“The focus for us right now is to continue to score points and minimize mistakes, which I think we’ve done a really good job of doing from the first race of the season at the (Rolex) 24,” Nunez said. “It was really crucial for us to have a good finish there. It’s the best we’ve had in the program since its inception. … We should be in really good position for the end of the year. It’s early, but it really does set us up well for the rest of the season.” For some, hope lies in the weather this weekend. Saying he thought it would be “impossible” to win at Road America because of the Cadillac’s slower straightaway speeds compared with the Mazda, Van der Zande said he’s hoping for rain. “With the rain tires, (the Cadillac) is an easy car to drive and a fun car to go fast with,” he said. “I hope it’s going to rain and that’s going to change things around a little bit. … When it rains, I think we have a chance. When it’s dry, I think not.” Live coverage of Sunday’s two-hour, 40-minute main event begins at noon ET on NBC network. Qualifying streams live at 2:45 p.m. ET Saturday on IMSA.TV.
Kelly Eager for Return to Road America, Site of His First LMP2 Victory
Patrick Kelly has two reasons to be confident and enthusiastic heading into the IMSA SportsCar Weekend at Road America. First, he won his most recent race at Sebring International Raceway. Second, he won the last time he visited Road America, the 14-turn, 4.048-mile circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. If he needs a third reason, it’s this: He’s leading the standings in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s LMP2 class heading into Sunday’s race, in which he’ll share the car with Simon Trummer. He also wants to shake some things loose. “I certainly am looking forward to going wailing around Road America,” said the native of Minnetrista, Minnesota who also scored the Motul Pole Award in the LMP2 class last time out at Sebring. “It’s such a fast track. It always cleans the cobwebs out.” Last year’s victory at Road America was his first run in the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07. Previously, he’d been racing LMP3 cars. “Man, what a step up an LMP2 is from an LMP3,” Kelly said. “The LMP3 car drives a little bit like a GT car with extra aero. Not to take anything away from them; I love the LMP3 cars, as well. Man, was it an eye-opener (getting into the LMP2), particularly at Road America. I’m cautiously optimistic, but I know the track.” He also loves the place. All of it. “There’s an atmosphere about Road America that I just love,” Kelly said. “It’s such a resort. I suppose I should be talking about all the things we’re going to do to the car, but I really love the area. I’m looking forward to going there. With all of us cooped up at home and working from home and whatnot, I’m just looking forward to it very much.”