Laguna Seca IMSA: Acuras score 1-2, Ford wins GTLM

David Malsher

Prototype

At the start, despite a lockup into Turn 2, Ricky Taylor held onto the lead and Montoya did a good enough job to repel Jordan Taylor’s challenge in the Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac to retain an Acura ARX-05 1-2. Behind the #10 WTR entry, Jonathan Bomarito came muscling through from sixth in the #55 Mazda to grab fourth ahead of Filipe Albuquerque and Felipe Nasr in the two Action Express Racing Cadillacs. Tristan Nunez, meanwhile, had lost out in the second Mazda, falling from fourth to eighth, behind Misha Goikhberg’s JDC-Miller Cadillac.

Bomarito, challenging Taylor for third, got caught up in GTD traffic and lost out to Albuquerque on Lap 9. Up front, the two Acuras ran a second apart, around 4sec clear of the WTR Cadillac which had a similar margin over the #5 AXR Cadillac. A couple laps later, Nunez and Simon Trummer displaced Goikhberg for seventh and eighth respectively.

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Nasr pitted on Lap 23, while teammate Albuquerque – struggling to retain fourth and now eight seconds behind J. Taylor, stopped a couple laps later. R. Taylor stayed on board the #7 Acura after its first stop, but Cameron took over the #6 from Montoya. Bomarito remained behind Albuquerque when he emerged. Meanwhile Nunez stayed out with the #77 Mazda for a tad longer, finally stopping on Lap 29, while Bomarito fell behind Nasr into sixth.

On Lap 42, Cameron passed teammate R. Taylor for the lead as they negotiated traffic, while J. Taylor was only 1.5sec adrift of the Acuras.

Albuquerque was the first of the Prototypes to stop for a second time on Lap 54. When R. Taylor pitted the #7 Acura, he handed over to Castroneves, who emerged still behind Cameron, and then fell off the track after a collision with the #38 P2 car of Cameron Cassels.

Still, the three-time Indy 500 winner had the momentum to pass the later-stopping WTR Cadillac which J. Taylor had relinquished to Renger van der Zande. Castroneves was, however, now 10sec down on the sister car of Cameron.

Nunez was again a late stopper leaving the Acuras still in front ahead of WTR and the two AXR Cadillacs – now driven by Joao Barbosa and Pipo Derani – followed by the two Mazdas, now driven by Harry Tincknell and Oliver Jarvis. Derani would pass teammate Albuquerque for fourth on Lap 75.

The two AXR cars stopped on Lap 86 with 43mins to go, and the other Prototypes soon followed, but Tincknell, who had put in a sterling drive, could not get the car in gear, and the Joest team had to find him a new steering wheel.

Derani’s attempt to get past van der Zande for third didn’t pay off and he went off track, as the Dutchman closed on Castroneves for second place. Castroneves then pulled away, and van der Zande instead focused on his mirrors, but it wasn’t enough: Derani went through at Turn 2 with 10mins to go and grabbed third.

Cameron drove cautiously through the knots of traffic in the closing stint, eventually crossing the line 9.784sec ahead of Castroneves, and with Nasr/Derani taking third, the #6 Penske drivers are now 12 points ahead of the reigning champions.

Van der Zande stayed within one second of Derani at the checkered flag, and Jarvis was a similar distance behind Barbosa.

GTLM: Ford beats BMW to victory

Polesitter Jesse Krohn’s BMW M8 GTE retained its advantage at the drop of the green ahead of Dirk Muller’s #66 Ford GT, with Tom Blomqvist in the second BMW ahead of Laurens Vanthoor’s #912 Porsche 911 RSR. Ryan Briscoe in the second Ford initially led Nick Tandy’s Porsche, as the Corvette C7.Rs slumped to seventh and eighth in class.

On Lap 13, Muller passed Krohn for the lead when the M8 appeared to stumble under acceleration out of Turn 2.

Corvette Racing stopped the #3 and Jan Magnussen handed over to Antonio Garcia on Lap 21, and the following lap Oliver Gavin left the seat of the #4 C7.R for Tommy Milner.

