Mid-Ohio IMSA: Castroneves, Taylor lead Acura-Penske 1-2

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Mid-Ohio IMSA: Castroneves, Taylor lead Acura-Penske 1-2
David Malsher
By: David Malsher
May 6, 2018, 8:05 PM

Helio Castroneves and Ricky Taylor led Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron as Acura Team Penske dominated at Mid-Ohio, while nail-biting class battles brought triumphs for Porsche and 3GT Lexus.

Polesitter Helio Castroneves, Team Penske Acura
#912 Porsche Team North America Porsche 911 RSR, GTLM: Laurens Vanthoor, Earl Bamber
#14 3GT Racing Lexus RCF GT3, GTD: Dominik Baumann, Kyle Marcelli
#86 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Acura NSX, GTD: Katherine Legge, Alvaro Parente
#24 BMW Team RLL BMW M8, GTLM: John Edwards, Jesse Krohn
#99 JDC/Miller Motorsports ORECA 07, P: Stephen Simpson, Mikhail Goikhberg
#7 Acura Team Penske Acura DPi, P: Ricky Taylor
#93 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Acura NSX, GTD: Lawson Aschenbach, Justin Marks
#10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi, P: Renger van der Zande, Jordan Taylor
#66 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT, GTLM: Dirk Müller, Joey Hand

Prototype

Poleman Castroneves held the lead from Cameron at the start, with Oliver Jarvis just about holding off Mazda teammate Jonathan Bomarito and the Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac of Renger van der Zande.

Further back, however, Johannes van Overbeek’s Nissan tapped Robert Alon’s JDC Miller Motorsports Oreca into a spin. Van Overbeek was immediately called into the pits for a drive-through penalty.

In fact there was double trouble for the ESM Nissan squad, as the #2 car of Scott Sharp picked up rear end damage and had to pit early for body-rub on the rear tires.

The top four quickly separated themselves from the Cadillacs of van der Zande and Joao Barbosa, but Bomarito took advantage of a slight delay for Jarvis in traffic and swooped past into third. 

Bomarito was first of the top four to stop, followed by Jarvis, who moved up to third. The Penske-Acuras then both stopped, with Taylor taking over the #7 from Castroneves.

On cold tires at Turn 2, Cameron had the confidence to outbrake Taylor, who also gave in to the charging Mazdas of Jarvis and Bomarito, and fell to fourth.

Taylor came back at the Mazdas in traffic but bounced Bomarito off the track in order to get up to third, although no penalty was called.

Taylor stopped on Lap 62 and remained in situ, while Bomarito pitted two laps later to hand over to Spencer Pigot, who dropped from 1sec to 7sec behind before he was struck by an errant GTD car and pitted for a checkover, and remained there.

Second-placed Jarvis meanwhile had been held up by Colin Braun in the CORE autosport Oreca, two laps down, and had fallen to 5sec behind leader Cameron.

On lap 70, the lead Acura and lead Mazda stopped, with Montoya taking over from Cameron and Tristan Nunez taking control of the #77 Mazda. Both would emerge behind Taylor’s Acura – 5sec in Montoya’s case, 12sec in Nunez’s case.

Taylor extended his lead to 12sec over Montoya by the time he made his final scheduled stop on Lap 91, at the same time as Nunez. Montoya stopped next time by, and whittled the lead down to 1.8sec as Taylor hit traffic.

A lapped Pipo Derani refused to give way to Montoya, though, and next time by the lead was back out to 3.3sec, and eventually the #7 led the #6 past the checkered flag with an 8.5sec advantage, with the Nunez-driven Mazda a further 18sec back in third.

The top Cadillac DPi-V.R, the #5 Action Express Racing machine of Barbosa and Filipe Albuquerque, was almost a minute further back in fourth and only 1sec ahead of the WTR car of van der Zande and Jordan Taylor.

Top LMP2 was the PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports entry of Sebastian Saavedra and Gustavo Yacaman in sixth, just under two seconds ahead of the JDC-Miller Oreca of Stephen Simpson and Misha Goikhberg.

GT Le Mans

On the opening lap, polesitter John Edwards in the #24 BMW was forced off-track by Alon spinning his prototype, allowing the two Porsche 911s of Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber to move into a 1-2 followed by Alexander Sims in the other BMW M8 and Antonio Garcia in the #3 Corvette.

At the first stops, Sims gave up his seat to Connor de Philippi, and Garcia handed over to Jan Magnussen. Tandy handed over the leading Porsche to Patrick Pilet, and Laurens Vanthoor took over from Bamber. The Porsches had exchanged places, with Vanthoor now ahead.

By the time Ryan Briscoe stopped the #67 Ford GT, he had a 34sec lead, and that allowed co-driver Richard Westbrook to emerge in third, just ahead of teammate Joey Hand who had taken over from Dirk Muller. De Philippi ran sixth behind Magnussen.

On the 64th lap, into Turn 4, Westbrook outbraked Pilet's Porsche for second place but was now 10sec down on Vanthoor. Hand, meanwhile, would stop on Lap 70, and Westbrook went back ‘on strategy’ with a stop just a couple laps later.

De Phillippi did a long middle stint, and held a 37sec lead by the time he pitted for the second time, emerging nine seconds behind Vanthoor but right ahead of a fantastic battle between Westbrook’s Ford, Magnussen’s Corvette and Hand’s Ford.

The BMW driver had no problem staving them off, and cut Vanthoor's lead down to six seconds. Behind de Phillippi, Westbrook had a moment and fell behind Magnussen and Hand.

De Phillippi kept charging and drew to within 1.5sec of Vanthoor in the closing 10 minutes, eventually losing out by 1.67sec at the checkers, but he was 10.6sec ahead of the #3 Corvette of Magnussen. Pilet brought home the second works 911 sixth behind the two Fords.

