Bamber takes early Petit Le Mans lead

Michael Levitt/Lumen

Bamber takes early Petit Le Mans lead

IMSA

Bamber takes early Petit Le Mans lead

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The Motul Petit Le Mans is underway, and one championship has been sealed as Felipe Nasr crossed the start line in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R. Full-season drivers Matt Campbell and Mathieu Jaminet claim the inaugural GTD PRO title, the teams’ title for Pfaff and the manufacturers’ title for Porsche.

Two championship contenders in other classes are starting the race in a tough position. Wayne Taylor Racing made the decision to keep the No. 10 Acura on the flatspotted tires from Ricky Taylor’s spin on the car for the start rather than forfeit the 30 points for qualifying. That would have been the penalty, along with going to the back of the DPi field, had they changed tires before the start of the race. Taylor came in at the end of the first lap for fresh tires and a splash of fuel, emerging behind the entire field but still on the lead lap.

Era Motorsports discovered a fuel leak this morning, and in fixing the problem on the No. 18 ORECA LMP2, missed the call to grid before the fan walk. While the car was pushed into pit lane well before the race start, it had to start from pit lane behind the entire field, and also had to serve a drive-through penalty. Dwight Merriman served the penalty, going down a lap in the process, severely hampering his and Ryan Dalziel’s efforts to catch John Farano for the LMP2 title.

Within 10 minutes, Earl Bamber in the No. 02 Cadillac took the overall lead over polesitter Tom Blomqvist in the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb Agajanian Acura.

Regular updates from Petit Le Mans will follow throughout the race.

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