Briscoe spun the #67 at the final turn, on lap 26, before handing over to Richard Westbrook, while five laps later his teammate Muller pitted to hand over to Joey Hand.

Krohn, who inherited the lead from Muller, went until Lap 36 before stopping and handing off to John Edwards, who emerged in fourth, just ahead of teammate Connor De Phillippi. Up ahead, the very early stopping Corvette C7.Rs had thus moved into first and third, split by Hand’s Ford. The Porsches of Earl Bamber and Patrick Pilet ran sixth and eighth, split by Westbrook’s Ford.

Hand was applying heavy pressure on Garcia by Lap 50, the same lap when – 10sec further back – Edwards moved his BMW around Milner’s Corvette for fourth.

The Corvettes early stopping again, Hand’s Ford led the two BMWs, with Westbrook in fourth now running ahead of both Porsches. Once the ‘on-strategy’ cars topped, Corvette ran 1-2, Garcia 6sec ahead of Milner, with Hand, Edwards and De Phillippi respectively 13, 31 and 34sec further back. Garcia would make his third stop with 43mins to go.

In the closing stages, the Corvettes of Garcia and Milner slashed into their disadvantage to the BMWs and with 15mins to go, Garcia was filling De Phillippi’s mirrors, with Edwards just a further 2sec ahead. With 10mins to go, both Corvettes demoted the #25 BMW to fifth within just four corners as they negotiated GTD traffic.

Edwards was easily able to take second, albeit 20sec behind Hand’s Ford.

GTD: PMR Lamborghini dominates

Corey Lewis converted his pole in the Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 into an early lead, while Trent Hindman lost out to Cooper MacNeil’s Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3, although within a couple of laps the Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 was back up into second.

Zacharie Robichon’s Pfaff Porsche 911 GT3 R ran fourth ahead of Robby Foley’s Turner Motorsports’ BMW M6 GT3, Matt Plumb in the Compass Racing McLaren 720S GT3 and the second Acura of Christina Nielsen.

Hindman got muscled aside by MacNeil and Robichon on Lap 10.

The GTD stops started on Lap 30, but Lewis didn’t stop until Lap 40 before handing off to Bryan Sellers, who remained in front, ahead of Toni Vilander now in the #63 Ferrari, Scott Hargrove in the Pfaff Porsche, Bill Auberlen in the Turner BMW and Jeroen Bleekemolen in the Riley Mercedes.

A very late stop for the #86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura left Mario Farnbacher at the back of the class. By Lap 46, he was barely clinging on to the lead lap, and within eight laps, Sellers had put Farnbacher a lap down.

On Lap 50, Bleekemolen tried from too far back to pass Auberlen at Turn 2 and nudged the BMW into a spin, for which he was issued a drive-through penalty and fell to seventh – albeit still two cars ahead of the unfortunate Auberlen.

Following second scheduled stops, Sellers continued leading Vilander by 18sec, with Hargrove a further 25sec behind. Andy Lally’s Magnus Racing Lamborghini and the second Acura of Katherine Legge ran fourth and fifth ahead of Bleekemolen and Auberlen.

Lally was relentless and moved into third in the final half-hour, ahead of Hargrove who found himself edged off the track briefly by a Lexus.

With a minute to go, Bleekemolen passed Legge into Turn 2 to take fifth place. Out front, Sellers ran out the winner by half a minute over Vilander, with Lally retaining third ahead of Hargrove.

