Pipo Derani said Sunday’s Road Race Showcase at Road America ended up being another “damage limitation” race for the Cadillac DPi-V.Rs, which again were unable to match the pace of the Mazda or Acura DPis.
Derani and co-driver Felipe Nasr came home fourth as the best-placed Cadillac in their Whelen Engineering Racing entry, more than 75 seconds behind the race-winning No. 55 Mazda RT24-P in the caution-free race.
The Brazilian said that if for not an unscheduled stop for the No. 7 Acura DPi of Ricky Taylor and a gearbox issue for the CORE autosport Nissan DPi, they would have likely finished sixth.
“We had a car to finish sixth today, not fourth,” Derani told Sportscar365.
“It was a big damage limitation race. We had a trouble-free race, a fantastic race. The pit stops were fantastic. We just didn’t have the pace. We were a minute-and-a-half behind.”
The result has seen the Brazilian duo drop to a seven-point deficit on Acura Team Penske’s Dane Cameron and Juan Pablo Montoya, who finished second on Sunday.
“It’s just a shame the championship is slipping through our hands like this,” Derani said. “I’m not saying we’re going to win the championship but we could at least fight.
“At the moment, we’re not able to fight. I think that’s a big loss for everyone involved, for the public and the fans.”
Derani said it marked the No. 31 car’s third race where it was unable to fight for a win, which has seen Acura and Mazda sweep the podium since the Action Express Racing-run squad’s second place on the streets of Detroit.
“We had a damage limitation race at Mosport and we had a damage limitation race at Watkins,” Derani said. “When was the last time a Cadillac has been to the podium?
“These are the facts. How are you supposed to fight like this?
“They gave us an extra 20 kgs for this race where we had to be careful with our tires because the tires were going away as there was way too much weight and not enough power. It was incredible.
“In the end it’s now a fight between us and the 6 [car] but it’s not really a fight because we don’t have it for them.
“They are controlling the pace from the beginning to the end. They’re giving their drivers codes and different numbers [on the radio].. Code 0 and Code 53.
“It’s clear they are controlling their pace. This is not everything they can do and we are flat out from FP1 every time.”
Taylor: It’s Hard to be Motivated for Top-Five Finishes
Jordan Taylor said it’s become hard to be motivated after running an equally flawless race in his Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi on Sunday.
Having started from the rear of the DPi field due to a tire change, co-driver Renger van der Zande charged to sixth on the first lap but was unable to make up any additional ground.
“For us it was flawless and we ended up fifth and almost a lap down,” Taylor told Sportscar365.
“You come to the race always hoping to win and challenging for the win.
“Now when we come to the races we’ve been battling for top-fives the last couple of races.
“It’s hard to be motivated. There’s no trophy, there’s no celebration or champagne. It’s hard to give reasons week in and week out to sponsors and fans of why we’re not battling for wins like we have in the past.”