Nick Tandy gave the fans added excitement with an incredible last lap pass for the victory and the second consecutive GTC class win for the No. 30 MOMO NGT Motorsport Porsche team in the American Le Mans Monterey race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Today’s victory increased Cisneros’ lead in the GTC Driver’s Championship and the MOMO NGT Motorsport’s lead in the GTC Team Championship.
Tandy, a Porsche factory driver who took a weekend away to fill in for MOMO NGT regular Sean Edwards, also collected the fastest lap of the GTC class competitors with a time of 1:28.532.
Henrique Cisneros, No. 30 MOMO NGT Motorsport driver: “We couldn't have asked for a better race, even though two pit speed violations put us down in the standings not once, but twice. The first time, I was able to drive to the front again before handing the car off the Nick, and the second time he did the same thing and then started handing off the quickest laps of the race.
With one lap to go, Nick decided to go for it. He wasn’t going to settle for second. We’re here to win. With three-quarters of a lap to go, he was able to pull off a pass that was beautiful. We fought for the win and battled it out the whole time. Two in a row for us with Long Beach and we’re happy to extend our championship lead.”
Nick Tandy, driver No. 30 MOMO NGT Motorsports GTC class: “When you are fighting for position on the last lap, you have an advantage when you are the pursuer, and you can dictate the strategy and the car in front of you has to defend. There were about 12 cars within 12 feet of each other and it was a free-for-all, but Andy Lally, who is a top-notch driver, knows what he’s doing.
He knew I was going to be behind him after the restart. I think we were three wide in turn four because I stuck my nose in there and I was able to get the run on him on the exit. Once we got in front and halfway around the lap, that was it, job done. This is a great victory for the MOMO Porsche and NGT.”
Ramez Wahab, NGT Motorsport Owner/No. 30 MOMO NGT Motorsport Team Manager: “The race was just awesome! First of all, the pit stops were perfect. The race strategy was very good. The car was very fast. Henrique did an awesome job again, as usual. He drove for an hour and thirty minutes. We pitted him under a caution at 45 minutes and fueled the car and put tires.
We were leading but he got a stop-and-go for 27 seconds for speeding in the pits. After he served that, he was second. He then drove another 45 minutes and pitted under another caution, which came at a perfect time. He handed the car over in second place.
“Tandy jumped in the car and he is a very professional driver and extremely fast. He did an awesome job too. Unfortunately, he also got a penalty for speeding in the pits which cost a stop-and-go plus 20 seconds. When we got back on track we were fifth but two cars pitted immediately and we were third.
Towards the end of the race, with only about 15 minutes to go, there was a double yellow (caution) and I thought we would end the race under yellow. Lucky for us, on the last lap it was a green flag again. Lally was leading in the Dempsey car and he is a top notch driver. I actually think he is the fastest American Porsche driver.
No American guy can touch Lally and I thought it would be impossible to pass him. Incredibly, Nick made it happen. He put pressure on him and passed him in Turn Four, I think. This race was another victory for us and made it two in a row and good for the championship.
Now we have a slight cushion in the championship but we have seven races to go. It’s a long way to the championship still but it was an awesome weekend!”
Marc Phaneuf, General Manager, MOMO USA: “This is unbelievable for MOMO. It’s great for the brand. This is a serious organization and a serious team. Both Henrique and Nick did fantastic jobs behind the wheel. Today’s win signifies the fifth podium for the MOMO NGT team in the last five ALMS races: second place at VIR and a victory at Petit Le Mans last year; third place at the 12 Hours of Sebring and victories at Long Beach and Laguna Seca. The ALMS is a very competitive series, which makes the result even better and great for MOMO.”