Race results:

1

DPi

6

United States
United States

Dane Cameron
Juan Pablo Montoya

Colombia
Colombia

Acura DPi

121

2

DPi

7

United States
United States

Ricky Taylor
Helio Castroneves

Brazil
Brazil

Acura DPi

121

9.784

3

DPi

31

Brazil
Brazil

Felipe Nasr
Pipo Derani

Brazil
Brazil

Cadillac DPi

121

19.131

4

DPi

10

Netherlands
Netherlands

Renger van der Zande
Jordan Taylor

United States
United States

Cadillac DPi

121

20.122

5

DPi

5

Portugal
Portugal

Joao Barbosa
Filipe Albuquerque

Portugal
Portugal

Cadillac DPi

121

23.543

6

DPi

77

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Oliver Jarvis
Tristan Nunez

United States
United States

Mazda DPi

121

24.349

7

DPi

54

United States
United States

Jon Bennett
Colin Braun

United States
United States

Nissan DPi

120

1 Lap

8

DPi

85

Canada
Canada

Mikhail Goikhberg
Tristan Vautier

France
France

Cadillac DPi

119

2 Laps

9

DPi

84

Switzerland
Switzerland

Simon Trummer
Stephen Simpson

South Africa
South Africa

Cadillac DPi

119

2 Laps

10

LMP2

52

United States
United States

Matt McMurry
Dalton Kellett

Canada
Canada

ORECA LMP2

117

4 Laps

11

LMP2

38

Canada
Canada

Cameron Cassels
Kyle Masson

United States
United States

ORECA LMP2

116

5 Laps

12

GTLM

66

United States
United States

Joey Hand
Dirk Muller

Germany
Germany

Ford GT

114

7 Laps

13

GTLM

24

Finland
Finland

Jesse Krohn
John Edwards

United States
United States

BMW M8 GTE

114

7 Laps

14

GTLM

3

Denmark
Denmark

Jan Magnussen
Antonio Garcia

Spain
Spain

Corvette C7.R

114

7 Laps

15

GTLM

4

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Oliver Gavin
Tommy Milner

United States
United States

Corvette C7.R

114

7 Laps

16

GTLM

25

United States
United States

Connor de Phillippi
Tom Blomqvist

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

BMW M8 GTE

114

7 Laps

17

GTLM

67

Australia
Australia

Ryan Briscoe
Richard Westbrook

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Ford GT

114

7 Laps

18

GTLM

912

New Zealand
New Zealand

Earl Bamber
Laurens Vanthoor

Belgium
Belgium

Porsche 911 RSR

113

8 Laps

19

GTLM

911

France
France

Patrick Pilet
Nick Tandy

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Porsche 911 RSR

113

8 Laps

20

GTD

48

United States
United States

Bryan Sellers
Corey Lewis

United States
United States

Lamborghini Huracan GT3

110

11 Laps

21

GTD

63

United States
United States

Cooper MacNeil
Toni Vilander

Finland
Finland

Ferrari 488 GT3

110

11 Laps

22

GTD

44

United States
United States

John Potter
Andy Lally

United States
United States

Lamborghini Huracan GT3

109

12 Laps

23

GTD

9

Canada
Canada

Scott Hargrove
Zacharie Robichon

Canada
Canada

Porsche 911 GT3 R

109

12 Laps

24

GTD

33

United States
United States

Ben Keating
Jeroen Bleekemolen

Netherlands
Netherlands

Mercedes-AMG GT3

109

12 Laps

25

GTD

57

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Katherine Legge
Christina Nielsen

Denmark
Denmark

Acura NSX GT3

109

12 Laps

26

GTD

96

United States
United States

Bill Auberlen
Robby Foley

United States
United States

BMW M6 GT3

109

12 Laps

27

GTD

86

Germany
Germany

Mario Farnbacher
Trent Hindman

United States
United States

Acura NSX GT3

108

13 Laps

28

GTD

14

United States
United States

Richard Heistand
Jack Hawksworth

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Lexus RC F GT3

108

13 Laps

29

GTD

76

United States
United States

Paul Holton
Matt Plumb

United States
United States

McLaren 720S GT3

108

13 Laps

30

GTD

12

United States
United States

Frankie Montecalvo
Townsend Bell

United States
United States

Lexus RC F GT3

106

15 Laps

31

DPi

55

United States
United States

Jonathan Bomarito
Harry Tincknell

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Mazda DPi

87

34 Laps

GTD

73

United States
United States

Patrick Lindsey
Patrick Long

United States
United States

Porsche 911 GT3 R

0

View full results

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