Derani, Nasr cruise to Long Beach win to cap off dominant weekend

Phillip Abbott/Lumen Digital Agency

Derani, Nasr cruise to Long Beach win to cap off dominant weekend

IMSA

Derani, Nasr cruise to Long Beach win to cap off dominant weekend

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Cadillac capped off a dominating weekend in the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship with a sweep of the podium at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R. survived just one serious challenge from Kevin Magnussen in the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Cadillac DPi-V.R. to cruise to victory in the 100-minute race.

This is the fourth win in a row for Cadillac at Long Beach and they remain undefeated at the track in the DPi-era.

Nasr and Magnussen battled for the lead in the opening minutes of the race with Magnussen moving to the front of the field after Nasr was caught up in traffic at the Hairpin. With Nasr in his slipstream and closing in on Magnussen, the Dane missed his braking point and brushed the tire barrier on the exit of Turn 1.

The rear bumper pod of the No. 01 Cadillac was stripped from the car and thrown on track. That necessitated a Full Course Yellow, it was the race’s only interruption.

The No. 01 Cadillac nursed that damage throughout the rest of the race and finished second, but Renger van der Zande was never able to mount another challenge to the No. 31 Cadillac who drove off into the California sunset.

Loic Duval helped earn the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac a third-place finish, their best result since winning the 12 Hours of Sebring earlier this year. Duval battled past Filipe Albuquerque in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05c in the first half of the race.

Albuquerque, meanwhile, had a stellar start from fifth and had moved the No. 10 Acura up to third by the time the field reached the fountain on the opening lap. The strong start from Albuquerque was no match for the ultimate pace of the Cadillacs, though, as Duval got the spot back a few laps later.

The No. 10 Acura ended the day in fourth, 34.697s behind the trio of Cadillacs.

Rounding out the top five was the No. 55 Mazda RT-24P of Harry Tincknell and Oliver Jarvis. The No. 55 Mazda entered this race third in the championship standings, a fairly representative ranking for their season — not quite on the level of the No. 31 Cadillac and the No. 10 Acura but usually better than the rest of the field.

With Cadillac’s so dominant this weekend, a fifth-place finish is probably the best result that Mazda could’ve gotten. Finishing 22.619s behind the No. 10 Acura, however, is more than they would’ve liked.

The only DPi runner to run into serious trouble was the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-05c who clipped the No. 3 Corvette C8.R going into Turn 1 with under 15 minutes left. The contact sent Olivier Pla spinning into the barrier and left the No. 60 with heavy damage to the rear. Pla limped the car back home, but it would go no further.

The No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura retained their lead in the championship, but the gap is now just 19 points to the No. 31 Cadillac setting up a title-deciding weekend at Petit Le Mans.

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