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International Motor Sports Association

Repeat Sweep: De Angelis Continues Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama Dominance at Indy Toronto with Third Consecutive Weekend Sweep

 
July 14, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service

 
TORONTO – Roman De Angelis is in a league of his own this year in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama, as showcased once again this past weekend at Indy Toronto.

 
In a rare statistical feat, De Angelis started from the pole position in both rounds of the doubleheader weekend after having posted the two fastest laps in Saturday’s qualifying- with both Laps 8 and 9 being an identical time of one minute, 12.966 seconds. The first instance scored him the pole for Race 1 on Saturday, while the second scored him the pole for Race 2 – for which the grid is set by either a driver’s second quickest qualifying lap or their fastest lap in Race 1 – whichever is fastest. 

 
On Sunday, the 18-year-old from Belle River, Ontario, took ownership of the lead from the drop of the green flag and proceeded on to another flag-to-flag victory as he did on Saturday. It was De Angelis’ third consecutive weekend sweep in GT3 Cup Challenge Canada and seventh consecutive victory through eight rounds of the season.

 
As De Angelis describes, the only difference between his Race 1 win on Saturday and his Race 2 victory on Sunday was the weather. Drivers faced mixed weather conditions for the first race of the doubleheader, while Sunday offered sunny skies and higher temperatures.

 
“The heat definitely plays a factor when you’re driving, especially when there’s not a lot going on around you,” said De Angelis. “It was kind of quiet out there today, so trying to keep focused with the heat. You’re sweating and we’re losing our energy pretty much the whole time. Just trying to keep focused is really difficult.”

 
With four rounds remaining in the 2019 season, De Angelis holds a strong lead in the GT3 Cup Challenge Canada championship. The next two rounds will take place at Road America on August 2 – 4, which will be the second and final joint event of the year with Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama, which De Angelis also competes in. The first came in June at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, which was De Angelis first doubleheader victory of the GT3 Cup Challenge Canada season.

 
“I’m looking forward to Road America. I think Montreal was really fun and a great event for us in general, so hopefully we can do the same thing we did there. It’s always fun when the Americans and the Canadians go at it together, especially being part of both, so I’m really looking forward to that.”

 
Finishing second on the podium in both races at Indy Toronto was Jeff Kingsley in the No. 16 Policaro Motorsport Porsche.

 
Third on the leaderboard and also earning the Yokohama Tire Hard Charger Award for gaining the most positions during the 45-minute race was Michael Di Meo in the No. 96 Porsche for OpenRoad Racing. Di Meo, at his hometown event, started seventh on the grid but ended up on the podium, even despite a scratch against the wall to start the race.

 
“We started seventh and in a field where all the cars are so closely matched, it’s tough to even gain one position in a race, let alone we came back to third,” said Di Meo. “We just drove hard, never lost focus even though we hit the wall pretty good in the first couple laps. I thought the car was going to be pretty mangled because it felt like a hard hit. The guys came on the radio and just said to stay calm, let the race come to you and drive it, whatever it is, just drive it and keep going.

 
“One by one we got lucky and we picked some people off and maintained the pace, which I thought was pretty good despite the car we had. I couldn’t believe we ended up in third.”

 
Meanwhile, following in the footsteps of his Mark Motors teammate, Marco Cirone in the No. 88 Porsche scored his fourth consecutive Platinum Masters victory, after sweeping the weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park last week and doing so again this weekend at Indy Toronto. Cirone is in search of his sixth GT3 Cup Challenge Canada Platinum Masters championship

 
“That was fantastic,” said Cirone. “The team as usual gives me an awesome car. Today I woke up and I said, ‘I’m going to try as hard, I’m not going to be as timid as I was yesterday considering the conditions.’ I woke up to drive this morning. I was very aggressive. I tried to stay as clean as possible and the results were great for us. Finishing fourth overall and first in Masters, I couldn’t ask for any better.”

 
An incident early in the race halted on-track action for about 10 minutes, with the No. 99 Kelly-Moss/AM Motorsports Porsche Alan Metni scraping the wall and careening into the back of Patrick Dussault’s No. 77 Lauzon Autosport Porsche. While both cars made strong impact into the Turn 9 tire barriers, each driver was able to walk away.

 
The next two races for Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama at Road America will be streamed live on IMSA.tv over the course of the weekend on August 2 – 4. Alongside GT3 Cup Challenge USA, the first race of the weekend is scheduled for Saturday, August 3 at 11:30 a.m. ET, with Race 2 on Sunday at 9:40 a.m. The finale rounds of the 2019 GT3 Cup Challenge Canada season will take place at Circuit Mont-Tremblant on September 27 – 29.

 
To keep up with GT3 Cup Challenge Canada news and updates for the remainder of the season, please visit IMSA.com or Porsche.com/Canada and join the conversation on social media using the hashtags #GT3Canada and #IMSA.  

 
IMSA TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK
Follow on Twitter @imsa, use the hashtag #IMSA, follow on Instagram @imsa_racing and ‘like’ IMSA on Facebook –www.facebook.com/imsa. For further information logon to www.imsa.com.

 

Challenging Weather Conditions Prove No Match For De Angelis
En Route To Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada By Yokohama Win
At Indy Toronto

 
July 13, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service

 
TORONTO – Roman De Angelis has been on a roll in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama this season, entering the Indy Toronto weekend with five consecutive wins through six rounds.
 
If there was one factor, though, that could have thrown the 18-year-old off his game on Saturday ahead of Race 1, it was weather.

 
A strong summer storm rolled in over the Streets of Toronto just as the GT3 Cup Challenge Canada green flag time was approaching and ultimately caused a near two-hour delay. However, the storm passed, allowing the field of Porsches to battle not only each other, but also changing track conditions as the surface dried over the course of the 45-minute race.

 
For De Angelis, overcoming the challenges to score a dominating 45-second, flag-to-flag victory on the 1.786-mile street course made this particular victory a bit sweeter than the rest in his No. 79 Mark Motors Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car.

 
“There was a pretty big build up right before the race,” said De Angelis, of Belle River, Ontario. “There was probably two hours where we were sitting there waiting to see if we were going to race or not tonight. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever driven better in my life. Something about Toronto and the rain earlier on just fitted the Mark Motors car and the conditions. It was a lot of fun on the slicks early on. Once again, I just can’t thank Mark Motors enough. This is our sixth win in a row here and probably one of the best feelings I’ve ever had right now.”

 
De Angelis will seek another weekend sweep in GT3 Cup Challenge Canada on Sunday, with Race 2 of the weekend scheduled for 1 p.m. ET. The race will be streamed live on the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada Facebook page.

 
Earning his second runner-up position in three races was Jeff Kingsley of Ajax, Ontario, in the No. 16 Policaro Motorsport Porsche. Kingsley held the position throughout the race after qualifying second earlier in the day.

 
Rounding out the podium – and also taking home the Yokohama Tire Hard Charger Award for gaining the most positions during the race – was Parker Thompson in the No. 3 Porsche for SCB Racing.

 
“What a day,” said Thompson, who is pulling double duty this weekend between GT3 Cup Challenge Canada and the Indy Pro series. “I was running back and forth between two categories and honestly, this SportsCarBoutique No. 3 was on rails this whole weekend. Unfortunately, I missed it in qualifying and ended up P7, which is disappointing. It’s one of our worst of the year and honestly, the car is the best it’s been.

 
“I wanted to make sure I put on a show and drove that car up the field and that’s what we did. No better way to showcase your talent than half wet, half dry. The car was unreal. I can’t thank the crew enough, Owen Hayes, Ilker Starck, our owner. These guys work so hard to get to track every weekend so it’s awesome to reward them with a podium.”

 
In the Platinum Masters class, Marco Cirone is on a streak of his own in the No. 88 Mark Motors Racing Porsche. After sweeping both victories at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park just last week, Cirone repeated on Saturday in the class for drivers 45 years and older.

 
Cirone described his race strategy as one with a bigger picture in mind, as he seeks his sixth Platinum Masters championship in 2019.

 
“The weather conditions were very, very challenging,” said Cirone. “It was very difficult to put the power down and there was a lot of action in front of me and behind me. I wanted to protect my point lead and here if you make a mistake, you’re in big trouble. I wasn’t aggressive as much as I should’ve been, but I don’t regret it. I’m glad I got the win, I’m glad I preserved the car and I’m here to race tomorrow.”

 
Sunday brings Round 8 of the 12-round season for Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama. For news and updates for the remainder of the season, please visit IMSA.com or Porsche.com/Canada and join the conversation on social media using the hashtags #GT3Canada and #IMSA. 

 
IMSA TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK
Follow on Twitter @imsa, use the hashtag #IMSA, follow on Instagram @imsa_racing and ‘like’ IMSA on Facebook –www.facebook.com/imsa. For further information logon to www.imsa.com.

 

Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama –
Indy Toronto Friday Notebook

 
July 12, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service
TORONTO – Just four days after Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama was last on track, the series returned to action on Friday at Indy Toronto for Rounds 7 and 8 of the season.

 
Two practice sessions were on the docket for GT3 Cup Challenge Canada, racing on the Streets of Toronto and while 18-year-old Roman De Angelis led both practice sessions of the day, he improved his time during the afternoon session to an overall fastest lap of one minute, 13.941 seconds (85.442 mph).

 
“All in all, a really good day,” said De Angelis. “Happy to be back at a street track after being kind of surrounded by grass and gravel pits for two weekends in a row [at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park last weekend and Watkins Glen the weekend prior]. A bit more challenging with the walls here, but if you stay out of them, you should be okay.”

 
Saturday at Indy Toronto will see two on-track sessions for Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama. The first will be qualifying at 12:15 p.m. ET, which sets the grid for Race 1 later in the day at 4:15 p.m. ET. Timing and scoring is available for the race at www.scoring.imsa.com.

 
Race 2 is scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m. and can be streamed live, flag-to-flag on the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada Facebook page.

 
Di Meo, OpenRoad Racing Seeking “Fresh Start” Heading into Second Half of 2019
It’s been a trying GT3 Cup Challenge Canada season for Michael Di Meo and the No. 96 OpenRoad Racing crew, having been plagued with mishaps in the first six rounds of the season that have prevented a podium finish for the team.

 
However, if there’s one event they’re confident to reverse their luck at, it’s Indy Toronto.

 
Di Meo, who lives just over an hour from the street circuit in Richmond Hill, Ontario, has three top-five finishes in six races so far this year. On how to capture his first podium of his sophomore season, though, he doesn’t need to look further than the second race of the 2018 Indy Toronto weekend, where he scored his first ever GT3 Cup Challenge Canada podium, finishing third.

 
“We’re just looking for a fresh start because the first half wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t from a lack of effort,” said Di Meo. “Things just didn’t go our way and that’s racing. This is the biggest race for me of the year and everyone’s really looking forward to having a good result. I’m doing my best, it’s a tricky track. There’s maximum effort from everyone and the results will come. It just hasn’t been easy so far.”

 
If the time charts are any indication, Di Meo is poised for a successful weekend, with both of his practice times on Friday within one second of leader De Angelis. 

 
Jeff Kingsley Represents the “Sports Cars of the Weekend” at Welcome Press Conference
Jeff Kingsley represented GT3 Cup Challenge Canada at the annual Welcome Press Conference for media on Thursday afternoon ahead of the Indy Toronto weekend. Alongside drivers from open wheel, truck and stock car disciplines, Kingsley was the spokesperson for the sole sports car series of the event.
 
Driving the No. 16 Policaro Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, Kingsley described racing a Porsche around the street circuit in downtown Toronto.

 
“Obviously the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge is a bit different,” said Kingsley of Ajax, Ontario, just an hour down the road from Streets of Toronto. “You’ve got a lot of open wheel guys, you’ve got truck guys, but we’re the sports cars of the weekend. I’m definitely happy to be here with Porsche and with Yokohama.
 
“These cars on this track are a bit different. You’ve got a lot of weight to move around. It’s not like the IndyCars here where you can just point-and-shoot. There’s a bit more, I wouldn’t say sophistication to it, but it’s obviously a lot different. The Porsches are a great car, definitely fun to drive around here, definitely quick. But at the end of the day, you’ve got to put the car where it needs to be if you want to win the race.”

 
Parker Thompson was also on hand Thursday afternoon, as the Red Deer, Alberta, native is pulling double duty between GT3 Cup Challenge Canada and Indy Pro 2000.

 
“It’s going to be a lot of curveballs, but I’ve had a lot of success in Toronto,” said Thompson, driver of the No. 3 SCB Racing Porsche. “It’s treated me well in the past and we’ll go see what it has.”

 
For news and updates throughout the Indy Toronto weekend, please visit IMSA.com or join the conversation on social media using the hashtags #GT3Canada, #IMSA and #IndyTO.

 
IMSA TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK
Follow on Twitter @imsa, use the hashtag #IMSA, follow on Instagram @imsa_racing and ‘like’ IMSA on Facebook –www.facebook.com/imsa. For further information logon to www.imsa.com.

 

Mazda Scores Again With Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix Victory By No. 77 DPi Co-Drivers Jarvis, Nunez

July 7, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service

 
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada – It took nearly seven years for Mazda Team Joest to return to IMSA victory lane between a victory at Road America in Aug. 2012 and last Sunday’s breakthrough IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship win in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.

 
This time, it took just seven days. After finishing second in last weekend’s 1-2 result at Watkins Glen, Tristan Nunez and Oliver Jarvis took the victory in today’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Acura – leading a second straight 1-2 sweep for Mazda Team Joest.

 
Jarvis grabbed the lead from teammate Harry Tincknell in the No. 55 Mazda Daytona Prototype international (DPi) car on the final pit stop with just under 50 minutes remaining in the race and led the rest of the way, crossing the stripe 1.699 seconds ahead of Tincknell. It was Jarvis’ third IMSA win and first since taking the overall victory in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts in 2013.

 
“It’s an amazing team effort,” Jarvis said. “Incredible. It’s been an incredible 10 days with the team. We were all getting quite bored of getting that question, ‘When were we going to get our win?’ We always said we were close.

 
“I honestly believed if we got our first, to get the second seven days later is amazing. What an effort. Mazda Team Joest puts so much effort into this team, Multimatic and AER. This is a culmination of a lot of work. It’s paid dividends in seven days. It’s amazing.”

 
For Nunez, it was his first overall IMSA race win and sixth class victory. His most recent before Sunday was a Prototype Challenge (PC) class win in the Grand Prix of Baltimore in 2013. Although just 23 years of age, Nunez is in his seventh season as a Mazda factory driver.

 
“I’ve been with the program since 2013 since we started the diesel GX (class) car,” Nunez said. “I’ve said it multiple times, it’s worth the wait. All the effort we’ve put in and the changes we’ve made, I really think we have a full, strong package now.

 
“We have all the pieces checked off. It showed in the past two weeks. You can’t get better than two, 1-2 finishes. It’s really a dream come true. I’ve been dreaming about this moment since I got signed on by [Mazda North American Operations Director of Motorsports] John (Doonan) in the beginning. So, it really hasn’t sunk in yet.”

 
Tincknell and co-driver Jonathan Bomarito combined to lead a race-high 87 of 125 total laps in the No. 55, but a slight issue on their final pit stop gave the lead and the win to the No. 77. Both the Nos. 55 and 77 teams have finished on the podium in three of the last four races.

 
Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron extended their lead in the DPi class lead with a third-place run in the No. 6 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 DPi. It was their fifth consecutive podium result and they now lead No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R co-drivers Pipo Derani and Felipe Nasr by three points, 207-204, after six of 10 DPi class races in 2019.

 
The No. 31 team finished fourth, followed by Ricky Taylor and Helio Castroneves in the No. 7 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 DPi. Castroneves and Taylor remain third in the DPi point standings, nine points in arrears of their leading No. 6 teammates.

 
In the LMP2 class, Matt McMurry and the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA team picked up their third-consecutive class victory to move into the class points lead by two over the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA and its driver pairing of Cameron Cassels and Kyle Masson. McMurry was joined in the victory by Canadian Dalton Kellett, who made his IMSA competition debut in the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Acura.

