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Race report
IMSA Road America

IMSA Road America: Penske Porsche takes victory

Matt Campbell and Felipe Nasr earned the No. 7 Penske Porsche team victory in Sunday's IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Road America.

#7 Team Penske Porsche 963: Matt Campbell, Felipe Nasr

The drama began even before the 160-minute race got underway, with the pole-sitting No. 31 Action Express Cadillac forced to start from the back after an incident in morning warmup.

On the pace lap, another GTP found trouble when the No. 25 Team RLL BMW of Connor De Phillippi spun off track.

The resulting cleanup led to the race starting behind the safety car. When the green flag finally waved, Campbell in the No. 7 Penske Porsche maintained control at the sharp end of the field.

Unfortunately, the field of 46 didn’t make it far until a full-course yellow was needed. Trying to make up ground, De Phillippi slid wide in the kink and slammed the concrete wall. The No. 25 team entered this race just ten points out of the championship lead.

The sister Team RLL BMW had a bit of a moment soon after, with Philipp Eng pushed wide and into the dirt at Turn 5 by the JDC Miller Porsche of Mike Rockenfeller as they battled for the position. Things would get worse for the No. 24 BMW later on, falling off the pace with an issue and losing multiple laps.

#23 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3: Ross Gunn, Alex Riberas

#23 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3: Ross Gunn, Alex Riberas

Photo by: Geoffrey M. Miller / Motorsport Images

Things were far calmer in GTD, with the No. 23 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 of Alex Riberas leading the Pro field and Madison Snow in the No. 1 Paul Miller Racing BMW leading the non-pro drivers.

The No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 of Russell Ward spun, but managed to limp his way back to the pits without a FCY. 

The Heart of Racing Aston slipped back a couple spots during the first pit cycle, with the No 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 of Daniel Juncadella and Jordan Taylor in the No. 3 Corvette Racing machine.

Things were mostly uneventful in the lower prototype classes with the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA firmly in control of the lead in LMP2 and the No. 33 Sean Creech Motorsport Ligier doing the same in LMP3.

Back in GTP, Campbell made his way down pit road with just over 90 minutes remaining, swapping out with co-driver Nasr. They now led the race by over ten seconds.

A difficult day for Alexander Sims got a bit worse as he went for another spin in the No. 31 Action Express Cadillac.

Juncadella was the first of the GTD Pro leaders to pit a second time, switching out with Jules Gounon.

Late drama for Corvette

The No. 3 Corvette with Antonio Garcia and the No. 23 Heart of Racing Aston with Ross Gunn then proceeded to trade blows for the race lead. Gunn dipped a wheel in the dirt while trying to hang on the outside of Garcia, and the duo made contact soon after as Gunn tried to retake the position.

Unfortunately, their battle would not last as race control penalized the Corvette team. They were handed a drive-through penalty for failing to adhere to the minimum refueling time. 

The No. 74 LMP3 Riley Liger, which currently leads the championship, went for a high-speed off at the carousel with Josh Burdon behind the wheel. Thankfully, he managed to keep the car pointed in the right direction.

With just 20 minutes remaining, the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura of Tom Blomqvist had cut Nasr’s lead down to five seconds. He then made significant gains through traffic, pulling to within two seconds of the lead.

But that's when his charge finally stalled out. He was unable to get any closer, allowing the No. 7 Porsche to take victory with drivers Nasr and Campbell.

The No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura was forced to settle for second, and the No. 10 Acura was a distant third.

The No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA with Ben Keating and Paul-Loup Chatin claimed victory in LMP2.

The No. 74 Riley Liger rebounded from that mid-race off to take the LMP3 win with Burdon and Gar Robinson.

In GTD Pro, it was back-to-back wins for the No. 23 Heart of Racing Aston with Gunn and Riberas.

The No. 1 Paul Miller Racing BMW with Snow and Bryan Sellers extended their points lead, taking victory in the non-pro GTD class.

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