GT Daytona

Jack Hawksworth and Kyle Marcelli held station to run 1-2 for Lexus at the start ahead of Katherine Legge in the #86 Acura NSX and Madison Snow in the #48 Lamborghini Huracan.

Marcelli was the first of the Lexus RC Fs to stop and he handed over to Dominik Baumann, who went past David Heinemeier Hansson when the latter took over from Hawksworth.

Alvaro Parente moved the Acura closer to the second Lexus, having taken over from Legge, while Bryan Sellers was nearby, too, having replaced Snow. Parente finally split the Lexuses on Lap 66, albeit 20sec behind Baumann.

Once Heinemeier Hansson had done his mandatory 45mins, Hawksworth would return to the cockpit, but he was having to come from fifth place.

Up front, Baumann successfully kept the #14 Lexus ahead of Parente but it got perilously close in the final stages, Parente crossing the line less than 0.2sec in arrears. The 3GT Lexus team thus scored its first win.

This pair were a full 18sec up on the third-placed Sellers/Snow Lamborghini, while late on, the charging Hawksworth deposed the #93 Acura, driven by Justin Marks and Lawson Aschenbach, to claim fourth.

IMSA Mid-Ohio, race results:

Pos.Class#DriverChassisGap
1 P 7 brazil  Helio Castroneves 
united_states  Ricky Taylor 
Acura DPi 125 laps
2 P 6 colombia  Juan Pablo Montoya 
united_states  Dane Cameron 
Acura DPi 8.464
3 P 77 united_kingdom  Oliver Jarvis 
united_states  Tristan Nunez 
Mazda DPi 26.774
4 P 5 portugal  Filipe Albuquerque 
portugal  Joao Barbosa 
Cadillac DPi 56.826
5 P 10 united_states  Jordan Taylor 
netherlands  Renger van der Zande 
Cadillac DPi 57.825
6 P 52 colombia  Gustavo Yacaman 
colombia  Sebastian Saavedra 
Ligier LMP2 1'13.876
7 P 99 canada  Mikhail Goikhberg 
south_africa  Stephen Simpson 
ORECA LMP2 1'15.636
8 P 31 united_states  Eric Curran 
brazil  Felipe Nasr 
Cadillac DPi 1 lap
9 P 22 brazil  Pipo Derani 
united_states  Johannes van Overbeek 
Nissan DPi 1 lap
10 P 2 united_states  Scott Sharp 
united_kingdom  Ryan Dalziel 
Nissan DPi 2 laps
11 P 38 united_states  James French 
united_states   Kyle Masson 
ORECA LMP2 2 laps
12 P 85 switzerland  Simon Trummer 
united_states  Robert Alon 
ORECA LMP2 2 laps
13 P 54 united_states  Jon Bennett 
united_states  Colin Braun 
ORECA LMP2 2 laps
14 GTLM 912 new_zealand  Earl Bamber 
belgium  Laurens Vanthoor 
Porsche 911 RSR 7 laps
15 GTLM 25 united_states  Connor de Phillippi 
united_kingdom  Alexander Sims 
BMW M8 GTE 7 laps
16 GTLM 3 denmark  Jan Magnussen 
spain  Antonio Garcia 
Corvette C7.R 7 laps
17 GTLM 66 united_states  Joey Hand 
germany  Dirk Müller 
Ford GT 7 laps
18 GTLM 67 australia  Ryan Briscoe 
united_kingdom  Richard Westbrook 
Ford GT 7 laps
19 GTLM 911 united_kingdom  Nick Tandy 
france  Patrick Pilet 
Porsche 911 RSR 7 laps
20 GTLM 24 united_states  John Edwards 
finland  Jesse Krohn 
BMW M8 GTE 7 laps
21 GTLM 4 united_kingdom  Oliver Gavin 
united_states  Tommy Milner 
Corvette C7.R 7 laps
22 GTD 14 canada  Kyle Marcelli 
austria  Dominik Baumann 
Lexus RC F GT3 9 laps
23 GTD 86 portugal  Alvaro Parente 
united_kingdom  Katherine Legge 
Acura NSX GT3 9 laps
24 GTD 48 united_states  Bryan Sellers 
united_states  Madison Snow 
Lamborghini Huracan GT3 9 laps
25 GTD 15 denmark  David Heinemeier Hansson
united_kingdom  Jack Hawksworth 
Lexus RC F GT3 9 laps
26 GTD 93 united_states  Justin Marks 
united_states  Lawson Aschenbach 
Acura NSX GT3 9 laps
27 GTD 96 united_states  Bill Auberlen 
united_states  Dillon Machavern 
BMW M6 GT3 10 laps
28 GTD 58 united_states  Patrick Long 
denmark  Christina Nielsen 
Porsche 911 GT3 R 10 laps
29 GTD 63 united_states  Cooper MacNeil 
italy  Alessandro Balzan 
Ferrari 488 GT3 10 laps
30 GTD 33 netherlands  Jeroen Bleekemolen 
united_states  Ben Keating 
Mercedes-AMG GT3 10 laps
31 GTD 44 united_states  Andy Lally 
united_states  John Potter 
Audi R8 LMS GT3 10 laps
32 GTD 16 germany  Wolf Henzler 
united_states  Michael Schein 
Porsche 911 GT3 R 12 laps
33 GTD 75 australia  Kenny Habul 
germany  Maro Engel 
Mercedes-AMG GT3 26 laps
Ret P 55 united_states  Spencer Pigot 
united_states  Jonathan Bomarito 
Mazda DPi 52 laps
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About this article

Series IMSA
Event Mid-Ohio
Location Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Ricky Taylor
Teams Team Penske
Author David Malsher
Article type Race report