Mazda, Acura battling to half-distance at Mid-Ohio

Image by Scott LePage/LAT

Mazda, Acura battling to half-distance at Mid-Ohio


Mazda, Acura battling to half-distance at Mid-Ohio


The Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio has reached the halfway point, with Mazda and Acura battling up front and a pair of Cadillacs in pursuit.

There was drama at the start, when Ryan Hunter-Reay was tapped by Helio Castroneves shortly after taking the green flag. Hunter-Reay got sideways in the No. 55 Mazda but managed to save the DPi, while Castroneves was able to continue and run a full stint with minor damage to the No. 7 Acura.

Not so lucky behind the incident were Robby Foley and the No. 96 Turner Motorsports BMW M6 GT3 — which sustained damage that led to its retirement — and Cameron Cassels in the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA Gibson, which spent time behind the wall repairing damage.

Polesitter Oliver Jarvis led the opening seven laps in the No. 77 Mazda before being passed by Dane Cameron in the No. 6 Team Penske Acura DPi. Cameron led the remainder of his stint, and co-driver Juan Pablo Montoya retained the lead following the round of stops.

Montoya led by seven seconds at the 40-minute mark; Jarvis needed only five laps to run him down and regain the lead with strong moves in traffic. At the one-hour mark, Jarvis was followed by Montoya and Hunter-Reay, followed by Pipo Derani in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac and Filipe Albuquerque in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac.

GTLM had been a Corvette-Porsche duel. While Antonio Garcia in the No. 3 Corvette led Earl Bamber in the No. 912 Porsche at the one-hour mark, Tommy Milner took the third-place No. 4 Corvette behind the wall at the 1h04m mark with a broken left-rear axle.

Trent Hindman took the GTD lead on Lap 9 in the No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura. Hindman pulled away throughout his stint and led by 45 seconds when he pitted at the 1h04m mark, allowing co-driver Mario Farnbacher to maintain the lead.

The sun finally broke through 30 minutes into the event. The two-hour, 40-minute race is scheduled to take the checkered flag at 4:20 p.m.