Pipo Derani and Felipe Nasr in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R. won the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race from Road America after the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-05c fell just two laps short of pulling off a magical fuel economy run to the checkered. This is the second consecutive win for the No. 31 Cadillac who now move into second place in the DPi championship fight.
“We had a fantastic weekend — perfect to be honest. When I was in the car the No. 60 car was completely out of my hands — whatever was going to happen to them. I was just hitting my marks, focusing on making sure that we could make it to the end [on fuel]. Whatever happened to the No. 60, it was out my control. By hitting my marks and not having a yellow that helped us and the No. 60 eventually had to come into the pits,” Derani said.
The No. 55 Mazda RT-24P of Harry Tincknell and Oliver Jarvis finished in second, 1.594s behind the No. 31 Cadillac. Mazda was in the picture for most of the race but never really had the pace to take mount a serious challenge for the lead. Renger van der Zande and Kevin Magnussen rounded out the podium in the No. 01 Cadillac Chip Ganassi Racing DPi-V.R.
Van der Zande had a slight slip up at Turn 5, running off into the gravel but continuing without further incident. Magnussen, meanwhile, caught the ire of Richard Heistand after forcing the GTD driver offline into the kink, sending him spinning through the high-speed corner. The No. 01 Cadillac moved onto the podium after Meyer Shank Racing’s fuel gamble fell short.
Dane Cameron in the No. 60 Acura made what the team hoped would be its final stop of the race with 45 minutes to run, just outside of the normal 40-minute fuel window for the DPi cars. Cameron controlled most of the second half of the race but ultimately came up just a handful of minutes short, needing a splash-and-dash that handed the win to the No. 31 Cadillac.
The No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05c finished in fourth after passing the No. 60 Acura on the final lap of the race in a move that seemed to indicate Acura was well-aware of the championship fight the No. 10 was involved in. Cameron’s final lap was some 12 seconds slower than Filipe Albuquerque’s lap which provided Albuquerque with the window he needed to move past his fellow Acura driver.
The No. 5 Mustang Sampling w/ JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi-V.R. ended the race last in class after their fuel strategy also fell short.
While fuel gambles failed to pay off in DPi, they worked like a charm in GT Le Mans as the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR upset the two Corvette C8.Rs to win for the second time this season. Cooper MacNeil started the race, but it was Porsche factory driver Matt Campbell who was an instrumental part of the win with a magnificent, hour-long, fuel-saving stint to bring the car home.
The No. 3 Corvette of Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia beat out their teammates in the No. 4 Corvette. Tommy Milner and Nick Tandy in the No. 4 were hit with a drive-thru penalty for wheel rotation while on the jacks which hampered any progress they could make in the race.
In LMP2, the No. 18 Era Motorsport ORECA 07 of Ryan Dalziel and Dwight Merriman took home the win. With normal full-season driver Kyle Tilley away at the NASCAR Cup Series race from Watkins Glen, Dalziel stepped up as the substitute. This race was largely a tune-up for the team and for Merriman to get experience on a long and fast track before heading to the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Dalziel withstood the pressure of Gabriel Aubry and Mikkel Jensen in the second half of the race to hold on for the win. The No. 8 Tower Motorsports ORECA 07 of Aubry and John Farano were second. The No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports of Jensen and Ben Keating completed the podium.
Colin Braun guided the No. 54 CORE autosport Ligier JS P320 and teammate Jonathan Bennett to their second win of the season. Braun crossed the line 22 seconds clear of the next-best car in the class after a stellar performance from the American.
The No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports Ligier JS P320 of Rasmus Lindh and Dan Goldburg finished second. The No. 38 Ligier was under investigation early in the race after Goldburg made contact with the rear of the No. 30 Jr III Racing Ligier JS P320, sending both cars spinning. The No. 30 retired with a broken suspension due to the incident but the No. 38 escaped without a penalty.
The championship-leading No. 74 Riley Motorsports Ligier JS P320 of Gar Robinson and Felipe Fraga ended the race in third.
In GT Daytona, the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R of Laurens Vanthoor and Zacharie Robichon took home the win. This was the first win of the season for the No. 9 Porsche team. They were helped up the order by a quick reaction to pit before a full course yellow flew. The team’s one-stop strategy also worked out in their favor.
The No. 96 Turner Motorsports BMW M6 GT3 of Robby Foley and Bill Auberlen finished second. The No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R of Patrick Long and Trent Hindman completed the GTD podium.
There were just two full-course yellows, both of which flew early in the race and both of which were for just minor spins. Apart from DPi and LMP2, no other class battle was decided by less than ten seconds.