Mustang Sampling announces 2021 IMSA lineup of Duval, Vautier and Bourdais

Mustang Sampling annouces lineup
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Mustang Sampling Racing announced Loic Duval, Tristan Vautier and Sebastien Bourdais as the drivers of its Cadillac DPi-V.R for 2021 in partnership with JDC-Miller MotorSports.

Duval and Vautier will run the full season. Bourdais will be the third driver for the Michelin Endurance Cup rounds while also running a full schedule with AJ Foyt Racing in the NTT IndyCar Series.

The three French drivers raced together in several events in 2020. The team earned three podium finishes that season, including a third in the Rolex 24 at Daytona when Duval and Bourdais were paired with Joao Barbosa.

“It’s great to have all three of them back for 2021,” said John Church, managing partner of JDC-Miller MotorSports in a release. “We had a little bit of an up and down year in 2020 but I think we showed in the final race of the year at Sebring a lot of momentum and the potential we have as a group and that is what we have to build on for 2021.”

After a strong start of three podiums in the first three races of 2020, Mustang Sampling struggled for consistency, ending the year seventh at Laguna Seca and fifth at Sebring.

“Consistency is always a good thing,” said Ken Thompson, CEO of Mustang Sampling. “Twenty-twenty was a novel year for us with the move to JDC-Miller MotorSports. We spent an interesting year working some kinks out of the system. I believe with a full season under our belt and by keeping together the driver lineup of Sebastian, Loic and Tristan we will find some cohesiveness and momentum in 2021.”

Duval returns to the team after running three endurance races in 2020. In addition to his third-place finish in the Rolex 24, he was fourth at Road Atlanta and fifth at Sebring.

“I am really happy and pleased to be back with Mustang Sampling Racing/JDC-Miller MotorSports for the 2021 season after I joined the team in 2020 for the long endurance races,” Duval said. “Twenty-twenty was a challenging year for a lot of reasons and as a team we for sure had our ups and downs, but we started the season really strong at Daytona and had a lot of momentum towards the end of the season.

“So it’s great to be back with Tristan and Seb in 2021, now as one of the full-season drivers for the team because it for sure gives us consistency and to build on the momentum we had.”

Vautier finished fifth in the 2020 Rolex 24 driving a separate entry for JDC-Miller MotorSports. In nine starts, he failed to stand on the podium, but his best finish of fourth was earned twice while racing in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac.

“I am not going to lie, I wanted to be in this car and this lineup for a long time,” said Vautier. “So when I got the opportunity to do some races with them this season, I did everything to make sure this would carry on to 2021. Now that it is confirmed that I will return to the team in 2021 for the full season, I want to thank John Miller and John Church and the entire JDC-Miller MotorSports team as well as Ken and Brenda (Thompson) from Mustang Sampling, as well as Cadillac Racing for their trust in me and for having me onboard.

“Fighting amongst the best is what pushes me every day, and DPi is the place to be for that right now, with some of the best teams, drivers, and racetracks. With Loic and Seb, we have a great trio, and as a team we finished 2020 building a lot of momentum, so we are very hopeful to carry that into 2021 and fight at the front every weekend.”

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10-3 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 7 p.m. to USA Network. Peacock will have flag-to-flag coverage.



Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III