Mid-Ohio IMSA: Montoya, Cameron win for Acura Team Penske

Acura Team Penske pair Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron scored their first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship win together at Mid-Ohio, ending a one-year victory drought for Acura.

Mid-Ohio IMSA: Montoya, Cameron win for Acura Team Penske
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At the start, Helio Castroneves in the #7 Acura looked pre-emptive from second on the grid, had to get off the throttle to allow the pole-sitting Mazda RT24-P of Oliver Jarvis to pull abreast, and then saw Acura teammate Cameron whiz past on his inside to take second.

Castroneves ran wide at Turn 4 and was passed by Pipo Derani in the #31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R but then Ryan Hunter-Reay in the second Mazda was half-spun by Castroneves as the Brazilian rejoined the track, yet somehow kept the #55 car under control.

Castroneves picked up heavy front-right fender damage as a result of the collision with the Mazda but the bodywork eventually tore itself away in the airflow.

At the start of Lap 8, Jarvis lost momentum behind GT cars and Cameron pounced, bravely running alongside Jarvis through Turn 1 and taking the lead before they reached Turn 2.

The recovering Mazda of Hunter-Reay had picked off both Joao Barbosa in the #5 AXR Caddy and Derani to move into third, but was already 15sec behind Cameron, in turn 5sec clear of Jarvis.

Jarvis stopped on Lap 28 and stayed onboard, while Cameron pulled in the following lap, handing over the #6 Acura to Montoya. When Castroneves stopped the #7 car, he handed over to Ricky Taylor and Team Penske fitted a new nose but the lack of front-end fender would ensure the car remained aerodynamically compromised.

Hunter-Reay would remain onboard for a second stint when he pitted the #55 Mazda on Lap 31.

Following these first stops, Jarvis was running second, 4.7sec behind the lead Acura of Montoya. Behind them Hunter-Reay lost third to Derani, who had stopped a lap earlier and had warmer tires. Filipe Albuquerque, now piloting the #5 AXR Cadillac, was fighting hard with Taylor’s Acura.

On Lap 34, as Montoya got caught in GT traffic, Jarvis passed him down the front straight, and five laps later Hunter-Reay further improved Mazda’s fortunes, demoting Derani to fourth place with a beautiful pass around the outside of Turn 4.

Taylor made the damaged #7 Acura’s second stop on Lap 58 to emerge in ninth, and two laps later Jarvis pitted with a 2.5sec lead and handed over to co-driver Tristan Nunez. When Montoya pitted for scrubbed Michelins the following lap, his was a short-fill stop and so he emerged in front by 3sec. Nunez closed that gap down but caught GT traffic from Turns 5 through 10 and fell back.

With 45mins to go, Montoya’s lead over Nunez remained around two seconds, while the #55 Mazda was 40sec back, six seconds clear of Nasr’s Cadillac and now with Jonathan Bomarito driving.

That triggered the final round of pitstops, Montoya’s lead over Nunez extending to five seconds, but this was nullified when the full-course caution was thrown after Colin Braun dropped the Nissan DPi in the sand-trap at Turn 4.

Montoya made a brilliant restart and disappeared from Nunez, who now had teammate Bomarito only 3sec behind. However, as Nunez gave vain chase to the Acura, he was able to pull out a 9sec advantage over his teammate.

Nasr closed on Bomarito in the closing stages as the latter was having to save fuel, having stopped earlier than the cars in front. But when Nasr started to edge past the #55 Mazda on the front straight he received a drive-through penalty, as the static yellow was being waved for a spun GTD car at Turn 1.

Bomarito then slowed dramatically but got back up to speed to claim third place. Nasr emerged from his enforced stop to claim fourth, while the second Acura finished one lap down in fifth, Taylor just holding off his brother Jordan in the strangely off-the-pace Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac.

Matt McMurry and Eric Lux - standing in for Gabriel Aubry, who was on WEC duty at Spa - won LMP2 for PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports.

GTLM: Porsche beats Corvette

The #912 Porsche of Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor jumped ahead of the #3 Corvette following a pitstop and then pulled away to win.

The #912 Porsche of Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor jumped ahead of the #3 Corvette following a pitstop and then pulled away to win.

