Pipo Derani is expecting a different strategy to play out in Friday’s WeatherTech 240 compared to last weekend’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen although admitted it will be difficult to further improve his Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R.
Derani, Felipe Nasr and Mike Conway recorded a fourth place finish in the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup round after a late-race charge while being on a different fuel strategy to the top three finishing DPis.
With a six-hour race’s worth of data to analyze, albeit in a compressed timeframe, the Brazilian is hopeful of making further inroads on the competition.
“I think this weekend’s race is going to be different in terms of strategy because it’s much shorter,” Derani said.
“But, at the same time, I think we can apply a lot of what we learned from this past weekend in terms of the car setup. [Last weekend], it was a very difficult fuel savings race.
“Sometimes this can play on your side or it can play against you. We’re going to try to put everything we’ve learned together to have a better race and hopefully be back on the podium for this short two-hour-and-forty-minute race.
“We’ve been working hard and trying to improve the car every session. Having such a short time to practice, it will be even more difficult to try to improve the car.
“So, gathering all of the information from last weekend’s race is going to be important and hopefully we can apply it the right way so we can have a more competitive Whelen Cadillac this weekend.”
Derani and Nasr sit third in the DPi championship race, 157 points behind leaders Wayne Taylor Racing’s Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque, who recorded a podium finish last weekend.
Taylor feels going back to the same track in the matter of days will help the Acura team in further fine-tuning its setup.
Both the Nos. 10 and 60 Acura ARX-05s showed strong race pace last weekend although lost out on the win to the No. 55 Mazda RT24-P of Harry Tincknell, Oliver Jarvis and Jonathan Bomarito on fuel strategy.
“It’s nice to go back-to-back at the same racetrack especially because we know exactly what we want for this week and don’t have to wait another year to make those changes,” said Taylor.
“Our debrief will act more like a pre-event and those meetings have evolved into one where we can hopefully turn a third-place finish into a win.”
Albuquerque added: “Although this race is going to be shorter, Ricky and I are going to have the same exact stints that we had at the Six Hour, except we won’t have Alex [Rossi].
“We need to analyze the car more and do the right decisions to make a better car.
“We will see how the strategy plays out because that is a big role with the engineers, how the mechanics can do the pit stops better than the other teams so we are there to overtake on track.”