 
“This half of the season is going great: Mid-Ohio, Watkins Glen and now here,” McMurry said. “The team’s just been performing perfectly. The last three races the car’s been great. The execution of the pit stops have been great. And our teammates have been doing well this whole time too.”

 
“I actually got my start racing here probably eight or nine years ago,” Kellett added. “And it feels amazing to get my first IMSA win here. My parents’ house is 50 minutes west of here. This is my hometown crowd. This feels amazing. PR1 guys have done a good job the whole weekend. They were great. Matt really got me up to speed with the setup, driver changes, that was all new to me. I’m really happy.”

 
The race was red-flagged for eight minutes following a heavy crash in Turn 2 by Victor Franzoni in the No. 50 Juncos Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R. Franzoni was awake and alert and was transported to a local hospital for further evaluation.

 
The DPi and LMP2 classes return to WeatherTech Championship competition next month at Road America for the IMSA Road Race Showcase on Sunday, Aug. 4.

 
The next race for the WeatherTech Championship is the first of two GT-only races, the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut on Saturday, July 20. The two-hour, 40-minute race will be televised on NBCSN starting at 10 p.m. ET. It can be seen live on the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com at 3 p.m. ET.

 
IMSA Radio also will have live coverage throughout the weekend at Lime Rock on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com, with race coverage also airing on SiriusXM Radio. Tickets are available now at LimeRock.com.

 
IMSA TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK
Follow on Twitter @imsa, use the hashtag #IMSA, follow on Instagram @imsa_racing and ‘like’ IMSA on Facebook –www.facebook.com/imsa. For further information logon to www.imsa.com.

 

Porsche Scores Record Fifth Consecutive GTLM Class Win At Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

 
July 7, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service

 
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada – It doesn’t matter which side of the border they’re on, there is no stopping Porsche right now in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

 
The hottest manufacturer currently in the WeatherTech Championship, Porsche scored a record fifth consecutive GT Le Mans (GTLM) class win Sunday in the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Acura with Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor co-driving the No. 912 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR to the victory at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

 
The five straight wins is a record in GTLM, besting a string of four straight from Corvette Racing (2014) and Ford Chip Ganassi Racing (2018). Porsche also won four consecutive races in 2015.

 
It was the third win of the season for Bamber and Vanthoor, following wins at the Long Beach street circuit in April and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in May. The team’s No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR and drivers Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet won the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts in March and the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen last weekend.

 
"Sometimes even to our frustration, until the manufacturer championship is won, they don’t care if they win or we win,” said Vanthoor of the Porsche team. “That’s the reality. That’s the main goal for Porsche even though we’re race drivers, we want to win ourselves. We want to beat each other to be even more exciting during the season. We’re obviously fighting for the same thing, but at the moment we work together and the main thing is a Porsche wins.”

 
It was a two-car battle for much of the race between the No. 912 Porsche and No. 24 BMW Team RLL BMW M8 GTE of Jesse Krohn and John Edwards. Krohn started from the pole and led the race’s opening 45 laps before losing the lead to Bamber on a series of green flag pit stops. The only other car to lead a lap was the third-place finishing No. 911 of Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet which led one lap on that same series of stops. The No. 912 led a of class-high 69 laps.

 
Edwards had one shot at Bamber on a late-race restart with 15 minutes remaining but finished 1.208 seconds back in second in his No. 24 BMW. The No. 911 Porsche finished third, 2.177 seconds back.

 
“We’re going to keep pushing, it’s a tight championship right now, but I think we’re carrying some momentum,” said Bamber. “The BMW set a super, super quick pace so hats off to them. They were solid all day long. It was a really, really tough race. Hats off to the team, it was mainly strategy and quick pit stops. I think it’s something special to say Porsche making five in a row, that’s a little bit of history there.”

 
With the win Bamber and Vanthoor vaulted to the top of the GTLM standings, jumping their teammates to take a four-point lead, 186-182. Running third in points, but losing significant ground following a seventh-place finish is the defending class champion No. 3 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R of Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen.

 
Auberlen Closes to Within One of All-Time IMSA Win Record Following Victory with Foley, Turner Motorsport BMW at CTMP

 

 

 

 
“That was a big part of my focus for so long, that I think it sort of took over my mind-frame on how to win races,” said Auberlen of his win count. “Now we’ve put that aside. Will [Turner, team owner] said let’s go for the championship. Now that we switched gears, we’re on a roll here. We should have, could have, would have, won a lot of races this year. But we didn’t. The luck seems to be going our way a little bit now.

 
“I’ll tell you what makes it a lot easier is when you have a teammate who qualifies it on the pole and gives it to you with the lead. It’s so easy. Robby is the up-and-coming guy that’s going to be somebody to reckon with. He’s going to be taking somebody’s seat here soon. He’s so good, so keep your eyes on Robby.”

 

 
“It’s nice to start at the front,” said Foley. “It’s a good feeling because you can kind of dictate what happens to an extent. You dictate the pace. The Turner guys gave us an amazing car. They’ve been flawless all year. It’s been tough to have a fast car at every track and not have the results to show it. These guys deserve this today. For me, my first win? Yeah, it’s been a while since I won a race, so it feels nice. I’d been on a bit of a bad luck streak. To get number one is good. Once the first one happens, they get rolling, so we’ll see.”

 

 
Mazda Scores Again With Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix Victory
By No. 77 DPi Co-Drivers Jarvis, Nunez

 
July 7, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service

 
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada – It took nearly seven years for Mazda Team Joest to return to IMSA victory lane between a victory at Road America in Aug. 2012 and last Sunday’s breakthrough IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship win in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.

 
This time, it took just seven days. After finishing second in last weekend’s 1-2 result at Watkins Glen, Tristan Nunez and Oliver Jarvis took the victory in today’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Acura – leading a second straight 1-2 sweep for Mazda Team Joest.

 
Jarvis grabbed the lead from teammate Harry Tincknell in the No. 55 Mazda Daytona Prototype international (DPi) car on the final pit stop with just under 50 minutes remaining in the race and led the rest of the way, crossing the stripe 1.699 seconds ahead of Tincknell. It was Jarvis’ third IMSA win and first since taking the overall victory in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts in 2013.

 
“It’s an amazing team effort,” Jarvis said. “Incredible. It’s been an incredible 10 days with the team. We were all getting quite bored of getting that question, ‘When were we going to get our win?’ We always said we were close.

 
“I honestly believed if we got our first, to get the second seven days later is amazing. What an effort. Mazda Team Joest puts so much effort into this team, Multimatic and AER. This is a culmination of a lot of work. It’s paid dividends in seven days. It’s amazing.”

 
For Nunez, it was his first overall IMSA race win and sixth class victory. His most recent before Sunday was a Prototype Challenge (PC) class win in the Grand Prix of Baltimore in 2013. Although just 23 years of age, Nunez is in his seventh season as a Mazda factory driver.

 
“I’ve been with the program since 2013 since we started the diesel GX (class) car,” Nunez said. “I’ve said it multiple times, it’s worth the wait. All the effort we’ve put in and the changes we’ve made, I really think we have a full, strong package now.

 
“We have all the pieces checked off. It showed in the past two weeks. You can’t get better than two, 1-2 finishes. It’s really a dream come true. I’ve been dreaming about this moment since I got signed on by [Mazda North American Operations Director of Motorsports] John (Doonan) in the beginning. So, it really hasn’t sunk in yet.”

 
Tincknell and co-driver Jonathan Bomarito combined to lead a race-high 87 of 125 total laps in the No. 55, but a slight issue on their final pit stop gave the lead and the win to the No. 77. Both the Nos. 55 and 77 teams have finished on the podium in three of the last four races.

 
Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron extended their lead in the DPi class lead with a third-place run in the No. 6 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 DPi. It was their fifth consecutive podium result and they now lead No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R co-drivers Pipo Derani and Felipe Nasr by three points, 207-204, after six of 10 DPi class races in 2019.

 
The No. 31 team finished fourth, followed by Ricky Taylor and Helio Castroneves in the No. 7 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 DPi. Castroneves and Taylor remain third in the DPi point standings, nine points in arrears of their leading No. 6 teammates.

 
In the LMP2 class, Matt McMurry and the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA team picked up their third-consecutive class victory to move into the class points lead by two over the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA and its driver pairing of Cameron Cassels and Kyle Masson. McMurry was joined in the victory by Canadian Dalton Kellett, who made his IMSA competition debut in the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Acura.

 
“This half of the season is going great: Mid-Ohio, Watkins Glen and now here,” McMurry said. “The team’s just been performing perfectly. The last three races the car’s been great. The execution of the pit stops have been great. And our teammates have been doing well this whole time too.”

 
“I actually got my start racing here probably eight or nine years ago,” Kellett added. “And it feels amazing to get my first IMSA win here. My parents’ house is 50 minutes west of here. This is my hometown crowd. This feels amazing. PR1 guys have done a good job the whole weekend. They were great. Matt really got me up to speed with the setup, driver changes, that was all new to me. I’m really happy.”

 
The race was red-flagged for eight minutes following a heavy crash in Turn 2 by Victor Franzoni in the No. 50 Juncos Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R. Franzoni was awake and alert and was transported to a local hospital for further evaluation.

 
The DPi and LMP2 classes return to WeatherTech Championship competition next month at Road America for the IMSA Road Race Showcase on Sunday, Aug. 4.

 
The next race for the WeatherTech Championship is the first of two GT-only races, the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut on Saturday, July 20. The two-hour, 40-minute race will be televised on NBCSN starting at 10 p.m. ET. It can be seen live on the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com at 3 p.m. ET.

 
IMSA Radio also will have live coverage throughout the weekend at Lime Rock on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com, with race coverage also airing on SiriusXM Radio. Tickets are available now at LimeRock.com.

 

 

Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama Race 2 Highlighted by Close Racing, De Angelis’ Second Weekend Sweep of 2019 

 
July 7, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service

 
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada – Fans at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park were treated to a show on Sunday morning with the second and final Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama race of the weekend.

 
Ahead of the featured IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship event – the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix Presented by Acura – the Porsche one-make series ran its sixth of 12 rounds to reach the halfway point of the season and bid adieu to CTMP for the year after also participating at the track’s Victoria Day SpeedFest in May.

 
The contest for the lead was a replica of Saturday’s race in Bowmanville, with Roman De Angelis taking his fifth GT3 Cup Challenge Canada victory of the season and his second weekend sweep after winning Rounds 3 and 4 in Montreal last month at the Canadian Grand Prix.

 
He now owns a 27-point lead in the championship standings.

 
“I’m just trying to get those points,” said De Angelis, who drives the No. 79 Mark Motors Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. “I’m here for the championship, not to really win races, and to do both is pretty cool. At the end of the day whether we’re second and leading the points, it doesn’t matter to me. I just want to win the championship.”

 
While De Angelis cruised to his 20-second victory, other cars in the pack were forced to fight for their positions on the leaderboard, resulting in a 45-minute race that consistently saw battles on track.

 
Ten minutes into the race, Jeff Kingsley in his No. 16 Policaro Motorsport Porsche was in hot pursuit of second-place Parker Thompson in the No. 3 SCB Racing Porsche but spun in Turn 10 as he looked inside for the position.

 
The incident dropped Kingsley to the bottom of the leaderboard. As he worked to get back to the front, though, he encountered three- and four-car battles deeper in the field that he ended up having to navigate himself. Ultimately, the Ajax, Ontario native was able to pick off six cars and salvage an eighth-place finish.

 
Meanwhile, Thompson held on for the runner-up finish, his best since Round 3 at Montreal and a solid recovery from a challenging Race 1 on Saturday. He kept Patrick Dussault’s No. 77 Lauzon Autosport Porsche behind him in third, although Dussault stayed within a second of Thompson for the entirety of the race.

 
“The SportsCarBoutique guys have been awesome all week,” said Thompson. “Unfortunately, we didn’t qualify where we wanted to, P4, but we got the Yokohamas working for us now. Yesterday was tough. We had the pace to be on the podium, but with contact in Turn 1, I had to work my way back up to where we started. Today, they straightened up the old girl, the No. 3 was on rails and we were able to hold off second. Overall, a good weekend.”

 
Ethan Simioni also was part of the fight for a podium spot as he kept close to Thompson and Dussault, but ultimately finished fourth, one second behind Dussault, in the No. 16 Porsche for Policaro Motorsport.

 
Taking both Platinum Masters class victories this weekend was Marco Cirone in the No. 88 Mark Motors Racing Porsche. Cirone, too, was in a heated contest with fellow Masters driver Alan Metni in the No. 99 Porsche for Kelly-Moss/AM Motorsport until Metni’s car fell victim to mechanical issues.

 
“Today was a lot more difficult because, boy, Alan was really, really fast,” said Cirone. “It’s unfortunate he had that mistake because otherwise, I don’t know if I would have been able to beat him. My teammate Michael (Di Meo, No. 96 OpenRoad Racing Porsche) got by me and he battled with him for a little bit. I think that worked to my advantage because they wore out their tires a little bit, I sat back and let things cool down and then I went for it. I was lucky enough to pass both of them.”

 
Finishing second in the Platinum Masters class and earning the Yokohama Hard Charger Award was Michael Levitas in the No. 37 TPC Racing Porsche. Levitas started last but jumped to ninth by the race’s conclusion.

 
It’s a quick turnaround for Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama Rounds 7 and 8, which take place next weekend during the annual Honda Indy Toronto event. The street circuit in downtown Toronto will feature the headlining IndyCar Series, with other support series such as NASCAR Pinty’s Series and Stadium Super Trucks. Tickets are available at www.hondaindy.com.

 
To keep up with news and updates throughout the season for Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama, please visit IMSA.com and Porsche.com/Canada, and join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #GT3Canada. 

 
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Championship Hopefuls McCusker, Pflucker Win IMSA Prototype Challenge Race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

 
July 6, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada – For the second consecutive season, Austin McCusker and Forty7 Motorsports are Canadian Tire Motorsport Park winners in the IMSA Prototype Challenge.

 
McCusker joined co-driver Rodrigo Pflucker in a convincing victory in the No. 47 Norma M30 with the duo establishing themselves as the championship favorites with just two races remaining. It was the team’s first victory of the season following runner-up finishes at Daytona International Speedway and Sebring International Raceway and a fourth-place finish at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

 
Heading into the season’s final two races, McCusker and Pflucker now unofficially lead the No. 4 ANSA Motorsports Ligier JS P3 duo of Neil Alberico and Leo Lamelas by 13 points, 127-114.

 
“I’ve got to thank everyone at Forty7 Motorsports for making it happen,” said McCusker, who won last year’s race at CTMP alongside co-driver TJ Fischer. “Rodrigo gave us a good spot on the first stint. The guys were flawless on the pit stops. The second stint we were supposed to put Rodrigo back in, but we decided we had a good gap and I thought I could handle it throughout if we could. It was a good win.”

 
“The most important thing about winning that race is leading the points,” added Pflucker. “This my first win also, so it this is very special.”

 
Much of the early part of the three-hour race was dominated by the No. 51 K2R Motorsports Ligier JS P3 with Garett Grist taking the lead from polesitter Stevan McAleer in Turn 1 on the first lap and leading the race’s opening one hour, 10 minutes alongside co-driver Rob Hodes.

 
It wasn’t until the first set of green flag pit stops that both the No. 47 team and fellow championship contenders Alberico and Lamelas inched towards the front in the No. 4 Ligier JS P3.

 
Those two cars battled alongside the No. 9 JDC MotorSports Norma M30 of Scott Andews and Gerry Kraut, the Mid-Ohio winning No. 54 MLT Motorsports of Dylan Murry and Dakota Dickerson, and the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports of Scott Huffaker and Chris Archinaco in the top-five for much of the second half of the race.

 
The pace of McCusker was too much for the competition though, pulling away to a 16.012 second victory over Huffaker, who got by Andrews in the final corner with three minutes remaining for the runner-up spot. Dickerson finished on the lead lap in fourth while Alberico finished fifth.

 
Finishing ninth but winning the Bronze Cup for the highest-running Bronze-only driver lineup was Michal Chlumecky and last year’s MPC class champion Jon Brownson.

 
“That was a long race,” said Brownson. “It’s exciting to have a three-hour race that’s longer than the premier event. This track is especially challenging, I think it’s the fastest on the schedule. Having come up through the MPC class last year, it was quite a learning curve getting into this new car on this fast track and drive it. I really enjoyed the experience of getting up to speed and persistence pays.”

 
Up next for IMSA Prototype Challenge is the penultimate round of the 2019 season which will take place at VIRginia International Raceway during the Michelin GT Challenge race weekend Aug. 23-25. That weekend also includes the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama and Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America.

 
The IMSA Prototype Challenge race from Canadian Tire Motorsport Park race can been seen on NBCSN on Tuesday, July 16 at 6 p.m. ET.

 
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Rebel Rock Racing Camaro Comes Out on Top in Battle of Heavyweights at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

 
July 6, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service

 
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada – On Saturday afternoon at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, it was an underdog team with a powerhouse manufacturer that emerged as victors in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.

 
For the first time since 2016, Rebel Rock Racing returned to the Pilot Challenge full time this season after running select races in 2017 and 2018. Co-drivers Robin Liddell and Frank Depew paired up to bring the program back to life, with Depew as team owner and Liddell as team manager.

 
That combination reached its pinnacle of success at CTMP, winning overall in the No. 71 Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R and earning Rebel Rock’s first victory in the Pilot Challenge. Liddell was able to keep the determined No. 60 KohR Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4 of Kyle Marcelli at bay to cross the finish line first by .587 seconds.

 
The win halts a rocky start to the season that, before last week’s finish of fifth at Watkins Glen, didn’t see a result within the top 20.

 
“To finally get here, and with Frank especially, in his first season – he’s had a very difficult start to the season, as I’m sure you’ve seen, and that puts a lot of pressure on him,” said Liddell. “But he’s a true sportsman and he’s a team player. He hasn’t wavered his support. He’s focused his mind on getting better.

 
“I’ve worked very hard with him and he’s worked very hard to get better. I think you saw the results of those efforts. It’s easy to overlook from the outside looking in, the amount of effort that any of these guys put into their racing. But without these guys, we wouldn’t have a series, especially in this championship, so we need to look after these guys and we need to give credit where credit’s due. Hats off to him, because he’s done a mega job.”

 
“I’ve never driven this track, so Robin and I came here in a rental car and drove around to show me the track,” added Depew. “We went pretty slow, but then I showed up here with the Camaro and I’d never been on this track. It’s a pretty daunting track. It took me a while and I was making pretty big jumps. I was about two seconds off the leader for this race, which I was pretty happy with.

 
“I kept the car where I needed to and then Robin did all the hard work. I think that, to be at this point and to actually win a race at this point, especially at a track I’ve never driven – because I’ve got a lot of experience at other tracks – is a tall order and an amazing accomplishment.”

 
Marcelli, a Toronto native, looked to defend his 2018 CTMP victory with co-driver Nate Stacy, looming large in Liddell’s mirror for the final 15 minutes of the race following a restart. The team ultimately wound up second place, the team’s best performance of the year thus far.

 
Another Canadian representative in the field, Montreal-based team Motorsports In Action, finished third on the podium with drivers Jesse Lazare, also from Montreal, and Corey Fergus. It’s the third podium for the team in the season’s five races.

 
Casey, Jr., Taylor Overcome Pit Stop Setback for Entertaining Finish on Way to TCR Win with JDC-Miller Motorsports
When Mikey Taylor brought his leading No. 17 JDC-Miller Motorsports Audi RS3 LMS in for a pit stop halfway through the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race, the team’s momentum took an unexpected hit that required the remainder of the race to fight back from in the TCR class.

 
At first, the fire extinguisher was accidentally set off, creating confusion amongst the team as Taylor and co-driver Britt Casey, Jr. swapped spots. Then as Casey proceeded to exit the pit box, a tire blocked his path and forced the Audi up and over the equipment.

 
A drive-through penalty was assessed for the car that had led the entire race up until that point, dropping it down the charts and down a lap.

 
Casey was able to fight back through the field in outstanding fashion, skillfully navigating the top cars in the final 15 minutes of the race to come door-to-door with teammate Stephen Simpson in the leading No. 54 JDC-Miller Audi. The two bounced off each other, with Casey eventually able to pull away for the win by 3.854 seconds.

 
“It was super wild,” said Casey, Jr. “I think it all started as soon as the driver change happened…The only reason we were able to pit when we did was because Mikey was able to drive it for, like, and hour and 10 and no one else could do that. We led the whole first stint and managed the gap the entire time and it made my job a lot easier. I had more tools to work with at the end with tires, and we came back from a lap down, P10, and just methodical from there. It was like focus forward.”

 
“Overall, the car was quite a dream to drive, so it wasn’t too difficult,” added Taylor. “But pity about that whole pit stop issue. We’ll work on that for the next one. I’m just happy we came back from it. I didn’t think we could win. I thought we could maybe podium if we got back on the lead lap, but yeah, a win is awesome.”

 
Similar to how Casey made his way up the field, Colin Mullan – who co-drives with Max Faulkner in the No. 52 L.A. Honda World Racing Honda Civic – snuck into second place as the top cars jockeyed for position amongst themselves and erred with either drives through the grass or contact that derailed the lap.

 
Jonathan Morley was an example of the latter, after making contact with Simpson’s Audi skidding far off the track line. Only with a monumental save did Morley hold onto third place for him and co-driver Gavin Ernstone to round out the TCR podium.

 
The Canadian Tire Motorsport Park 120 will be televised on Tuesday, July 16 at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

 
The IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge is officially halfway through its 2019 campaign, with the second half of the season kicking off at Connecticut’s Lime Rock Park on July 18 – 20. The Lime Rock Park 120 goes green Saturday, July 20 at 11:10 a.m. ET. Tickets are available at www.limerockpark.com

 
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Braun Breaks Own Track Record En Route to Motul Pole Award at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

 
July 6, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service

 
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada – He did it again.

 
One year after taking the overall pole position for the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Acura for the first time with a track record lap, Colin Braun broke his own track record to win another Motul Pole Award in qualifying for Sunday’s two-hour and 40-minute IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race. Live television coverage of the race begins on the NBC network at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.

 
Braun posted a best time of one minute, 5.452 seconds (135.250 mph) in the No. 54 CORE autosport Nissan DPi, exceeding his 2018 record lap of 1:06.375. It was his 18th career top-level IMSA pole and his fourth at CTMP (he had Prototype Challenge class poles in 2012 and 2016 also).

 
He and co-driver Jon Bennett also are the race’s defending winners and already have four previous wins at CTMP with PC class wins in 2013, 2015 and 2016 to go with the overall and Prototype class victory last year. They’ll go for five on Sunday.

 
“I’m excited to be on pole here, at a track that I love, and Jon Bennett loves,” said Braun, who scored the first pole for a Nissan DPi since Pipo Derani did it in qualifying for the 2018 Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. “I think no matter what car we’re in we always have good confidence here. This is a track we run well at, so that tends to make us feel like we’re going to be fast here.

 
“You unload and you are fast, and that’s a sort of self-fulfilling cycle. We just feel really good about always coming up here. I’m happy to be on the pole, tomorrow is a long race and a different mindset, and it takes of lot of things to win. Honestly, we didn’t even do a mock qualifying run. We just worked on our race car in all three practices, and got Jon in the car, and just stuck to our plan. I feel good about what we have for a race car for sure.”

 
Bennett will share the front row with Helio Castroneves in the No. 7 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 DPi. Castroneves logged a best qualifying lap of 1:05.526 (135.097 mph) in the car he shares with co-driver Ricky Taylor.

 
After scoring a breakthrough victory last Sunday in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, Jonathan Bomarito and co-driver Harry Tincknell will go for their second straight win from third on the grid in the No. 55 Mazda Team Joest RT24-P DPi. Bomarito qualified the car at 1:05.780 (134.575 mph).

 
WeatherTech Championship DPi points leaders Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron will look to extend what is currently a scant, one-point lead over No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R co-drivers Felipe Nasr and Derani. Montoya has a slight advantage on the starting grid after putting the No. 6 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 fourth with a lap of 1:05.872 (134.387 mph).

 
Nasr will start sixth behind fifth-place qualifier Tristan Nunez in the No. 77 Mazda Team Joest RT24-P. Nunez clocked a best lap of 1:05.913 (134.304 mph) and will co-drive with Oliver Jarvis on Sunday; Nasr’s best lap was a 1:06.080 (133.964 mph).

 
In the LMP2 class, Kyle Masson collected his second career WeatherTech Championship Motul Pole Award. Masson’s best lap was a 1:08.211 (129.779 mph) in the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA.

 
“Qualifying went really well,” Masson said. “It’s awesome to be back here this year and to have the weekend start out extremely successfully compared to the way it turned out last year. It was a big disappointment last year with the Turn 1 incident in Practice 1. So, to make it through qualifying and to actually get the pole, it’s a big morale boost for the team going into tomorrow.

 
“This track is very fast. We had a great car coming into the weekend and the Performance Tech crew just dialed it in. We’re right where we need to be for the race.”

 
In addition to live NBC network television, live race coverage also will be available from IMSA Radio on IMSA.com, RadioLeMans.com and SiriusXM Radio (Sirius Channel 219, XM 202, Streaming 972).

 
Tickets for the race may be purchased at the gate. More information is available on on CanadianTireMotorsportPark.com.

 
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Banner Day for BMW in WeatherTech Championship Qualifying
at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

BMW Sweeps WeatherTech Championship GT Pole Positions As Krohn, Foley
Score First Career Poles

 
July 6, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service

 
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada – The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s GT Le Mans (GTLM) class is often considered the most competitive form of GT racing in the world and every so often something extraordinary happens that reaffirms that claim.

 
Such was the case Saturday’s qualifying at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park when the entire GTLM field – eight drivers representing four different manufacturers – at one point held the provisional pole during the final five minutes of the 15-minute session.

 
The driver who topped the leaderboard when it mattered most was the No. 24 BMW Team RLL BMW M8 GTE of Jesse Krohn. He lapped the 2.459-mile circuit in one minute, 13.086 seconds (121.123 mph) to score his first career WeatherTech Championship pole, leading a front row sweep for BMW in the GTLM class for Sunday’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Acura (NBC, IMSA Radio, Radio Le Mans and Sirius XM, 1 p.m. ET).

 
The lap was a track record for the GTLM class, besting Nick Tandy’s pole-winning time from last year of 1:13.517.

 
“Finally, I’ve waited for this for a long time,” said Krohn, who will team with co-driver John Edwards on Sunday. “We went for the good ol’ one-lap banger. We put it all on one lap. We know it’s going to be critical on tires here to win the race. The more you can save in qualifying the better you can have for the race. Definitely a great job from the guys giving me the car I have today. The lap was good, really good, to be honest. I don’t think there was any more I could have given.

 
“It’s going to be an absolute dog fight as always. It’s really tight, and there is no room for mistakes. We almost had a clean weekend at Watkins (Glen), but one little error really puts you back in this class. So all we need to do is have a clean one, no little mistakes on track or in the pits. And really just do a flawless fast race.”

 
Joining Krohn on the front row is teammate Tom Blomqvist, who qualified second in the No. 25 BMW Team RLL BMW M8 with a lap of 1:13.548. Ryan Briscoe qualified third in the No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT, followed by the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR of Patrick Pilet and No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR of Laurens Vanthoor.

 
With Foley’s First Career Motul Pole Award in GTD, BMW Sweeps WeatherTech Championship GT Pole Positions
Saturday turned out to be a great day for Robby Foley, the Turner Motorsport team and BMW in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

 
Qualifying the No. 96 BMW M6 GT3, Foley earned his first career Motul Pole Award by posting the fastest lap of the session in the GT Daytona (GTD) class at one minute, 16.172 seconds (116.215 mph). Sunday’s Mobil 1 Sports Car Grand Prix Presented by Acura will be only his 11th WeatherTech Championship start.

 
“It was a great car,” said Foley, who will co-drive with Bill Auberlen. “We’ve been working through a lot of changes in the practice sessions and for qualifying we just tried to put a perfect lap together. I think I left maybe a little bit on the table, but I got most of it and it was good enough for pole. The track changed a little bit there from morning to afternoon. I think we gained some temp, so it was a little bit different and I was able to put together a decent enough lap and put it on pole.”

 
His pole kicked off what would be a sweep of the GT pole positions for Sunday’s Mobil 1 Sports Car Grand Prix, as Jesse Krohn in the No. 24 BMW Team RLL BMW M8 GTE topped the charts in the following GTLM qualifying session.

 
“It’s one of my favorite tracks,” said Foley of CTMP. “It’s super high commitment. You’re on edge the entire lap. Especially for qualifying when you have a little more on the tire, just being new, low fuel, you’re just trying to maximize and do everything for that last little bit, and it’s a big lap. I had to dig deep for that one. I was P2 for a while, about two-tenths off, I had to kind of put it all together there at the end. So it’s definitely gratifying to get a pole here, it takes everything.”

 
Looking to defend their CTMP victory from 2018, Ben Keating and Jeroen Bleekemolen will start the No. 33 Riley Motorsports-Team AMG from outside the front row after Keating posted a qualifying time just .081 seconds off of Foley’s.

 
A pair of Acura NSX GT3s from Meyer Shank Racing will make up the second starting row. Last week’s winners from the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, Trent Hindman and Mario Farnbacher in the No. 86 Acura, will start third alongside the No. 57 Acura for Heinricher Racing with Katherine Legge and Bia Figueiredo in fourth.

 
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Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Friday Notebook

 
July 5, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada – 

 
Defending Winner Braun Paces Both Friday Practice Sessions at Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix Presented by Acura
There are some racetracks where a driver or team just clicks. So it is with Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and No. 54 CORE autosport Nissan DPi driver Colin Braun.

 
A year ago, Braun and his co-driver, Jon Bennett, picked up their fourth victory together at CTMP in the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Acura after Braun won the Motul Pole Award in qualifying. He was at it again Friday, topping the time charts for both IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice sessions with a best time of one minute, 5.875 seconds (134.438 mph) around the 2.459-mile circuit in the afternoon session.

 
“We were quick here last year in all the practices and won the race,” Braun said. “For me, personally, it’s a track I really enjoy, I think Jon does too. Whenever you come to a track with confidence it sets the tone for the whole weekend.”

 
Matt McMurry was quickest in LMP2 with a best lap of 1:08.706 (128.844 mph) in the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA. In GT Le Mans (GTLM), Jan Magnussen topped the charts at 1:14.218 (119.275 mph) in the No. 3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R and Bill Auberlen was quickest in GT Daytona (GTD) at 1:16.859 (115.177 mph).

 
“I’m quite happy with what we did today,” Magnussen said. “We got to try some different setups and work on some qualifying simulations. It was nice to get that out of the way. We’ll see if we can use it tomorrow if it’s not wet, but overall the car felt pretty good and I think have a good direction. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.”

 
Saturday’s WeatherTech Championship schedule includes another hour-long practice session from 8 to 9 a.m. ET, followed by qualifying from 11:35 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. Qualifying will be streamed live on IMSA.tv with IMSA Radio commentary – which also is available on RadioLeMans.com.

 
Sunday’s two-hour and 40-minute race will be televised live on the NBC network at 1 p.m. ET.

 
Fassler Returns for Unscheduled Appearance in No. 4 Corvette
Marcel Fassler usually only drives the No. 4 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts, and Motul Petit Le Mans as a third driver alongside full-time WeatherTech Championship racers Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin.

 
But Fassler was pressed into emergency service this week as a stand-in for Milner, who injured his hand in an opening-lap crash in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. The Swiss driver was on location at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Friday to get preparations for Sunday’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix under way.

 
“I had an opportunity to look at the data from Free Practice 1,” Fassler said. “This was a big help, and I also studied a video we had in our files. The second practice was a big improvement for me. Reed (Sullivan, No. 4 Corvette Race Engineer) gave me the chance to go immediately out in Free Practice 2 on new tires.

 
“That extra grip gave me a lot of confidence in the Corvette; I could start to push a bit more than before. I’m pretty happy for this, and thanks to the team for giving me that opportunity. I have to say this is a very challenging track. It’s one of the circuits where I have to say it’s challenging in a much different way from all these new tracks with the big runoffs. It’s a big pleasure to drive and to race here.”

 
Mercedes-AMG GT4s Strong at CTMP with Foss, Murillo Racing Fastest in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge
The star of the show in the pair of IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge practice sessions at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park was Mercedes-AMG.

 
It was Eric Foss in Murillo Racing’s No. 56 Mosing Motorcars Mercedes-AMG GT4 in the morning, posting what would be the fastest lap of the day at one minute, 23.506 seconds (106.009 mph). Foss and longtime co-driver Jeff Mosing will be challenging for their second Pilot Challenge win at CTMP after winning the ST class in 2017.

 
“We unloaded with a car that really felt pretty good,” said Foss. “We were able to do a two-hour test yesterday and we learned a lot about this newer, harder compound Michelin S9 Tire. It’s a little bit edgier tire, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You just have to be more precise and smooth as a driver, so that’s something that Jeff and I have been working really hard on.

 
“This place has always been close to our hearts and really good for us, so we’re hoping to carry some of that momentum into qualifying and into the race.”

 
Carrying Mercedes-AMG’s dominance into Practice 2 was Owen Trinkler in the No. 46 Mercedes-AMG GT4 for Team TGM, who posted that session’s fastest lap of 1:23.926 (105.478 mph). Team TGM’s sister car, the No. 4 Mercedes-AMG GT4, also ranked third in Practice 1 at the hands of Guy Cosmo.

 
In the TCR class, the fastest lap of the day went to Michael Lewis in the No. 98 Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Veloster N with a time of 1:24.484 (104.781 mph). Lewis will be seeking his second consecutive Motul Pole Award this weekend and the team’s second win of the season after he and co-driver Mark Wilkins took home the victory at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in May.

 
Saturday will be a packed day for the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, with qualifying beginning at 9:40 a.m. ET and the two-hour Canadian Tire Motorsport Park 120 going green at 1:55 p.m. ET. The race will be streamed live, flag-to-flag on IMSA.tv with IMSA Radio commentary.

 
McAleer Scores First Career IMSA Pole in IMSA Prototype Challenge Qualifying
Stevan McAleer became the fourth different pole winner in four IMSA Prototype Challenge races Friday in qualifying for Saturday’s three-hour endurance race (4:30 p.m. ET, live on IMSA.tv with IMSA Radio commentary).

 
It took a perfect final lap in the 15-minute session for McAleer to steal the top spot from Garett Grist. Making adjustments throughout the session, McAleer set the pole lap of 1:12.957 in the No. 10 Robillard Racing Norma M30 he co-drives with team owner Joe Robillard.

 
It was the first pole of McAleer’s IMSA career.

 
“I’m super excited, this is the first race of the season that Joe and I have been teammates,” said McAleer. “I knew we were going to be close. My biggest problem was I could not get the car out of [Turn] 5. I don’t think it was setup related, I think it was brain related and I should’ve tried to slow down a little more.

 
“It was very hard to get the car accurately out of the corner and to be honest, on that last lap there I just kind of paced myself and made sure my only focus was to get out of 5. Coming up the back straight and turning into 8, I got a fuel pressure warning and the car started to run out of fuel so that was it, that was the only lap we could get. I don’t think it cost us anything.”

 
Grist held on to qualify second No. 51 K2R Motorsports Ligier JS P3 he co-drives Rob Hodes, while the No. 47 Forty7 Motorsports of Rodrigo Pflucker, co-driven by Austin McCusker, qualified third.

 
De Angelis Edges Kingsley for the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama Race 1 Pole
After leading both practice sessions earlier on Friday, 18-year-old Roman De Angelis went on to collect his third Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama pole position of the season in the No. 79 Mark Motors Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup machine with a lap time of 1:20.067 (110.562 mph).

 
De Angelis, from Belle River, Ontario, also won the most recent GT3 Cup Challenge Canada race at CTMP, held at the track’s annual Victoria Day SpeedFest in May.

 
“I think starting out front here is probably more important than most places just because there’s not a lot of passing opportunities,” De Angelis said. “There’s really no brake zones except in (Turn) 5 and you can’t really pass there. So yeah, starting on pole is a bit easier, less cars to pass.”

 
His pole, however, didn’t come easy. His time was just .135 seconds over Jeff Kingsley in the No. 16 Policaro Motorsport Porsche. Kingsley won the season opener at Victoria Day SpeedFest the day prior to De Angelis’ win.

 
In fact, the top eight GT3 Cup Challenge Canada cars posted times within one second of each other.

 
De Angelis will lead the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama field to green Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m. ET. The race will be streamed live on the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama Facebook page.

 

 

Mazda Team Joest Breaks Through For First WeatherTech Championship Win, 1-2 Sweep in Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen

 
June 30, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service

 
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – “It’s our day!” screamed Mazda Director of Motorsports John Doonan immediately after the pair of soul red Mazda RT24-P Daytona Prototype international (DPi) race cars took the checkered flag after six grueling hours of racing at Watkins Glen International.

 
It’s been a long time coming, but Mazda Team Joest is finally a winner in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. No. 55 Mazda RT24-P DPi co-drivers Harry Tincknell, Jonathan Bomarito and Olivier Pla delivered the program’s first victory in a dominating performance at the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, leading a 1-2 sweep for the team. No. 77 Mazda DPi co-drivers Oliver Jarvis – who started the race from the pole position, Tristan Nunez and Timo Bernhard finished second, with Jarvis crossing the stripe 0.353 seconds behind Tincknell.

 
The scene in the Mazda Team Joest pits was sheer pandemonium, with screams, hugs and high fives all around. It was the culmination of six years of hard work and dedication amid struggles, close calls and heartbreak.

 
The pair of Mazdas were the class of the field throughout the six hours, but entering the final hour, they both were trailing Juan Pablo Montoya – winner of the previous two consecutive WeatherTech Championship races in the No. 6 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 DPi – who grabbed the lead through pit strategy.

 
Tincknell spent the better part of the next 30 minutes pressuring Montoya and looking for any opportunity to pass. He finally took his shot with 45 minutes to go, diving to the inside going through the “heel” of the famed Watkins Glen International “boot” section and came away as the leader.

 
“I had to attack and it was difficult to pass,” Tincknell said. “I tried once around the outside and he kind of had a little bit of rubbin’ is racin’ and kind of pushed me off, so I knew it was going to have to be a super-bold move. In those circumstances you’re better off committing 100 percent. It’s the 95 percent commitment move that causes the crash, so I think I was probably 110 percent committed going into that corner, a little bit of rubbin’ is racin’ at the apex, and luckily we came out unscathed.”

 
Jarvis got past Montoya and into second a few minutes later, and both Mazdas then pulled away from the field as they’d done for most of the race. But that didn’t mean the ending was without drama.

 
With under 20 minutes to go in the race, the cover on the left side of the No. 55’s engine dislodged and came to a rest on the car’s sidepod, wreaking havoc on the car’s aerodynamics and allowing Jarvis to close up and potentially overtake Tincknell for the victory. But with little to no pressure from behind, the pair of Mazdas elected to remain in formation where they finished.

 
“It sounds like it was more terrifying outside the car than it was in it,” said Tincknell of the bodywork damage. “I certainly started to feel the car was a little bit freer on the rear, a little bit more loose, but I just thought it was the tires, to be honest. I didn’t quite realize it was the damage that was there. Where that was caused and why, I’m not 100 percent sure.”

 
“Me and Olly (Pla) were way more nervous, I can tell you that,” added Bomarito.

 
It was the first overall IMSA race victory for Mazda since the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) Baltimore Grand Prix on Sept. 3, 2011, when Humaid Al Masaood and Steven Kane co-drove the No. 20 Oryx Dyson Racing Mazda-Lola to the win. It was Mazda’s first IMSA win of any kind since Sylvain Tremblay and Tom Long co-drove the diesel-powered No. 70 Mazda 6 GX to the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series GX class victory at Lime Rock Park on Sept. 28, 2013.

 
“It’s been an amazingly long journey,” said Doonan. “All we wanted to do was to reach the top step for all the Mazda fans, all the Mazda owners, all of our Mazda racers, our dealers, our employees, it was trying to have a Mazda day and we finally got there. We didn’t quit. There was plenty of times where faced insane challenges, so many close calls. We almost thought we had it so many times.”

 
It was Tincknell’s first IMSA victory and the third for Pla, whose most recent WeatherTech Championship win came in the Prototype class at Motul Petit Le Mans in 2016. It was Bomarito’s seventh IMSA win (three WeatherTech Championship, four GRAND-AM) and first since a GTLM class win at Circuit of The Americas in 2014. The No. 55 led 106 of the 291 total laps in the six hours, with the No. 77 leading – appropriately enough – another 77 laps.

 
“Oh man, it’s so amazing, so amazing,” said Bomarito, who rejoined Mazda’s WeatherTech Championship Prototype team prior to the 2015 season and is a graduate of Mazda’s driver development ladder system. “A Mazda 1-2, this has been a long, long time coming. I’ve been with this program for so long, seen so many ups and downs, but both cars, both crews, amazing job. It’s just as important for the 77. We’ll share it all together tonight.”

 
In addition to winning the race, the No. 55 team also was the Round 3 winner of the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup as the DPi team that scored the most points in the race.

 
Speaking of points, it was a huge points day for Montoya and co-driver Dane Cameron, who finished third in the Six Hours. After qualifying second on Saturday, Cameron noticed the No. 6 car had a flat tire on the starting grid, forcing the team to change tires and start the race from pit lane.

 
They battled back from the early setback and Montoya led 19 laps before taking the team’s fourth consecutive podium result, and second consecutive third-place run at Watkins Glen. That result coupled with a seventh-place result by the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R shared by Felipe Nasr, Pipo Derani and Eric Curran moved the No. 6 driving duo into the DPi championship lead by one point, 177-176, over full-season co-drivers Derani and Nasr.

 
In the LMP2 class, No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA co-drivers Matt McMurry, Gabriel Aubry and Eric Lux took the class victory by 20 laps over the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA squad of Cameron Cassels, Kyle Masson and Andrew Evans. It was the second consecutive victory for McMurry, the team, and was especially big for Lux, who hails from nearby Buffalo, New York.

 
“It felt really good,” Lux said. “This is a home track for me, just a two-hour drive from Buffalo. I don’t know how many times I’ve tried to do this race now. My best finish was fourth, so it feels really good to be on the top step today. It’s constant fighting out there with all the classes. It was great battles. Really hats off to my co-drivers for the great driving all weekend.”

 
It’s a quick turnaround for the next IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, which heads directly to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for next Sunday’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Acura. It will be the first IMSA race to be televised live on the NBC network, beginning at 1 p.m. ET.

 
IMSA Radio also will have live coverage throughout the weekend on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com, with race coverage airing on SiriusXM Radio.

 
Tickets are available now at CanadianTireMotorsportPark.com.

 

Porsche Holds Off Corvette In Closing Laps At ‘The Glen’
For Fourth Straight IMSA Win

 
June 30, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service

 
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – There is no stopping Porsche right now in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) class.

 
The No. 911 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR of Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet made it four consecutive wins for Porsche this season in Sunday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, continuing a dominant stretch rarely seen in the always-competitive GTLM class.

 
This one was certainly no cakewalk, however.

 
Tandy had to hold off a hard-charging Antonio Garcia in the No. 3 Corvette C7.R to secure the win, crossing the stripe a mere 0.452 seconds of the two-time defending series champion and his longtime co-driver Jan Magnussen.

 
Tandy inherited the lead when teammate Earl Bamber had to pit for fuel from the lead with 13 minutes remaining in the No. 912 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR had to pit for fuel.

 
That set up a duel to the finish between Tandy and Garcia. At one point, Garcia was over six seconds behind Tandy and over the course of his final stint managed to close the gap to just one car length, but was unable to make the pass on the final lap.

 
With the win, the No. 911 team moved into the GTLM class points lead.

 
“We wanted to build a lead and when the team told me the Corvette was catching us and the lap times he was running, I got a bit scared,” said Tandy. “But in the end, our car held up really well. The Michelin tires got better and better and the car balance got really good as the fuel came out of the car.”

 
“It was difficult to be honest, especially because we really wanted to win this race,” added Pilet. “We were so close so many times. And we are now back in the championship, so it’s really a good win.”

 
Tandy and Pilet also won the last IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup event, the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts in March. That win was followed up by consecutive trips to victory lane for the No. 912 of Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor at Long Beach and Mid-Ohio. Going further, at least one of the team’s two cars has finished on the podium in all five races this season with the No. 912 also finishing third in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona.

 
With Garcia challenging Tandy in the closing laps, it was more than just a race win on the line for Corvette Racing. The team has long been in search of its 100th career IMSA win, scoring win No. 99 at Long Beach in April of 2018.

 
Regardless, it was another strong points day for a No. 3 Corvette team that is on quite an impressive stretch of its own, with four consecutive podium finishes and three straight runner-up finishes.

 
With six races remaining on the 2019 WeatherTech Championship schedule, Garcia and Magnussen are now one point behind the No. 911 team in the class standings in search of a third straight GTLM title.

 
Three different manufacturers finished on the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen podium with the No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT of Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe finishing third. The team’s No. 66 Ford GT of Dirk Mueller and Joey Hand finished fourth, while BMW made it four manufacturers in the top-five with the No. 24 BMW Team RLL of Jesse Krohn and John Edwards finishing fifth.

 
Meyer Shank Racing Acura Dominates at Watkins Glen to Claim GTD Win from Pole Position
Entering Sunday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International, Trent Hindman and Mario Farnbacher were in a unique position in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

 
Co-driving the No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3, the duo led the GT Daytona (GTD) championship standings without a win yet in the season.

 
That all changed Sunday afternoon.

 
It was a dominating performance that started Saturday, with Hindman putting the No. 86 Acura on pole for the second time this season. Between Hindman, Farnbacher and endurance teammate Justin Marks, the car paced the GTD field for a race-high 83 laps to claim its first checkered flag of the season.

 
“I think our championship lead is now 16 points,” said Hindman, who with Farnbacher now holds a 119-103-point lead over the AIM Vasser Sullivan duo of Jack Hawksworth and Richard Heistand. “It’s tremendous to come and get a win and keep the championship lead, but there is plenty of opportunity to extend it.

 
“We’ll try to solidify our place in the championship. We’re just going to take it race by race. Obviously, our focus was to win, and that’s not going to change for the rest of the year. We’re always going to be out here shooting for the win. Always being aggressive. That’s what puts us in these positions to begin with. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”

 
The win is a first for both Hindman and Marks in the WeatherTech Championship, but the sixth for Farnbacher, who closed out the race.

 
Though the car topped the class for the majority of the race, it was a nail-biter down to the end. Bill Auberlen – seeking his 59th IMSA win to come within one of all-time win leader Scott Pruett – was hunting down Farnbacher in his No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3. Auberlen was able to close to less than half a second to Farnbacher in the closing minutes but would settle for second by 0.676 seconds.

 
“It was for sure not easy,” said Farnbacher. “I tried to push for no mistakes and Auberlen was pushing like crazy. He closed the gap really easily and was always pushing. I tried to save it with no mistakes. I’m really happy for the team. Finally, we have the win. I’m so happy for the guys.”

 
Auberlen co-drove with Robby Foley and Dillon Machavern, the latter of whom was part of the Turner Motorsport lineup that won at Watkins Glen in 2018.

 
Scoring their second podium of the season was the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa WeatherTech Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 of Cooper MacNeil, Toni Vilander and Jeff Westphal.

 
It’s a quick turnaround for the next IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, which heads directly to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for next Sunday’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Acura. It will be the first IMSA race to be televised live on the NBC network, beginning at 1 p.m. ET.

 
IMSA Radio also will have live coverage throughout the weekend on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com, with race coverage airing on SiriusXM Radio.

 

No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R Moves into Michelin Endurance Cup Lead After Three Hours in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen

 
June 30, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – The No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R team and drivers Jordan Taylor and Renger van der Zande moved into sole possession of first place in the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup Daytona Prototype international (DPi) standings after three hours in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.

 
The duo came into the race tied for the lead with the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi team and its driving trio of Felipe Nasr, Pipo Derani and Eric Curran. However, Taylor and the No. 10 team moved ahead by virtue of running second in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at the three-hour mark behind race leader Jonathan Bomarito in the No. 55 Mazda Team Joest RT24-P DPi.

 
The No. 31 team, meanwhile, was running three laps down to the leaders in ninth position at the three-hour mark after an uncharacteristic incident within the first 20 minutes of the race that also included the Action Express Racing team car, the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi.

 
The No. 10 team now leads the No. 31 team in the Michelin Endurance Cup standings by two points, 32-30. The next points-scoring opportunity comes at the checkered flag in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. There also will be three intervals to score points in the season-ending 10-hour Motul Petit Le Mans on Oct. 12 at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

 
In the LMP2 class, the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA team and co-drivers Cameron Cassels and Kyle Masson extended their Michelin Endurance Cup lead to nine points, 33-24, over the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports team and the team’s full-season driver Matt McMurry. Cassels held the class lead after three hours in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.

 
In GT Le Mans (GTLM), it was the No. 911 Porsche GT Team 911 RSR and the driving duo of Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet extending their Michelin Endurance Cup lead as the class race leaders at the three-hour mark.

 
With 26 points, the No. 911 team now stands three points ahead, 26-23, of the No. 912 Porsche GT Team 911 RSR and co-drivers Laurens Vanthoor and Earl Bamber. Vanthoor was running second in the GTLM race standings to Tandy at three hours.

 
In the GT Daytona (GTD) class, the No. 33 Riley Motorsports-Team AMG Mercedes-AMG GT3 and co-driver Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Felipe Fraga continued lead the Michelin Endurance Cup standings, but their lead is shrinking in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.

 
The No. 33 was involved in an opening-lap incident, forcing the team to retire from the race. Nevertheless, it earned the minimum two points at the three-hour mark to run the team’s season Michelin Endurance Cup points total to 27.

 
Toni Vilander led GTD after three hours in the No. 63 WeatherTech Ferrari 488 GT3 that he shares with Cooper MacNeil and Jeff Westphal to earn the maximum five Michelin Endurance Cup points. That moved the No. 63 team into sole possession of second place with 23 points.

 
Live streaming coverage of the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen continues on the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com, as well as IMSA Radio on IMSA.com, RadioLeMans.com and SiriusXM Radio (Sirius Channel 218/XM Channel 202/Streaming 972). The race will be shown at 7 p.m. EDT on NBCSN.

 
NOTES:
-         Both Mazda Team Joest RT24-P DPi cars dominated most of the first three hours of the race. The No. 55 shared by Jonathan Bomarito, Harry Tincknell and Olivier Pla led, with the No. 77 co-driven by polesitter Oliver Jarvis, Tristan Nunez and Timo Bernhard was running third on a slightly different pit strategy. The team is looking for its first WeatherTech Championship victory.

 
-         The top five cars in the DPi class were on the lead lap after three hours in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. In LMP2, Cassels was one lap ahead of McMurry.

 
-     The race got off to a disappointing start for the No. 4 Corvette Racing squad and the No. 33 Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports team. Just after the green flag flew to start the race, Tommy Milner spun and crashed in the Esses after contact with Laurens Vanthoor in the No. 912 Porsche GT Team 911 RSR. Milner was then collected by Ben Keating in the No. 33 Mercedes. Both cars were forced to retire due to damage.

 
“It’s disappointing and unnecessary,” said Milner. “It was the first lap of the race and going side-by-side which should have been and is possible. Hindsight is 20-20. Knowing the Porsche didn’t check up enough to allow us to go two-wide… he said he gave some consideration, but it wasn’t enough. I’d love to say we could rewind it. I’d give up the position and we’re still racing. And if he had given me a little more room than we’re also still racing, too. It’s these split-second decisions we have to make.”

 
-         After podium finishes each of the past two years, including a Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen overall victory last year, a repeat for the JDC-Miller Motorsports and co-drivers Stephen Simpson and Chris Miller doesn’t appear to be in the cards. Simpson spun and hit the tire barrier in the No. 84 Cadillac DPi at Turn 5 after contact with John Potter in the No. 44 Magnus Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 in the second hour. The No. 84 was nine laps down to the leaders after three hours.
 
-         In the GTLM class, all seven running cars were running within 9.5 seconds of the class lead at the three-hour mark.
 
-         The top seven cars in the GTD class were still on the lead lap at the three-hour mark. 

 

Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG Team Executes Strategy at Watkins Glen for First IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Win 

 
June 29, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – The Riley Motorsports crew rode a roller coaster of emotions during Saturday’s four-hour IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race at Watkins Glen International which ultimately ended with the best emotion of all, joy, at the end of the Tioga Downs Casino Resort 240.

 
The race didn’t initially start off according to plan for the No. 35 Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4 as the car was collected in multiple incidents, but the team continuously bounced back to remain in the hunt for the Grand Sport (GS) win.

 
Running second with just over 40 minutes left, Dylan Murry brought the car to pit lane for its final stop behind leader Devin Jones in the No. 82 BimmerWorld Racing BMW M4 GT4. The Riley Motorsports team executed a flawless pit stop that swapped the two cars’ positions.

 
The deciding factor would be rain, which began to fall around the circuit just prior to the final pit stops. Both cars opted to stay on slick Michelin tires, while much of the rest of the field didn’t and switched to Michelin’s rain tires. 

 
Following a restart with 15 minutes remaining, cars with rain tires quickly moved up the running order, gaining multiple positions on the first lap over cars with slicks. A few minutes later, however, the rain stopped and the track dried quickly. In an incredible show of strategic driving, racecars searched for the lines on track that suited their specific tires.

 
For Murry and Riley Motorsports, the car plummeted down the field after the restart but slowly made up ground as the track dried. Murry battled through the field, ultimately passing the No. 69 Motorsports In Action McLaren GT4 of Corey Fergus – which was running on rain tires – with five minutes to go and sailed away for the team’s first Pilot Challenge win.

 
It is also the first series win for all three drivers – Murry, James Cox and Jeroen Bleekemolen – and Team Owner Bill Riley.

 
“It was really stressful at the beginning,” said Murry, whose father, David, is a two-time winner at Watkins Glen. “We went in and that first pit stop that I made while I was driving the car, we put on two new left side Michelin tires. I was like, ‘Okay, maybe it's the right choice, maybe it's not’ as we got a little over half an hour to go. But it turns out there was a caution in the rain and we didn't put on rain tires. It was definitely the right choice. And, and I'm blown away by Riley Motorsports, Jeroen, Jim and everybody. This is special for me. To be racing in my dad's footsteps is even more special.”

 
“It's great racing here in the Pilot Challenge,” said Bleekemolen, who also drives for Riley Motorsports in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Daytona (GTD) class. “There's a lot of cars this year, so it's a big competition. Jim and I were really struggling to watch at the end.

 
“But yeah, Dylan did an amazing drive at the end and you just know how hard it is for a driver to stay out of trouble knowing that the people on wets are going to be quicker for a few laps. And it might come your way, or it might not. There's a lot of uncertainty there. You just don't know what's going to happen and you've got to stay on track and pick the moments when to pass and all of that. So, it was really tough to watch, but he did it.”

 
BimmerWorld’s Jones – and co-driver James Clay, who left after his stint to go to Colorado Springs, Colorado to compete in tomorrow’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb – wound up second after leading the most laps on the day at 49.

 
Jeff Westphal held on in the No. 39 Carbahn Motorsports Audi R8 GT4 for a third-place finish with co-driver Tyler McQuarrie, the third consecutive podium for the team.

 
Pombo Recovers After Late Caution to Power to TCR Win with L.A. Honda World
With 35 minutes left in the Tioga Downs Casino Resort 240, it was hard to imagine the No. 73 L.A. Honda World Honda Civic TCR would salvage a finish in the TCR class at Watkins Glen International.

 
Mat Pombo proved otherwise.

 
Pombo’s Honda Civic TCR – which he co-drives with Mike LaMarra – became a victim of the rain on slick tires, skating into the Turn 11 barriers alongside a GS car to bring out a full course yellow. Running second at the time, Pombo was able to hold the position and continue on before restarting with around 15 minutes left.

 
Not having changed tires, the No. 73 Honda suffered early on the restart and Pombo watched the No. 98 Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Veloster N TCR driven by Mark Wilkins pull away on wets. But the track dried, and conditions came back to favor L.A. Honda World.

 
After trailing the Hyundai by more than five seconds at one point, the No. 73 captured the lead and sped off to an impressive 21-second victory.

 
“I actually wrecked today and still won, you know somebody’s looking out for you when that happens,” said Pombo. “It caught me off guard on that last turn, it was just a lot of rain. I saw it in front of me and slowed down way more than I had before, but there just wasn’t any grip. The hardest part wasn’t the hit, it was actually trying to find reverse. Once I got going and we didn’t lose a lap, I knew we’d been in good shape. Today was more about everyone else than it was about me to be honest.”

 
This is the third consecutive year that a Pombo has been on top of the podium at Watkins Glen International. Mat also won in 2017 with MINI JCW Team in the ST class, while his brother, Mark, took the same victory one year later.

 
Wilkins and co-driver Michael Lewis – the polesitter for Saturday’s race – finished second just one race after collecting Hyundai’s and Bryan Herta Autosport’s first Pilot Challenge victory at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in May.

 
Sneaking in to earn their second straight podium finish was the No. 61 Roadshagger Racing by eEuroparts.com Audi RS3 LMS TCR of Gavin Ernstone and Jonathan Morley.

 
The NBCSN television broadcast of the Tioga Downs Casino Resort 240 will air on Thursday, July 11 at 6 p.m. ET.

 
The IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge has a quick turnaround for its upcoming race, held next weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on July 5-7. The Canadian Tire Motorsport Park 120 goes green on Saturday, July 6 at 1:55 p.m. ET. The race can be streamed live on IMSA.tv with IMSA Radio commentary.

 
For news and updates on Pilot Challenge, please visit IMSA.com or join the conversation on social media using the hashtags #IMPC or #IMSA.

 

Jarvis Shatters Watkins Glen International Track Record
En Route to Third Motul Pole Award of Season 

 
June 29, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service

 
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – Oliver Jarvis has a knack for wringing every last bit of speed out of the No. 77 Mazda Team Joest RT24-P Daytona Prototype international (DPi) car, especially when there’s a Motul Pole Award on the line.

 
Jarvis broke a 26-year-old track record to take the pole position in qualifying for January’s Rolex 24 At Daytona. In qualifying for last month’s Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio, he broke the previous year’s track record by more than a second.

 
On Saturday at Watkins Glen International, Jarvis clocked a best lap of 1 minute, 29.639 seconds (136.547 mph) around the 3.4-mile circuit, breaking Pipo Derani’s previous track record of 1:34.405 set in 2017 by almost five seconds to take the pole for Sunday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. It was Jarvis’ third Motul Pole Award of the season.

 
“The car was just fantastic in qualifying when it mattered,” Jarvis said. “I just had so much confidence, I think the lower temperatures helped, but I just had so much confidence to push and attack. It was a real pleasure to drive.

 
“From this year to last year, it was a huge step in the tires. I’m not sure how much quicker, but that just adds to the enjoyment of the driver. And I think I did my fastest lap on the last lap which shows just how durable they are. It was an amazing qualifying session for us. We have another six hours ahead of us. It’s a pole position, but we’re ready for the fight.”

 
Jarvis and co-drivers Tristan Nunez and Timo Bernhard will be fighting for Mazda’s first WeatherTech Championship DPi victory. That elusive first win for Mazda has been an ongoing storyline, one that Jarvis hopes to finally put to rest on Sunday afternoon.

 
“I’m looking forward to the day where we don’t have to discuss it,” Jarvis said. “We’re getting there. We’re going to win a race. It’s coming. I hope we can do it tomorrow. We have two very strong race cars. Qualifying is one thing, but we’ve also got a really strong race car. I’d like to say after this weekend, we don’t have to talk about it.”

 
Dane Cameron will start alongside Jarvis on the front row after posting a best lap of 1:29.862 (136.208 mph) in the No. 6 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 DPi. Cameron also started alongside Jarvis last month at Mid-Ohio, where he and co-driver Juan Pablo Montoya started what now is a two-race win streak. They’ll go for three in a row Sunday.

 
Ricky Taylor qualified third in the No. 7 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 DPi at 1:29.928 (136.108 mph) that he shares with Helio Castroneves. Harry Tincknell put the No. 55 Mazda DPi that he will co-drive with Jonathan Bomarito and Oliver Jarvis fourth on the grid at 1:29.983 (136.025 mph).

 
Renger van der Zande completed the top five on the grid with a lap of 1:30.758 (134.864 mph) in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R. Van der Zande’s co-driver is Jordan Taylor.

 
In the LMP2 class, French driver Gabriel Aubry won his first Motul Pole Award in the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA LMP2 with a lap of 1:31.735. His co-drivers are Matt McMurry and Eric Lux.

 
“It’s my first pole, indeed,” Aubry said. “It’s the only time I could come back since the pre-test (the Roar Before the Rolex 24 At Daytona in January) so I’m really happy. The lap wasn’t perfect but just the track is so amazing. It’s a great feeling. It’s my first time at Watkins Glen. It feels like you’re almost back in go-karts. It’s just a lot of fun to drive. The track has a lot of grip and the tires work so well.”

 
The Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, which also is Round 3 of the four-race IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup, will be televised at 7 p.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN. Live streaming of the race in its entirety is available on the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com.

 
IMSA Radio also will have live coverage on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com with complete race coverage also airing on SiriusXM Radio (Sirius Channel 218/XM Channel 202/Streaming 972).

 
Tickets are still available online at TheGlen.com and at the Watkins Glen International gates.
Corvette, Garcia Nip Ford In Back-And-Forth
Watkins Glen Qualifying Session

 
June 29, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service

 
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – If Saturday’s qualifying session for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International is any indication, the race in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class Sunday may come down to a good, old-fashioned battle between Corvette and Ford.

 
Throughout the 15-minute session, the top spot on the leaderboard switched hands a remarkable eight times with the car in every occasion coming from the Corvette Racing or Ford Chip Ganassi Racing camps.

 
When all was said it done, however, it was the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R of Antonio Garcia who topped the No. 67 Ford GT of Richard Westbrook by 0.317 seconds for Corvette Racing’s first pole of the season. Garcia and Westbrook swapped the lead five times between the two of them in the final eight minutes, as lap times continued to fall throughout the session before Garcia landed the knockout punch with a lap of one minute, 40.799 seconds (121.429 mph).

 
“You always need to be careful around Richard because he is always really fast,” said Garcia. “The guys did a really good job telling me what he was doing and everything. That gave me the opportunity the first time to cool down and then I could go again because I had more, as I showed on the last lap.

 
“I’m really happy for Chevrolet. Finally, we got something that is good, so hopefully it’s something for turning around tomorrow and starting to win races again.”

 
A win tomorrow for Garcia and his co-driver Jan Magnussen would be an historic one for Corvette Racing. The team has long been in search of its 100th IMSA victory, scoring win No. 99 in April 2018 at Long Beach.