Photo by: Jake Galstad / LAT Images

After Patrick Pilet’s #911 Porsche 911 RSR was given a drive-through penalty for a jumped start, Tommy Milner’s #4 Corvette C7.R pushed the polesitting Ford GT of Sebastien Bourdais down to second on the fourth lap, with Laurens Vanthoor’s #912 Porsche 911 RSR in third.

A long early stop for the #66 Ford as Bourdais handed over to Dirk Muller dropped it down to sixth in class. Once everyone had stopped, it was the #3 Corvette, with Antonio Garcia at the wheel, that led by 6sec as Earl Bamber in the #912 Porsche struggled to hold off Milner.

Just past the one-hour mark, the #4 Corvette suddenly slowed, and trickled round to the pits and went behind the wall before emerging 11 laps down. That moved the #25 BMW with Tom Blomqvist at the wheel into third, 10sec ahead of Nick Tandy in the recovering #911 Porsche.

With little more than an hour to go, Porsche’s fortunes got a boost as Bamber drew to within half a second of Garcia’s Corvette, while Tandy was barely a second behind Blomqvist’s BMW.

Tandy and the #24 BMW of John Edwards then made their second scheduled stops on Lap 70, Garcia and Blomqvist halting the following lap, and Bamber pitting on Lap 73.

By the time the pitstops had finished, Bamber was over 10sec clear of Garcia, while Tandy moved past Blomqvist into P3 at Turn 2 with 50mins to go.

The next significant order change came when Muller’s #66 Ford had to pit when damage it had acquired early in the race caused the bodywork to fall onto its left-rear tire, causing a huge amount of smoke on right-hand turns.

The restart saw Blomqvist pass Tandy for third place, with the Corvette of Garcia in second falling back from Bamber, but at Turn 4 two laps later, Tandy pushed and elbowed his way past the BMW with his inside tires on the grass to claim the final podium position.

Bamber reeled off the closing laps with ease, crossing the line 2.3sec ahead of Garcia, while 1.4sec further back the battling Tandy and Blomqvist finished only six tenths apart.

Westbrook was fifth for Ford ahead of Edwards’ BMW, with Muller coming home a lap down in seventh after his repairs.

GTD: AIM Lexus gets first win

Richard Heistand and Jack Hawksworth scored the first win for the AIM Vasser-Sullivan Lexus team after a tough battle with MSR Acura.

Richard Heistand and Jack Hawksworth scored the first win for the AIM Vasser-Sullivan Lexus team after a tough battle with MSR Acura.

Photo by: Jake Galstad / LAT Images

Trent Hindman moved his Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX past Richard Heistand’s pole-winning Lexus RC F of AIM Vasser-Sullivan, as Will Hardeman’s Moorespeed Audi R8, Christina Nielsen’s fast-starting MSR Acura, Frankie Montecalvo in the second Lexus and Zacharie Robichon’s Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R followed in their wake.

Hindman went 64mins before pitting for the first time, and when co-driver Mario Farnbacher took over he was able to resume in front, 7.5sec ahead of Jack Hawksworth in the #14 Lexus. Scott Hargrove had the Pfaff Porsche into third ahead of Bryan Sellers in the Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini, Katherine Legge in the second MSR Acura and Townsend Bell in the other AVS Lexus.

On Lap 66 the order changed when Legge fell off at Turn 10 while under pressure from Bell, and dropped to eighth. Soon, Legge ground to a halt briefly on course, but avoided causing a full-course caution when she got going.

After the restart with little more than 20mins to go, Hawksworth got ahead of Farnbacher and into the lead, although he couldn’t escape the attentions of the MSR Acura.

Hargove spun the Pfaff Porsche out of third and into the sandtrap at Turn 1 with 7mins remaining, elevating the PMR Lamborghini into third ahead of Pat Long’s Park Place Porsche which had muscled by Bell at the penultimate corner.

Despite Farnbacher’s best efforts, he couldn’t prise the lead from Hawksworth’s hands and finished 0.6sec behind, almost replicating the Lexus vs Acura battle at the same place the previous year.

Sellers, Long and Bell completed the top five, albeit some 20sec off the lead tussle.

