNAEC driver after competing with the No.5 Mustang Sampling Team during the 2016 season.

This year marks Cadillac's first prototype race car since 2002. All Action Express Racing drivers were able to get acclimated with their new Cadillac race car as part of an IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship 2-day test at Daytona International Speedway last December.

The two-time IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Prototype Champion, João Barbosa is ready to see where his No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac compares to the competition.

"We have been looking forward to 2017 for a long time. All of our off-season testing has shown Cadillac has built a great car for us. Now we finally get a chance to get on the track with all of the other cars. Action Express Racing is a team that is always working hard to compete for wins and championships. We are very excited about our chances!"


The No. 5 Mustang Sampling Team will hit the track on Friday, January 6 at 10:20 AM.

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