Bowmanville, Ont. (9 July 2017) – The No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R of Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa finished sixth in the Mobil 1 Sports Car Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on Sunday after the team suffered a late setback while running in podium position.
Fittipaldi and Barbosa had been looking to add to their winning record together after scoring a Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen victory last weekend as the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship moved into the second half of the 2017 season.
Starting from sixth on the grid for the opening segment of the two hour, forty-minute sprint race, Fittipaldi held station as the race ran under green flag conditions for nearly two hours.
A lap 32 pit stop for fuel, Continental Tires and a driver change saw Barbosa resume the fight from eighth in the order.
Despite a continued effort to adapt the Cadillac DPi-V.R to conditions, forward progress was hard to find for Barbosa as he ran in eighth when the first full course caution of the race flew.
The race delivered a much more dynamic storyline from that point, as rains came through the area and shuffled the field. Barbosa held strong on his slick tires, and was able to emerge from the spray in podium position. Unfortunately, the 2014 and 2015 IMSA champion was balked in GT traffic late in the race and made contact with another Prototype, sending him off track momentarily.
He recovered quickly from the quick spin and rejoined the field, crossing the line sixth at the finish and ruing what might have been.
“It was tough ending to what was almost was a fantastic finish,” Barbosa said. “We lost a great opportunity late in the race. The GT guys protect their positions out there even when they are not in the race for the win. He brake checked me and I didn’t expect it. I went on the brakes to avoid him and I touched the No. 85. I was able to get going, but I lost some positions. We were within just a few minutes of a 1-2 finish for Action Express, but to end up that far back just shows how tough this series is. We still have a lot of work to do but we know we can be a factor even on our bad days”
While not able to make the opportunity to make up more ground in the championship fight, there were still a lot of smiles in the pit box as the team car scored an encore victory at CTMP.
“I am very happy for the No. 31 team, but upset for the No. 5 car,” Fittipaldi said. “We had a shot at bringing home another trophy. Unfortunately, it wasn’t in the cards today. We will turn our sights toward the trophies that are waiting at the remaining races, we know we can bring some home”
No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing, IMSA WeatherTech Championship Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
2014 Started: 5 Finished: 4 Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi
2015 Started: 2 Finished: 5 Christian Fittipaldi, Joao Barbosa
2016 Started: 4 Finished: 2 Christian Fittipaldi, Joao Barbosa
2017 Started: 6 Finished: 6 Christian Fittipaldi, Joao Barbosa