Race results:

Cla Class Num Driver Chassis Laps Gap
1 DPi 6 United States Dane Cameron
Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya
Acura DPi 123  
2 DPi 77 United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis
United States Tristan Nunez
Mazda DPi 123 2.022
3 DPi 55 United States Jonathan Bomarito
United States Ryan Hunter-Reay
Mazda DPi 123 30.050
4 DPi 31 Brazil Felipe Nasr
Brazil Pipo Derani
Cadillac DPi 123 39.114
5 DPi 7 Brazil Helio Castroneves
United States Ricky Taylor
Acura DPi 122 1 Lap
6 DPi 10 Netherlands Renger van der Zande
United States Jordan Taylor
Cadillac DPi 122 1 Lap
7 DPi 84 Switzerland Simon Trummer
South Africa Stephen Simpson
Cadillac DPi 122 1 Lap
8 DPi 5 Portugal Joao Barbosa
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
Cadillac DPi 122 1 Lap
9 DPi 50 Will Owen
United States Kyle Kaiser
Cadillac DPi 122 1 Lap
10 DPi 85 Canada Mikhail Goikhberg
France Tristan Vautier
Cadillac DPi 122 1 Lap
11 LMP2 52 United States Matt McMurry
Eric Lux
ORECA LMP2 116 7 Laps
12 GTLM 912 New Zealand Earl Bamber
Belgium Laurens Vanthoor
Porsche 911 RSR 116 7 Laps
13 GTLM 3 Denmark Jan Magnussen
Spain Antonio Garcia
Corvette C7.R 116 7 Laps
14 GTLM 911 France Patrick Pilet
United Kingdom Nick Tandy
Porsche 911 RSR 116 7 Laps
15 GTLM 25 United Kingdom Tom Blomqvist
United States Connor de Phillippi
BMW M8 GTE 116 7 Laps
16 GTLM 67 Australia Ryan Briscoe
United Kingdom Richard Westbrook
Ford GT 116 7 Laps
17 GTLM 24 Finland Jesse Krohn
United States John Edwards
BMW M8 GTE 116 7 Laps
18 GTLM 66 France Sébastien Bourdais
Germany Dirk Muller
Ford GT 115 8 Laps
19 GTD 14 Richard Heistand
United Kingdom Jack Hawksworth
Lexus RC F GT3 114 9 Laps
20 GTD 86 Germany Mario Farnbacher
United States Trent Hindman
Acura NSX GT3 114 9 Laps
21 GTD 48 United States Bryan Sellers
United States Ryan Hardwick
Lamborghini Huracan GT3 113 10 Laps
22 GTD 73 United States Patrick Long
Germany Marco Seefried
Porsche 911 GT3 R 113 10 Laps
23 GTD 12 United States Frankie Montecalvo
United States Townsend Bell
Lexus RC F GT3 113 10 Laps
24 GTD 19 United States Will Hardeman
Spain Alex Riberas
Audi R8 LMS GT3 113 10 Laps
25 GTD 63 United States Cooper MacNeil
Finland Toni Vilander
Ferrari 488 GT3 112 11 Laps
26 GTD 44 United States John Potter
United States Andy Lally
Lamborghini Huracan GT3 112 11 Laps
27 GTD 8 United States Parker Chase
United Kingdom Ryan Dalziel
Audi R8 LMS GT3 112 11 Laps
28 GTD 57 United Kingdom Katherine Legge
Denmark Christina Nielsen
Acura NSX GT3 112 11 Laps
29 GTD 74 United States Gar Robinson
United States Lawson Aschenbach
Mercedes-AMG 112 11 Laps
30 GTD 9 Canada Scott Hargrove
Canada Zacharie Robichon
Porsche 911 GT3 R 107 16 Laps
31 GTLM 4 United Kingdom Oliver Gavin
United States Tommy Milner
Corvette C7.R 105 18 Laps
32 DPi 54 United States Jon Bennett
United States Colin Braun
Nissan DPi 97 26 Laps
33 GTD 76 Paul Holton
Matt Plumb
McLaren 720S GT3 82 41 Laps
34 LMP2 38 United States Kyle Masson
Canada Cameron Cassels
ORECA LMP2 82 41 Laps
35 GTD 33 United States Ben Keating
Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen
Mercedes-AMG GT3 34 89 Laps
36 GTD 96 United States Bill Auberlen
United States Robby Foley
BMW M6 GT3 1 122 Laps
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