Track break-up blights Petit Le Mans at half-distance

At the 3hr15min mark, Road Atlanta's surface started breaking up badly at Turn 3, and an hour after that, repairs were deemed necessary, putting the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar field under caution for a further 64 minutes.

Track break-up blights Petit Le Mans at half-distance

The first track inspection coincided with Frederic Makowiecki ramming his GTLM Porsche into the rear of GTD leader Andy Lally in the Magnus Racing Audi and the full-course yellow that followed inevitably triggered a round of pitstops.

Yellow-flag pitstops were less than ideal for Michael Shank Racing as the Ligier-Honda’s lead was eradicated, and it’s ongoing problem at the left-rear was losing the team 15sec at each stop. So the order emerged from the pits as the Action Express Racing Corvette DPs in first and third, split by the similar car of Wayne Taylor Racing. Jordan Taylor took full advantage of leader Eric Curran’s caution when the race resumed with 6h30m to go, and went into the lead, Joao Barbosa following suit to demote his AXR teammate to third. Two laps later, the championship leaders were down to fourth as Ozz Negri, now in the #60 Ligier, claimed third place, and not long after, Joel Miller sent the #70 Mazda past Curran to grab fourth.

But when everyone then went back in to top off following the next stops, Action Express again worked miracles, to claim a 1-2, Barbosa ahead of Curran, followed by Max Angelelli in the Wayne Taylor car, Negri fourth, Long fifth and Johannes van Overbeek sixth in the ESM Racing Ligier.

That initial yellow-flag pitstop at the 3h15m mark worked wonders for Corvette Racing, as Oliver Gavin emerged with the GT Le Mans class lead in the #4 Corvette C7.R, ahead of Toni Vilander in the Risi Ferrari, Dirk Muller in the #66 Ford, Alessandro Pier Guidi in the Scuderia Corsa Ferrari, the #911 Porsche, and the BMW pair.

However, the next stop, prior to the long yellow, allowed Risi to sneak Vilander back in front of the class, followed by Marcel Fassler in the Corvette, Richard Lietz in the #911 Porsche, Sebastien Bourdais #66 Ford GT, Pier Guidi in the Scuderia Corsa Ferrari and Augusto Farfus in the #25 BMW M6.

In GT Daytona, the #44 Magnus Audi appeared unaffected by its assault from the GTLM Porsche and Marco Seefried would resume the race   leading the class ahead of Mario Farnbacher’s Alex Job Racing Porsche, the Scuderia Corsa Ferrari of Jeff Segal, and the Turner Motorsports BMW M6s of Markus Palttala and Ashley Freiberg.

Prototype Challenge remained the domain of PR1/Mathiasen and Performance Tech, who restarted just past the halfway mark with Robert Alon leading James French.

 

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