LEXINGTON, Ohio (5 May 2019) – Joao Barbosa overcame challenging conditions at Mid-Ohio to qualify fifth for Sunday’s Acura Sports Car Challenge, the fourth race in the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Barbosa ran a lap of 1:12.320-seconds at the end of Saturday’s 15-minute session in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R he co-drives with Filipe Albuquerque.
“The Cadillac is running really well and is strong on the long runs,” Barbosa said. “I think we’ve got a pretty good race car that we can push for a long time. We will just have to see where it all stacks up. I feel like we’ve got a great shot at a good result tomorrow.”
The team is looking to build on momentum coming off a victory in the most recent race at Long Beach, after taking a podium finish in the Twelve Hours of Sebring.
“I felt the car was really good in qualifying and I was pushing,” said Barbosa. “I pushed a little too hard coming out of (corner) two. There was still a lot of water there and I had a little wiggle that put me on the grass. It was just when the car was at the peak so I feel like I left a little bit on the table today. It took me two laps to get back with clean tires, but I managed put in a good lap in the end.”
With rain throughout much of the day on Friday, the Mustang Sampling team opted to run only the latter half of the afternoon session.
Albuquerque was seventh fastest in DPi with a lap of 1:30.678. Saturday morning started off with dry but chilly conditions for the final one-hour practice, with Barbosa third with a lap of 1:13.851. A brief shower in the interval before qualifying left patches of rain on the circuit.
The team will have one additional opportunity to fine-tune the Mustang Sampling Cadillac in a 20-minute warm-up at 8 a.m. ET on Sunday morning. The Acura Sports Car Challenge will be televised live on NBCSN, beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET.