After eight hours of racing at Road Atlanta, Ozz Negri held the lead in the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Honda Ligier JS P2 in Saturday’s Petit Le Mans presented by Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, the final IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race of the season.
Negri and co-drivers John Pew and Olivier scored the five points towards the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup with two hours remaining in the 10-hour event.
“So far, so good – everything is perfection with the car,” said Pla, who started the race on the pole. “I’ve enjoyed every lap in the car. We need to stay focused. I expect to be in for the last hour of the race.”
The Patrón Endurance Cup is a four-race competition among the four longest races on the WeatherTech Championship, awarding points at strategic segments of the classic events at Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen and Road Atlanta. For the finale, points are awarded at the four- and eight-hour segments along with the finish. Five points go to the leader of each segment, with four for second, three for third and two for all other competitors.
At the eight-hour mark, other class leaders were the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE of James Calado in GT Le Mans (GTLM); Jeroen Bleekemolen in the No. 33 ViperExchange.com Dodge Viper GT3-R in GT Daytona (GTD); and the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA FLM09 of Jose Gutierrez in Prototype Challenge.
Running sixth overall was good enough to clinch the third consecutive Patrón Endurance Cup in the Prototype class for Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa, drivers of the No. 5 Action Express Racing Mustang Sampling Corvette Daytona Prototype. Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner clinched in GTLM by running third in the No. 3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R. In PC, Kenton Koch captured the driver’s title in the second-place No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA FLM09, while the class-leading No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA clinched the team title.
Yet to be decided in the final hours is the GTD crown, with the second-place-running No. 44 Magnus Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 of Andy Lally and John Potter leading Mario Farnbacher and Alex Riberas in the No. 23 Alex Job Racing/Team Seattle Porsche 911 GT3 R by three points, 36-33.
The Patrón Endurance Cup began with the Rolex 24 At Daytona, followed by the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida and Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.
View full results via Al Kamel Systems at Results.IMSA.com.
- A turning point in the WeatherTech Championship Prototype points race came with three hours, 44 minutes remaining when Felipe Albuquerque cut a left-rear tire in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP while battling Action Express Racing teammate Dane Cameron in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Corvette DP and Ricky Taylor in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP for second. The No. 5 lost a lap and fell to sixth, hurting the chances for a third consecutive WeatherTech Championship title for co-drivers Fittipaldi and Barbosa. Cameron and co-driver Eric Curran entered the event with a one-point lead over their teammates.
- While the No. 8 Starworks Motorsport ORECA FLM09 went behind the wall at the four-hour mark to repair brake problems and eventually retired, drivers Renger van der Zande and Alex Popow clinched the 2016 WeatherTech Championship Prototype Challenge title. With the No. 7 Starworks Motorsport entry already retired, the No. 8 teammates were assured the sixth-place finish they needed to clinch the crown.
- The No. 0 Panoz DeltaWing Racing Coupe retired shortly after the four-hour mark when Sean Rayhall suddenly lost power, which was diagnosed as a broken timing chain. The car started by Katherine Legge was running seventh on the lead lap at the time of the incident.
- The Petit Le Mans is being streamed live on the FOX Sports GO app. There will be a three-hour highlight program on FS1 on Monday, Oct. 3, at 7 p.m. ET.