IMSA Spotlight: Joao Barbosa
Driver: No. 5 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R
How would you assess the first season of the new Prototype regulations in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship so far?
“It’s been really good! The series proved that it had a great concept with this DPi formula and is attracting huge interest for the future. This first season has been quite interesting but challenging to balance all the different platforms.
“Obviously there’s still a lot of work to do but I believe they will get it right and this will become an even bigger, even more competitive series.”
How strong do you expect to be in the final races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Petit Le Mans?
“The Cadillac DPi-V.R Is a brand new car and we received it quite late last year. It’s still a challenge for us to know where the car needs to run so we haven’t been as consistent as we would like, but every race we learn more so we are looking forward to go to the last two races and fight for wins.”
The top three cars in the Prototype class points standings are all Cadillacs. What has it been like to be a part Cadillac’s return to Prototype racing?
“This return of Cadillac to Prototype has been great. Cadillac has done a tremendous job and I’m very proud to be part of this return. They worked really hard and it showed by winning seven of the eight races so far, [and we’re] definitely the car to beat. I’m proud to be part of Cadillac and together with Action Express Racing contributing to their success.”
What are your thoughts on the future of the class with teams like Joest and Team Penske entering in addition to the strong competition that’s already in the series?
“I’m so excited for next year. Teams like Penske and Joest coming to the series just validates how good of a series it is and how much interest there is now! Competition will be even tougher with more cars and drivers and will push the level of the series, teams, and drivers, even higher. It has all the ingredients to be the top sports car championship in the world.”
What do you like to do to stay entertained during a race weekend when you aren’t in the car or debriefing with the team?
“Well, during the race weekend we are there to do the best job we can possible do. I like to know all the details and always trying to find a way to improve. That’s how I get entertained!
“Apart from that I play some games on my phone and follow some social media sites.”