 
Garcia and Magnussen’s winless streak dates back even further to VIRginia International Raceway in August 2017, but remarkable consistency for the No. 3 team has led the duo to back-to-back GTLM class championships. So far in 2019, Garcia and Magnussen sit second in points with three consecutive podium finishes and back-to-back runner-up finishes.

 
Another Corvette C7.R, the No. 4 of Tommy Milner rounded out the top three with a lap of 1:41.291 (120.839 mph), just short of Westbrook’s lap of 1:41.116 (121.049 mph). The No. 24 BMW Team RLL BMW M8 GTE of John Edwards broke up the Chevrolet/Ford party by qualifying fourth, one spot ahead of Joey Hand’s No. 66 Ford GT in fifth.

 
Acura Sweeps GTD Front Row as Hindman Earns Second Motul Pole Award of Season

 
Trent Hindman is getting comfortable in the No. 1 spot.

 
Leading the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Daytona (GTD) point standings with co-driver Mario Farnbacher, Trent Hindman found another top position to take – the pole for Sunday’s Six Hour of The Glen at Watkins Glen International.

 
In Saturday’s qualifying session, Hindman drove the No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 to the top of the leaderboard, earning the Motul Pole Award with a time of 1:44.978 (116.595 MPH). It’s his second Motul Pole Award of the year.

 
“To come here and pay these guys back for their efforts, feels really good,” said Hindman, who with Farnbacher will be joined by endurance racer Justin Marks. “But they deserve all the credit on this one. It was a tough couple weeks to get things turned around for this event. There’s still plenty that needs to be done tomorrow.

 
“It’s a long race, but qualifying up front is certainly very important for us. The Acura really loves clean air. Whether it’s wet or dry, it doesn’t really matter. But being out front, unobstructed is great for us. We’re going to try and take full advantage of that. It’s a really good result in qualifying.” 

 
One thing Hindman hasn’t done yet is win, despite having a top-10 finish in each of his nine WeatherTech Championship GTD starts. He has four runner-up finishes, including the class’ most recent WeatherTech Championship race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

 
“That’s like the biggest thing right now,” said Hindman. “We’ve been so close and even in Daytona and Sebring we’ve been quick, but had some horrible luck fall in our way. So unfortunately, we couldn’t capitalize on the speed that we had. Every race we come out, we’re always shooting for a win.

 
“There’s no event where we’re ever trying to take a back-seat approach. It’s just a matter of how everything really shakes out tomorrow. But pole position is where we want to be starting, it’s a step in the right direction.”

 
Making it an all-Acura, all-Meyer Shank Racing front row was Christina Nielsen in the No. 57 Heinricher Racing with Meyer Shank Racing Acura. Nielsen jumped to second in the final three minutes of the 15-minute qualifying session with a time of 1:45.295 (116.244 MPH). Nielsen will co-drive with Katherine Legge and Bia Figueiredo.

 
Also jumping up the charts late in the session was Dillon Machavern in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3. Machavern was part of the Turner team’s winning lineup last year at The Glen and will be join this weekend by Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley.

 
The Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen will be televised Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN, with live streaming of the race in its entirety starting at 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports App. IMSA Radio also will have live coverage throughout the weekend on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com with complete race coverage also airing on SiriusXM Radio (Sirius Channel 218/XM Channel 202/Streaming 972).

 

 

 

Dontje Leads Mercedes-AMG Front Row with Michelin Pilot Challenge Motul Pole Award at Watkins Glen


 
June 28, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. - On a sunny Friday afternoon at Watkins Glen International, Winward Racing/HTP Motorsport and Mercedes-AMG stole the show in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge qualifying.

 
Dutchman Indy Dontje led the effort by earning his first Motul Pole Award in the team’s No. 33 Mercedes-AMG GT4 with a time of one minute, 54.709 seconds (106.704 mph). Dontje is in the middle of his first full season with Winward Racing in the top-tier Grand Sport (GS) class after running a partial schedule in 2018.

 
Dontje’s pole for Saturday’s four-hour Tioga Downs Casino Resort 240 is Mercedes-AMG’s second of the season after Owen Trinkler scored the top spot at Sebring International Raceway in March. The manufacturer has a total of three in the series.

 
“It’s really fast, we don’t even go to second gear,” said Dontje, who co-drives with Russell Ward. “It’s all third gear corners, here mostly high gear corners, which makes it pretty interesting and pretty difficult at some places. It’s really cool to be on pole here at The Glen.

 
“We’re going to change a few things, but the car in the base is really good. Actually, we don’t touch it so much and our engine and our engineer Tomas will do a great job on that and we will be prepared. Maximum prepared we can be for the race.”

 
Just a mere .171 seconds back and starting on the outside of the front row is fellow Winward teammate Christian Hohenadel in the No. 57 Mercedes-AMG. Hohenadel co-drives with Bryce Ward, who is Winward Racing’s team owner and the father of Dontje’s co-driver.

 
Winners of the season-opening race, Paul Holton and Kuno Wittmer in the No. 75 Compass Racing McLaren GT4, will line up third on the grid alongside the victors from Sebring, Tyler McQuarrie and Tyler Westphal in the No. 39 Carbahn Motorsports Audi R8 GT4.

 
Lewis Continues Bryan Herta Autosport’s Momentum with TCR Motul Pole Award for Hyundai
Bryan Herta Autosport is on a roll.

 
After scoring the team’s first win in the last race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in May – which also was Hyundai’s first in Pilot Challenge – the No. 98 team landed on top of the leaderboard once again in Friday’s qualifying session.

 
Michael Lewis scored his first Motul Pole Award with a time of 1:56.888 (104.715 mph) to lead the TCR field to green in tomorrow’s Tioga Downs 240. His pole position comes in what will be his fourth start in the series tomorrow.

 
“I really just have to say thank you to Hyundai and my teammate Mark,” said Lewis, who co-drives with Mark Wilkins. “This Veloster N TCR was so hooked up in this qualifying session and to get this Motul P1 position award is really cool. You see a lot of cool drivers earning this and to be that lucky driver today is pretty honorable, so I feel really honored to be in this position.

 
“For the team itself we’ve had one year last year in motor series getting used to TCR and that really helps because coming into this series, we knew the car really well and how to tune it basically. My teammate Mark Wilkins is super solid as a co-driver so we had that down. We just needed to get used to pit stops and once we got those down, we really did a nice job last race at Mid-Ohio. Now we’ve just got to keep going. We’re on a little bit of a roll here, got this pole and it’s all thanks to the team putting in the effort last year and doing their work in the offseason.”

 
BHA will be playing defense, though, with two Audi RS3 LMS race cars on their heels starting second and third on the grid. Michael Johnson in the No. 54 for JDC-Miller Motorsports qualified his Audi in second, with Jay Salinsky putting the No. 23 FAST MD Racing Audi in third.

 
The Tioga Downs Casino Resort 240 goes green on Saturday at 1:55 p.m. ET and will be streamed live on IMSA.tv with IMSA Radio commentary. The NBCSN television broadcast will air on Thursday, July 11 at 6 p.m. ET.

 
To follow news and updates throughout the weekend, please visit IMSA.com or join the conversation on social media using the hashtags #IMPC and #IMSA. 

 
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De Angelis Wins for Seventh Time in Eight 2019 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama Races in First Half
Of Watkins Glen Doubleheader

 
June 28, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. - Two days ago, 18-year-old Canadian racer Roman De Angelis graduated with honors from high school.

 
He’s well on his way to graduating from the 2019 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama with honors also. In Friday’s 45-minute race at Watkins Glen International, De Angelis drove the No. 79 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Porsche 911 GT3 Cup machine to his seventh victory in eight races this season.

 
De Angelis led every practice session prior to qualifying Friday morning, where he took his sixth pole position in seven tries. He briefly surrendered the lead to Max Root in the No. 7 Wright Motorsport Porsche coming out of Turn 1 on the first lap, but a couple of turns later, Root was collected by Riley Dickinson in the No. 53 Moorespeed Porsche.

 
The contact sent both the Nos. 7 and 53 cars off course and returned De Angelis to the lead. He would not be challenged the rest of the way en route to a 17.755-second victory over Jeff Kingsley in the No. 3 JDX Racing Porsche. The win enabled De Angelis to extend his lead to 49 points, 242-193, over Kingsley in the point standings for the Platinum Cup class for 911 GT3 Cup cars built between 2017 and 2019.

 
“I think I made a bit of a mistake on my own on the start, I’m kind of bummed about that, but obviously Max made a really good move,” said De Angelis of the early-race action. “I was pretty impressed by that. Then, going into the bus stop, I saw Riley on the outside. He missed his braking point, I think, by a lot, but I didn’t see him collecting Max, so I was able to take advantage of that and pull through and pull forward.

 
“Just an awesome car by Kelly-Moss again. With this heat and the abrasion, the Yokohama held up for us. It was a pretty crazy race.”

 
Kingsley, a veteran of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama competing in the U.S. series for the first time this season, scored the first podium result of his GT3 Cup Challenge USA career. After racing another JDX car earlier this season, Kingsley has moved into the team’s No. 3 Porsche starting this weekend, as Parker Thompson left the team due to unforeseen circumstances.

 
Root recovered from the opening-lap incident with Dickinson – who served a drive-through penalty for incident responsibility – to finish third in the No. 7 Wright Motorsports Porsche. Root also was involved in a later incident with Sean McAlister in the No. 11 JDX Racing Porsche, for which McAlister also received a drive-through for incident responsibility.

 
Driving the No. 68 Topp Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup machine, Jeff Mosing finished fourth overall and won the Platinum Masters class for drivers 45 years of age and over. It was Mosing’s first GT3 Cup Challenge USA event since winning the Platinum Masters class in both races at Road America in 2017. Mosing was injured in a heavy GT3 Cup Challenge USA crash at Watkins Glen earlier that year.

 
“I can’t tell you how much it means to me,” Mosing said. “It’s something else. My old car, Trixie, came up for sale, I talked to (Topp Racing Founder/President) Todd Oppermann and said, ‘Hey, let’s fire up the band again.’ This was the place to do it.

 
“I’m so glad to be back in the series. I’m really impressed. The Yokohamas never fail, even in the 90 degree heat today. It was me having to manage the brake bias, and I finally got it figured out. I was able gap Metni and Poordad and let them battle it out. It was just a nice ride in the park, I guess you’d say.”

 
Platinum Masters points leader Alan Metni finished second in class and fifth overall in the No. 99 AM Motorsports/Kelly-Moss Porsche. Metni got around Masters polesitter Fred Poordad in the No. 20 Wright Motorsports entry late in the race to get the position. Metni now leads Poordad by 14 points, 218-204, in the Platinum Masters standings with seven of 16 races on the season now complete.

 
David Brule won the Yokohama Hard Charger Award in the No. 48 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Porsche as the driver who gained the most overall positions from start to finish in the Platinum Cup class in Race 1. Brule finished 16th overall after starting 22nd.

 
In the Gold Cup class for 911 GT3 Cup cars built between 2014 and 2016, Sebastian Carazo picked up his fifth victory in seven tries this season aboard the No. 25 NGT Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup machine. Carazo started the race from the class pole position and faced down a midrace challenge from Rob Ferriol in the No. 5 Moorespeed Porsche to win the race.

 
“It was a great race, a very clean race,” Carazo said. “I had some slow traffic at the beginning of the race. Once I could get by them, it was put my head down, finish the race and then have some fun. I’m really excited to win this race. This was a baptism by fire last time I was here (in 2018). I really wanted to win this race and the next one. It’s good for the points, but it’s great for me for how I feel.”

 
Carazo now leads Kurt Fazekas by 19 points, 237-218, in the Gold Cup standings. Fazekas finished second in Gold Cup in the No. 52 Kelly-Moss Road and Race machine, with Ferriol coming home third.

 
The second and final race of the GT3 Cup Challenge USA doubleheader weekend at Watkins Glen International takes the green flag at 9:20 a.m. ET on Saturday morning and will be streamed live on IMSA.tv with IMSA Radio commentary.

 
Television coverage of the Watkins Glen event weekend will air on NBCSN at 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday, July 9.

 
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Based on Recent History, Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park
Could Be Anybody’s Race

 
July 16, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT classes feature thoroughbred race cars from world-class manufacturers deserving of the spotlight.

 
And the spotlight they will get this weekend at Lime Rock Park, when the GT Le Mans (GTLM) and GT Daytona (GTD) classes square off in the first of two GT-only races for the 2019 WeatherTech Championship with Saturday’s Northeast Grand Prix.

 
NBCSN will have television coverage of the two-hour, 40-minute battle on the 1.474-mile “bullring” known as Lime Rock at 9:30 p.m. ET Saturday night. The NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com will offer live streaming of the race beginning at 3 p.m. ET, with live weekend coverage also available from IMSA Radio on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com. SiriusXM Radio also will carry the live IMSA Radio call of the race Saturday afternoon.

 
Since 2015, six different manufacturers have taken class victories in the Northeast Grand Prix, including three different manufacturers in the GTLM class each of the past three years. In fact, only one manufacturer – Porsche – has more than one WeatherTech Championship victory at Lime Rock over that period.

 
That happened in 2017, when Patrick Pilet and Dirk Werner delivered the first victory for the mid-engine Porsche 911 RSR in the GTLM class as co-drivers of the No. 911 Porsche GT Team entry, while Patrick Lindsey and Joerg Bergmeister claimed the GTD win in the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.

 
The German manufacturer is currently riding a hot hand in the WeatherTech Championship, with five consecutive GTLM victories spread between Pilet and his current co-driver, Nick Tandy, in the No. 911 Porsche and the No. 912 RSR shared by Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor. Bamber and Vanthoor scored the team’s most recent victory in the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Acura at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park earlier this month, vaulting themselves back to the top of the WeatherTech Championship GTLM standings.

 
The No. 912 teammates hold a four-point advantage, 186-182, over Tandy and Pilet. And Tandy thinks Lime Rock presents a good opportunity for the manufacturer to extend its 2019 win streak to six.

 
“Lime Rock is great turf for Porsche,” he said. “We look forward to this unique race all year.”

 
Tandy’s not alone, though. You can bet that No. 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT co-drivers Joey Hand and Dirk Mueller will return to Lime Rock this week with fond memories of their 2018 victory fresh in their minds.

 
The same can be said for Corvette Racing, and especially No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R driver Oliver Gavin, who co-drove to the historic 100th victory in Corvette Racing program history (including eight 24 Hours of Le Mans victories) with Tommy Milner in 2016. This weekend, Gavin will be joined by Marcel Fassler – standing-in for the injured Milner – in search of the team’s historic 100th IMSA win, as will two-time defending WeatherTech Championship GTLM champions Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia, who are hungry to win in the No. 3 C7.R.

 
Over the past three years, GTLM wins have gone to Corvette (2016), Porsche (2017) and Ford (2018). That being the case, perhaps it will be BMW’s time to shine, which should be welcome news for BMW Team RLL and its pair of BMW M8 GTE entries.

 
The GTD class has seen four different manufacturers win each of the past four years at Lime Rock, beginning with current WeatherTech Championship Daytona Prototype international (DPi) points co-leader Dane Cameron and then-co-driver Michael Marsal winning in the No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW Z4 back in 2015.

 
The following year, it was John Potter and Andy Lally in the No. 44 Magnus Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 before Lindsey and Bergmeister’s 2017 win for Porsche. Last year, it was a “home” win of sorts for New Jersey-based team owner Paul Miller and his No. 48 Lamborghini Huracán shared by Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow.

 
Will we see yet another different manufacturer win in GTD this year? There are plenty to choose from, including Acura, Ferrari, Lexus, McLaren and Mercedes-AMG.

 
Tune in Saturday to find out, or better yet, get your Northeast Grand Prix tickets now. Information is available at LimeRock.com.

 
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Event

canadian tire motorsport Park 120

It’s time to shine for Canadian teams and drivers in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge. The series heads north of the border for the only time this year and approaches the halfway point of the 2019 season. Tune in to watch the NBCSN broadcast of the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park 120 on Tuesday, July 16 at 3 p.m. ET!

To keep up with Michelin Pilot Challenge news and updates throughout the season, please visit IMSA.com and join the conversation on social media using the hashtags #IMPC and #IMSA.

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Sights And Sounds: 2019 Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix Presented By Acura

Check out the sights and sounds from the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

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2019 Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix Presented By Acura Race Broadcast

Relive all the action from the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix Presented by Acura at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, the seventh race of the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.

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Traffic Gets Best Of Everyone, Including IMSA Drivers

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Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix Presented By Acura: Five Takeaways

The Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Acura saw the extension of two IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship team winning streaks with Mazda Team Joest and the Porsche GT Team celebrating atop the podium once again in the Daytona Prototype international (DPi) and GT Le Mans (GTLM) classes, respectively.

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Back-To-Back Weekends For Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada By Yokohama As Series Rolls On To Toronto Street Circuit

Fresh off a doubleheader at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park just a few days ago, the season continues for Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama this weekend in Toronto.

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Mazda Scores Again With Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix Victory

It took nearly seven years for Mazda Team Joest to return to IMSA victory lane between a victory at Road America in Aug. 2012 and last Sunday’s breakthrough IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship win in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.

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Porsche Scores Record Fifth Consecutive GTLM Class Win At Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

It doesn’t matter which side of the border they’re on, there is no stopping Porsche right now in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

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Rebel Rock Racing Camaro Comes Out On Top In Battle Of Heavyweights At Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

On Saturday afternoon at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, it was an underdog team with a powerhouse manufacturer that emerged as victors in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.

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Back-to-Back Weekends for Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama as Series Rolls on to Toronto Street Circuit

 
July 11, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Fresh off a doubleheader at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park just a few days ago, the season continues for Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama this weekend in Toronto.

 
For the sixth consecutive year, the IMSA-sanctioned series holds Rounds 7 and 8 of its 12-round schedule at Honda Indy Toronto alongside the likes of IndyCar, NASCAR Pinty’s Series, Stadium Super Trucks and more.

 
To kick off the second half of the GT3 Cup Challenge Canada season, the Toronto street circuit is notorious for its unforgiving course, which includes little to no runoff areas and no testing time leading up to the weekend.

 
As Jeff Kingsley describes, coming back to this street circuit is like hitting a reset button, no matter how many times you’ve raced there.

 
“Toronto is a pinnacle track on the calendar,” said Kingsley of Ajax, Ontario, and driver of the No. 16 Policaro Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. “It’s obviously pretty demanding, but you also have to be calm at the same time. Adjusting to that is a bit different. You don’t really have much else on the schedule that you can go to that prepares you for Toronto, so it’s kind of just being thrown in the deep end.

 
“With such little track time in the previous year, you just have to go for it and learn it all over again because even though you’ve been there before, it’s a bit unfamiliar to you. I’m looking forward to being back, especially with the Policaro Motorsports/Liqui Moly guys, and can’t wait to be there for a local race.”

 
For several drivers in the field, it’ll be their first time experiencing the Streets of Toronto. It may also be their first encounter with a street circuit, as is the case for Alan Metni in the No. 99 Kelly-Moss/AM Motorsports Porsche.

 
“I’m very much looking forward to it,” said Metni. “I think it’s going to be a blast. I’ve never done a true street circuit before and I’ve only seen this one before on a simulator, so I’m looking forward to doing it in the real world.”

 
Metni is currently in the hunt for the Platinum Masters championship, sitting in third place, 20 points out of the lead but just three points out of second. And although he’ll be a rookie on the Toronto circuit, he’s also looking forward to the challenges these streets present to a driver.

 
“That actually heightens the excitement and the energy level,” added Metni. “Real consequences on a race like that make it that much more fun to do well, so I hope to do well.”

 
GT3 Cup Challenge Canada action gets underway in Toronto starting Friday, July 12. The two practice sessions will take place at 9:25 a.m. ET and 4:15 p.m.

 
Qualifying for Race 1 will take place on Saturday at 12:15 p.m., with the first 45-minute race going green at 4:15 p.m. Race 2, which will be streamed live on the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama Facebook page, is set for Sunday at 1 p.m.

 
Timing and scoring will be available throughout the weekend at scoring.imsa.com.

 
Fans at the event are also invited to attend the Driver Autograph Session on Saturday at 10:30 a.m, which will be held in the Enercare Centre.

 
For updates throughout the weekend and for the remainder of the season, please visit IMSA.com, Porsche.com/Canada or on social media using the hashtags #GT3Canada and #IMSA.

 
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Northeast Grand Prix Entry List Notebook

 
July 10, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park on Saturday, July 20 is the first of two standalone races for the pair of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT classes.

 
It is the third consecutive year that the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class is the headliner alongside the GT Daytona (GTD) class at Lime Rock for a two-hour and 40-minute battle that will be televised on NBCSN at 10 p.m. on Saturday, July 20.

 
Live streaming of the race will be available on the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com beginning at 3 p.m. ET, with live IMSA Radio coverage throughout the weekend on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com. SiriusXM Radio also will carry live IMSA Radio race coverage.

 
Let’s take a look at the entry list and who’s been strong at Lime Rock over the years and other notable items heading into the race:

 
·      Andy Lally and Oliver Gavin are tied for the most IMSA wins at Lime Rock among active Northeast Grand Prix drivers with four wins each.

 
·      Lally won in 2001, 2006, 2010 and 2016 and will go for his fifth Lime Rock IMSA win alongside co-driver John Potter, with whom he also co-drove to victory in 2016, in the No. 44 Magnus Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3.

 
·      Gavin’s four wins came in 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2016. That 2016 victory was the 100th win in Corvette Racing’s illustrious sports car racing history. He will be rejoined in the No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R by Marcel Fassler, who is pinch-hitting for the injured Tommy Milner for the second consecutive race.

 
·      Patrick Long has the most IMSA poles at Lime Rock with three, the last of which came in qualifying for last year’s race in the No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R. This year, Long is co-driving the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R with Patrick Lindsey.

 
·      Speaking of Wright Motorsports, the team is returning to WeatherTech Championship competition for the first time in 2019 with Anthony Imperato – a graduate of the IMSA-sanctioned Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama – sharing the No. 91 Porsche 911 GT3 R with Porsche Young Professional Matt Campbell from Australia.

 
·      Corvette Racing is the winningest team on the Northeast Grand Prix entry list with five previous victories at Lime Rock. The team’s first victory came in 2004, followed by wins in 2005, 2007 and 2008 prior to its most-recent Lime Rock win in 2016.

 
·      Porsche is the winningest manufacturer in IMSA races at Lime Rock since 2000 with 19 victories. Chevrolet is second with 12, followed by BMW and Ford with five each.

 
Previous Northeast Grand Prix Winning Drivers Since 2000 in 2019 Field (14)
Andy Lally (4) – SRPII – 2001; GRAND-AM GT/Overall – 2006; ALMS GTC – 2010; GTD – 2016
Oliver Gavin (4) – ALMS GTS – 2004, ALMS GT1 – 2005, 2007; GTLM – 2016
Patrick Long (3) – ALMS GT2 – 2006, 2009; ALMS GT – 2010
Dirk Mueller (3) – ALMS GT – 2011, 2013; GTLM/Overall – 2018
Ryan Briscoe (2) – ALMS P2/Overall – 2007; ALMS P2 – 2013
Jan Magnussen (2) – ALMS GT1 – 2008, GRAND-AM GT – 2011
Joey Hand (2) – ALMS GT – 2011; GTLM/Overall – 2018
John Edwards (2) – GRAND-AM GT – 2012; ALMS GT – 2013
Bill Auberlen (1) – GRAND-AM GTU – 2000
Cooper MacNeil (1) – ALMS GTC – 2012 
John Potter (1) – GTD – 2016
Patrick Pilet (1) – GTLM/Overall – 2017
Patrick Lindsey (1) – GTD – 2017
Bryan Sellers (1) – GTD – 2018

 
Previous Northeast Grand Prix Pole-Winning Drivers Since 2000 in 2019 Field (10)
Patrick Long (3) – ALMS GT3 – 2005; ALMS GT – 2010; GTD – 2018
Richard Westbrook (2) – GRAND-AM DP/Overall – 2012; GTLM – 2016
John Edwards (2) – GRAND-AM GT – 2012; ALMS GT – 2013
Toni Vilander (1) – ALMS GT2 – 2006
Oliver Gavin (1) – ALMS GT1 – 2008
Jeroen Bleekemolen (1) – ALMS GTC – 2010
Joey Hand (1) – ALMS GT – 2011
Bill Auberlen (1) – ALMS GT – 2012
Ryan Briscoe (1) – ALMS P2 – 2013
Antonio Garcia (1) – GTLM/Overall – 2018

 
Previous Northeast Grand Prix Winning Teams Since 2000 in 2019 Field (8)
Corvette Racing (5) – ALMS GTS – 2004; ALMS GT1 – 2005, 2007, 2008; GTLM – 2016
BMW Team RLL (2) – ALMS GT – 2011, 2013
CORE autosport/Porsche GT Team (2) – ALMS PC – 2012; GTLM/Overall – 2017
Turner Motorsport (1) – GTD – 2015
Magnus Racing (1) – GTD – 2016
Park Place (1) – GTD – 2017
Chip Ganassi Racing (1) – GTLM/Overall – 2018
Paul Miller Racing (1) – GTD – 2018

 
Previous Northeast Grand Prix Winning Manufacturers Since 2000 in 2019 Field (6)
Porsche – 19
Chevrolet – 12
BMW – 5
Ford – 5
Acura – 2
Ferrari - 1

 

 

Event

Tioga Downs Casino Resort 240

The IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race from Watkins Glen International was a true endurance test for drivers and teams as they took on their final four-hour race of the season. On top of that, throw in mixed weather conditions that challenged strategists and resulted in some thrilling on-track battles in the closing laps of the race. Relive all the action from Watkins Glen this Thursday, July 11 at 6 p.m. ET with the NBCSN television broadcast.

To keep up with Michelin Pilot Challenge news and updates throughout the season, please visit IMSA.com and join the conversation on social media using the hashtags #IMPC and #IMSA.

Tune-In Schedule

IMPC
 
RACE

Tioga Downs Casino Resort 240 at the glen

Thursday, July 11, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM ET
NBCSN

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Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Acura: Five Takeaways

 
July 9, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Last Sunday’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Acura saw the extension of two IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship team winning streaks with Mazda Team Joest and the Porsche GT Team celebrating atop the podium once again in the Daytona Prototype international (DPi) and GT Le Mans (GTLM) classes, respectively.

 
In LMP2, the seesaw battle between the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA and season-long driver Matt McMurry and the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA squad of Kyle Masson and Cameron Cassels tilted back in the direction of the No. 52 team and McMurry, who was joined for the first time by Canadian Dalton Kellett.

 
And in GT Daytona (GTD), IMSA legend Bill Auberlen closed to within one victory of Scott Pruett’s all-time record win total of 60 with a popular victory alongside co-driver Robby Foley in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3.

 
Those were the headlines coming out of the weekend, but as always, there’s more where that came from.

 
Here are this week’s five takeaways:

 
Roles Reversed at Mazda Team Joest
A week after delivering Mazda Team Joest’s first WeatherTech Championship victory in a 1-2 sweep for the team in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, the No. 55 RT24-P duo of Harry Tincknell and Jonathan Bomarito came home second in the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Acura behind their race-winning teammates, Oliver Jarvis and Tristan Nunez, in the No. 77.

 
And while any race driver will tell you that they’d much prefer winning to finishing anywhere else, both Bomarito and Tincknell were proud of the team’s accomplishments at CTMP, just as Nunez and Jarvis were a week earlier in finishing second at Watkins Glen. The No. 55 team led a race-high

 
“We’re still celebrating,” Bomarito said. “Even though we’re second, it’s still a Mazda 1-2. It’s great for Mazda Team Joest. The guys in the pits did a great job, Harry did a great job. We had a little mistake. That was our race, we pretty much dominated it, but it’s still a 1-2, so we leave here with great, great momentum.”

 
“It’s a fantastic result for the team,” Tincknell added. “That’s what we come here for, 1-2. It’s a perfect result and we achieved that, so I’m super happy for everyone.”

 
Porsche GT Team Stays Red Hot in GTLM
A battle for the 2019 WeatherTech Championship GTLM title is shaping up between teammates. Four points separate leaders Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor, who picked up their third class victory of the season in Sunday’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Acura in the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR, from second-place Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet in the team’s No. 911 entry.

 
Tandy and Pilet have won twice this season and the pair of entries have won a combined five consecutive races dating back to the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts in March. The No. 911 duo also has finished on the podium in each of the last three races.

 
“It’s kind of unbelievable, really, because we come to these weekends and we have our little problems throughout the week,” Tandy said. “But it just seems that, come race day, with at least one car every time, we execute perfectly. I’m just so proud of the team, especially after today, by the fact that we have two really strong cars, we can play out different strategies and this sort of thing. It’s worked again. It’s just great teamwork overall, we have a good car, we have good experience now with the car and everybody is confident to make a risky decision and see if it works.”

 
Over the weekend, Porsche unveiled the next-generation 911 RSR race car that will begin competing in the WeatherTech Championship next season. But given how well the current car is performing, might it make sense to delay switching to the new car?

 
“In this form, maybe,” Tandy laughed. “But it’ll be nice to get a new toy out and start testing with it and be ready for Daytona, of course.”

 
Acuras, Acura Drivers and Teams Leading Two Different Championships
We’re just past the halfway point in the 2019 WeatherTech Championship, but if the second half goes anything like the first, it could be a banner year for Acura and its drivers and teams in both the DPi and GTD classes.

 
Buoyed by a pair of victories and five consecutive podium finishes, No. 6 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 DPi co-drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron sit atop the WeatherTech Championship DPi standings by three points over the 2018 WeatherTech Championship Prototype championship-winning No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R and driver Felipe Nasr, who welcomed a new co-driver in Pipo Derani this season.

 
After finishing third in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, Montoya said that he and Cameron needed to continue finishing on the podium throughout the remainder of the season to win the championship. They backed it up with another third-place run at CTMP, which helped them toward the ultimate goal.

 
“I think we had a really good strategy,” Montoya said. “On track, we were going to come out ahead of the Mazda and we were going to have a shorter stop at the end, but with traffic and everything, we couldn’t open the gap and have a shot at the win.

 
“It’s kind of frustrating, because we felt P2 was, for sure, ours. We even had a shot, maybe, at the win, and with the way the caution came out and everything, we had to short fill and kind of get on their strategy. But it was a solid day. It was a solid weekend again. We struggled a little bit with the balance of the car this weekend, I wasn’t that happy with it. We did good. We came out with what we needed.”

 
In addition to Montoya, Cameron and the No. 6 Acura Team Penske squad leading the driver and team standings, Acura has a slim, three-point lead over Cadillac in the DPi manufacturer standings, 230-227.

 
In the GTD class, meanwhile, No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 co-drivers Mario Farnbacher and Trent Hindman stretched their lead to 19 points, 151-132, over No. 12 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 co-drivers Townsend Bell and Frankie Montecalvo with a runner-up performance in Canada. It was their third straight WeatherTech Championship GTD podium result.

 
“There’s a reason why the Meyer Shank Racing team is in this position,” Hindman said. “They work their [tails] off, their preparation is phenomenal, the drivers, engineers, mechanics and everybody, the leadership is great with Mike, so there’s a reason why we’re in this position.

 
“I think a lot of it also has to come down to the fact that we’ve been aggressive. We gamble when we feel like we can take a reasonable gamble, we get aggressive on the racetrack when we feel like we need to get aggressive, but we also know how to back it down when we need to back it down. But again, there’s a reason why we’re in this spot.”

 
The GTD manufacturer battle is quite a bit closer. Acura is leading Lamborghini by two points, 152-150, with Lexus just one point behind Lamborghini.

 
Speaking of Lexus…
No. 12 Lexus co-drivers Bell and Montecalvo were back on the WeatherTech Championship GTD podium for the second time in the season’s five races. It was their third podium of the season overall, as they also finished third in the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic in Detroit last month which paid points toward the seven-race WeatherTech Sprint Cup title.

 
The new-for-2019 competition for GTD competitors only features seven races two hours and 40 minutes in length or shorter. So, not only are Bell and Montecalvo second in the overall WeatherTech Championship GTD standings, but they are currently third in the WeatherTech Sprint Cup standings.

 
They currently trail their teammates Jack Hawksworth and Richard Heistand, the No. 14 Lexus co-drivers who lead Sprint Cup with 89 points, and second-place Patrick Long in the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R with 88 points. Montecalvo and Bell have 86 Sprint Cup points.

 
“It’s just a good, solid day for the team,” said Bell as he exited the CTMP podium. “It’s home territory for AIM. I’m really proud of the job everyone did on back-to-back race weekends with Watkins. Everybody worked super hard. We just performed. I mean, I think that’s about the most we had today. We got all of it. The restarts were good. I had Jimmy Vasser on the radio, man, there’s nobody better. All in all, it’s a good, solid day, good points, and on to the next one.”

 
Edwards, Krohn Enjoy Best Weekend of Season in No. 24 BMW
It was a bit of a tough first half of the 2019 WeatherTech Championship season in the GTLM class for No. 24 BMW Team RLL M8 GTE co-drivers John Edwards and Jesse Krohn, who had a best result of fourth at Sebring to show for their first five races.

 
If last weekend at CTMP is any indication, the second half is shaping up to be considerably better. Krohn put the No. 24 BMW on the GTLM pole in qualifying on Saturday. In Sunday’s race, the No. 24 duo led a total of 46 laps en route to a second-place result behind the winning No. 912 team.

 
“It’s definitely nice to be back on the podium,” Edwards said. “It’s been a while for me and Jesse [their last podium was a third-place run in the 2018 Motul Petit Le Mans season finale]. We’ve had pace sometimes, but haven’t always executed as well.

 
“We had some mechanical troubles at Daytona at the beginning of the year, so we started off on the wrong foot. So, it’s nice to get back on the podium and be fighting for the win. Obviously, it’s always a little bittersweet when you’re fighting for the win and come second versus coming from the back and jumping on the podium. But at the end of the day, it’s good to be competitive. I think we could have easily finished third today, so it’s nice to come away with second and maybe be punching a little bit above our weight.”

 
With some racetracks where the M8 performed exceptionally well in 2018 still to come, Edwards is expecting a strong second half.

 
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Live Telecast from
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Moves to CNBC

 
July 6, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada – The live telecast of Sunday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Acura has been moved to CNBC beginning at 1 p.m. ET. The race also will be available on the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com.

 
The two-hour, 40-minute race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park was moved from its originally scheduled slot on the NBC network following the postponement of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway to Sunday due to heavy rains Saturday evening.

 
Helio Castroneves will start the race from the pole position in the No. 7 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 Daytona Prototype international (DPi) car. Castroneves claimed the No. 1 starting position after original pole-winning No. 54 CORE autosport Nissan DPi qualified by Colin Braun was moved to the rear of the DPi grid after the team elected to change tires and its starting driver to Jon Bennett.

 
Braun and Bennett are the defending winners of the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Acura.

 

Huge Contingent of Canadians On Hand for IMSA Racing At Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

 
July 6, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada – Officially, Canada Day was celebrated throughout the country last Monday – as it is every year on July 1.

 
Apparently, nobody told that to many drivers competing in one or more of the four IMSA-sanctioned series this weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park who extended the celebration into this weekend in Bowmanville.

 
Between the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (four drivers) – which headlines the weekend with Sunday’s two-hour and 40-minute Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix Presented by Acura – the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge (12), the IMSA Prototype Challenge (six) and Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama (12), there are a total of 31 drivers from Canada. Three drivers – Cameron Cassels from Coldstream, British Columbia, Scott Hargrove from Vancouver, B.C. and Marco Cirone from Bolton, Ontario – are competing in multiple races this weekend.

 
The WeatherTech Championship weekend entry list includes four Canadians – Hargrove and Zacharie Robichon from Ottawa, Ontario, who are sharing the No. 9 Porsche 911 GT3 R for Canada-based Pfaff Motorsports; Cassels in the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA in the LMP2 class, and Dalton Kellett, who is making his IMSA debut this weekend in the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA in LMP2.

 
Kellett, from Stouffville, Ontario, has been on the open-wheel driver development ladder for the past several years, racing in Indy Lights full-time since 2016. His early impressions of IMSA have been positive.

 
“I'm happy to be here,” Kellett said. “The paddock is great. You know, you come from the IndyCar paddock, which is obviously a healthy, strong group, but then you come here and it's like, 'Wow, this is great as well.' It's like a really healthy paddock. A lot of drivers, you know, great drivers here, a lot of cars. So, it's really exciting to see the sport is this strong on this side of it as well.”

 
Whereas Kellett is making his first IMSA appearance this weekend, Montreal’s Kuno Wittmer is on the other side of the spectrum. He was the 2014 WeatherTech Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) champion and is racing in Saturday’s two-hour Pilot Challenge race at CTMP.

 
He’s made a total of 39 starts in IMSA’s premier series [WeatherTech Championship, American Le Mans Series (ALMS) or GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series] and has competed full-time in Pilot Challenge the past few years. He shares the No. 75 McLaren GT4 with Paul Holton driving for another Canada-based team, Compass Racing.

 
Wittmer knows what it’s like to race in front of the home crowd at CTMP, having done so many times in IMSA and other events over the years. That’s why he’s thrilled to be here.

 
“Being on home soil is always a nice thing,” Wittmer said. “I mean, you have your support system around you. You have your family and friends, fans that have, honestly – I've seen some of the fans this weekend so far that have been here since Day 1 when I've come here, which was '98.

 
“So, it's like, 20 years or 21 years now, and it feels pretty good to always come back to the same place and compete. And now to compete in a series – a really, really high-caliber series in IMSA, in the Michelin Pilot Challenge, you can't ask for better.”

 
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park co-owner, Ron Fellows, is proud of the strong turnout of his countrymen competing this weekend. Fellows is a sports car racing legend – a member of the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame and one of the 50 Great IMSA Drivers named as part of the IMSA 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2019 – who knows what it feels like to win IMSA races in front of his home fans at CTMP.

 
The three-time ALMS series champion also won three races at the racetrack formerly known as “Mosport.” He has a pretty good idea what the experience will be like for the 31 Canadians this weekend.
“To race in front of the home crowd – back when I was doing it with Corvette, you knew where the people had signs up and it was really cool to see,” said Fellows. “It's, I dunno, gotta be worth a few tenths (of a second) to be in front of the home crowd.

 
“I know the prototype guys, back in the ALMS days, they sort of dreaded the fact that if Ron and [then-Corvette Racing co-driver] Johnny (O’Connell) won the GT Le Mans class, that's all that got reported in Canada. It was that and 'Oh, by the way, an Audi won or something like that.’

 
“But you're racing in front of friends and family and all the Canadians will have that opportunity. So, it's important for them and it's a track that most of them will have grown up learning how to race on. A little bit of home court is not a bad thing.”

 
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Event

Mobil 1 sportscar grand prix
Presented by acura

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship returns to action this weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and you can watch all the action live on NBC network television.

Following an instant classic at Watkins Glen International just days ago, WeatherTech Championship teams and drivers head north of the border this weekend for the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Acura on Sunday, July 7 with coverage beginning on NBC at 1 p.m. ET. International, live flag-to-flag coverage is available on IMSA.com and a variety of international television outlets, as well as IMSA Radio commentary on RadioLeMans.com and SiriusXM Radio (Sirius Channel 218/XM Channel 202/Streaming 972).

There is no shortage of racing this weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park with the WeatherTech Championship joined by the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, IMSA Prototype Challenge and Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama.

IMSA.tv will bring both domestic and international fans live streaming of each of those races, with the exception of the GT3 Cup Challenge Canada race which be streamed live on the series’ Facebook page. Motul Pole Award qualifying for the WeatherTech Championship also will be streamed live on Saturday at 11:35 a.m. ET.

Visit IMSA.com for full details.

Tune-In Schedule

IMSA Radio
 
Radio

Select Imsa Sessions & Flag-to-flag mobil 1 sports car grand prix coverage

July 5 - 7
IMSA.com, IMSA App (LIVE)

   
IWSC
 
Qualifying

mobil 1 sports car grand prix qualifying

Saturday, July 6: 11:35 AM - 12:40 PM ET
IMSA.com, IMSA App (LIVE)

IMSA.com
 
 
Race

mobil 1 sports car grand prix

Sunday, July 7: 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM ET
NBC (LIVE)
Visit IMSA.com for full broadcast details

NBCSN
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IMPC
 
Race

Canadian tire motorsport park 120

Saturday, July 6: 1:55 PM - 3:55 PM ET
IMSA.com, IMSA App (LIVE)

IMSA.com
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IPC
 
Race

Canadian Tire Motorsport park

Saturday, July 6: 4:30 PM - 7:30 AM ET
IMSA.com, IMSA App (LIVE)

IMSA.com
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Canadian Drivers and Teams in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Eager to Race North of the Border This Weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

 
July 4, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada – This weekend marks the halfway point of the season for the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge and there’s a particular group in the paddock that could not be more thrilled – the Canadians.

 
The series makes its annual trip north of the border to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for a two-hour battle in Bowmanville, Ontario on Saturday, July 6 at 1:55 p.m. ET. The race can be streamed live, flag-to-flag on IMSA.tv with IMSA Radio commentary.

 
Canadians continue to flock to the Pilot Challenge each year, with a handful of drivers and teams representing their home country this weekend. From Tsawwassen to Montreal, here are some thoughts from the Canadians participating at CTMP this weekend.

 
Scott Hargrove (Tsawwassen, British Columbia), No. 13 AWA Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport
“Although CTMP is far from home, it feels like a home race. Although busy, it’s been a treat to drive both GT3 and GT4 cars this year and this weekend will be no exception. Pfaff Motorsport and AWA have been doing a fantastic job to put well-prepared Porsches on the grid and hopefully we can capitalize on that in front of the Canadian fans. With both cars being full Canadian efforts in terms of team members and driver lineups, it adds even more to the atmosphere of the event.”

 
Marco Cirone (Toronto, Ontario), No. 81 Mark Motors Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR
“It doesn’t get any better than racing at your home track. Remo (Ruscitti) and I will definitely make sure the Mark Motors Audi will be at the top of the field. We both know this track inside and out and after the unfortunate events that occurred in the last race (a late-race spin at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course), we will want to seek redemption for sure. Look out for the Mark Motors Audi this weekend.”

 
Karl Thomson (Toronto, Ontario), Compass Racing Team Owner
“Racing at our home track is always a real treat. Canadian Tire Motorsport Park is truly one of the most challenging on the IMSA schedule and requires both commitment and finesse from drivers and crew alike. We’re looking forward to running both our GTD and GS-class McLarens this weekend; Paul Holton and Matt Plumb will helm our No. 76 720S GT3 in the WeatherTech Sprint Cup, whilst Kuno Wittmer will help us welcome British driver Paul Rees to the Michelin Pilot Challenge in our No. 75 570S GT4. We’ve got a lot of friends, family and sponsors attending the event and are optimistic for good results in both races.”

 
Mark Wilkins (Mulmur, Ontario), No. 98 Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Veloster N TCR
“CTMP is a very intense circuit that requires complete focus and a great deal of respect. It’s fast with plenty of high-speed blind corners and elevation changes. It’s one of those old school tracks that doesn’t leave any room for error but one that rewards precise smooth driving. If you can get a good rhythm going the fast laps tend to click off and it’s all smiles. 

 
I’ve raced many different types of cars around CTMP. Formula Fords, Formula 2000, Star Mazda, Daytona Prototype and other production cars. I love the track and it’s a great one to have in my backyard. I had a chance to run the Veloster N around CTMP last fall and it was one of the most fun days I’ve ever had. It was an open lapping day and we surprised a lot of people with how quick the car was. I’m stoked; let’s go racing.”

 
Eric Kerub (Montreal, Quebec), Motorsports In Action Team Owner
“I think for me and the team, the CTMP race has the most meaning since we are one of a few Canadian teams in IMSA. This year, however, it’s even more special since IMSA and I are sharing a 50th anniversary. My 50th birthday happens to be on the exact same day as our race (July 6) so I’m hoping to celebrate both in style. For sure we have the team and the drivers to win, I mean, Jesse won his first IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama – Platinum Class in 2014 at the age of 17 with a field of 27 cars at CTMP. Of course, I’d relish a win but as long as we remain in the hunt for the championship I will be extremely happy.”

 
Jesse Lazare (Montreal, Quebec), No. 69 Motorsport In Action McLaren GT4
“I’m extremely excited to race at my home track in front of such amazing Canadian fans. It feels really good that a series like IMSA comes to Canada and puts on a great show. I’m expecting a very good finish as MIA’s No. 69 McLaren is always very strong on this track and I’ll push to the absolute limit to please my fellow Canadian fans.” 

 
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Feature Story
Upcoming Events
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Tune-In: Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix Presented By Acura

Following an instant classic at Watkins Glen International just days ago, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship teams and drivers head north of the border this weekend for the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Acura on Sunday, July 7 with coverage beginning on NBC at 1 p.m. ET.

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The IMSA 50th Anniversary Celebration - Episode 17 / Johnny O'Connell & Jan Magnussen

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What To Watch For: Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix Presented By Acura

It’s the one and only trip north of the border for the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship as the annual summer stretch rolls on with Sunday’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Acura at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario.

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Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix Presented By Acura Entry List Notebook

Hot on the heels of last weekend’s spectacular Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship now makes its way into Canada for the annual trip to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Sunday’s two-hour and 40-minute Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Acura.

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K2R Motorsports, Matt Bell Join Forces to Take
IMSA Prototype Challenge Team to ‘Next Level’

 
July 3, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – K2R Motorsports is on a mission to get its elusive first LMP3 win in the IMSA Prototype Challenge and is enlisting a familiar face for the final three races of the season to do just that.

 
British driver Matt Bell will join Naveen Rao in the No. 64 Ligier JS P3 for the remainder of the season beginning this weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The three-hour race Saturday (4:30 p.m. ET, live on IMSA.tv with IMSA radio coverage) signals a return to action for the IMSA Prototype Challenge after a two-month break with 20 entries expected.

 
The pairing between Bell and K2R Motorsports has produced success in one-off races in the past. Limited to Sebring International Raceway, Bell finished fourth with longtime co-driver Jim McGuire in 2018 and followed that up with a third-place podium finish with McGuire at Sebring earlier this season. The two also teamed up last November for the Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore and finished second alongside teenager Kay van Berlo.

 
It was that weekend at the Encore – combined with the impressive development for Rao, who sits fourth in points – that put the wheels in motion for Bell to team up with K2R Motorsports.

 
“We're very happy with our results, but we expect more, and we know we can show more,” said team owner Bobby Golasinski. “The 64 car with Naveen has shown a lot of promise, but we think we can still get more out of it. I think our whole team, we've shown we've added speed, we just haven't quite produced the results yet. We're hoping to change that.

 
“Naveen is just blowing us away with how well he's doing. Even the last test we did, he was very, very quick. That solidified our decision to make the change to Matt so we can have someone to complement his progression and how well he's doing. For an Am, for a Bronze driver, he is probably one of the top Bronze drivers out there right now.”

 
Rao and co-driver Alex Barron enjoyed remarkable consistency through the first three races of the season, finishing seventh or better in all three races. Rao enters Canadian Tire Motorsport Park fourth in points, one point out of third.

 
What Bell brings to K2R Motorsports is a wealth of experience and knowledge with the Ligier JS P3 LMP3 car. Starting his career in the GT ranks – where he found success, including a GTD class win in the 2014 Motul Petit Le Mans – Bell transitioned to LMP3 in 2016. Since then, his calendar has consisted of LMP3