MONTEREY, CA (10 Sept. 2019) – The last time Mustang Sampling Racing competed in the state of California, the team won April’s event on the streets of Long Beach.
This weekend, Joao Barbosa and Filipe Albuquerque will look to do it again as they return to the Golden State with the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R, for Sunday’s Monterey SportsCar Championship at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
Remarkably, WeatherTech Raceway is one of the few tracks where Action Express Racing is yet to win – a statistic both drivers are eager to change.
The team finished fourth in both 2014 and 2015, and the Mustang Sampling car was fifth in 2016 and 2017. Last year, the car was collected in a crash on the formation lap, resulting in no points for the team and elimination from the championship after running second in the standings. Barbosa also suffered a cracked rib in the incident.
“This track is has not been kind to us in recent years,” said Barbosa. “Seems that whenever we have been in contention for a win, something has taken us out, and at the races that we struggled for speed, everything else went smooth. We are going to this iconic track better prepared than ever. Our plan is to be the first to see the checkered waving as we exit the final turn.”
Last year’s incident also prevented Albuquerque from turning his first racing laps at the historic circuit.
“I still really haven’t had a chance to race at this track, so I’m even more looking forward to this weekend than I usually am,” said Albuquerque. “Last year our race ended before the start line. That was disappointing, and it is hard to have to wait a full year to go back. It is a tricky place to get everything right, because the track is changing all the time, but it is also a very fun lap. The last time we raced in California (Long Beach) we won, so I am hoping that we can do that again this weekend!”
Following the event at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, the lone event remaining on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship schedule will be the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on Saturday, Oct. 12.
Sunday’s race will be televised live on NBC, beginning at 3 p.m. ET.