Austin WEC: Rebellion eases to dominant victory
Rebellion Racing took a dominant second victory of the FIA World Endurance Championship season at the Circuit of the Americas, easily beating Toyota's more severely handicapped cars.
Gustavo Menezes, Bruno Senna and Norman Nato had a trouble-free run in the polesitting #1 Rebellion R-13, taking advantage of being slowed only by 0.55 seconds a lap under the system of LMP1 success handicaps introduced for the 2019/20 season.
The more lightly-penalised of the two Toyota TS050 Hybrids, the #8 car shared by Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Brendon Hartley, was powerless to challenge the Rebellion, with Buemi dropping back to the tune of 23s in the opening hour.
In the end, Hartley brought the car home 51s down on the Rebellion, which scored only its second on-the-road outright WEC win following its first triumph last year in Shanghai.
Points leaders Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi took the final podium spot in the #7 Toyota which was slowed by 2.77s a lap, versus 2.21s for the sister #8 car, albeit a full two laps down on the winning car.
LMP2: United Autosports takes back-to-back wins
Paul di Resta, Filipe Albuquerque and Phil Hanson delivered a second win in a row for the United Autosports squad, backing up their first WEC victory in Bahrain.
It was a win that had seemed unlikely in the early stages when di Resta dropped down the order, prompting an early changeover to Hanson that put the team off-sequence.
But consistent pace from all three drivers steadily put the United Oreca back into contention, and by the time di Resta brought the car in for a splash-and-dash with 20 minutes to go the #22 car was 1m20s up on its nearest rival, the #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca.
Ex-Formula 1 driver di Resta ultimately brought the car home by 24s ahead of the car shared by Will Stevens, Ho-Pin Tung and Gabriel Aubry, which was delayed early on when Stevens was punted into a spin by the Racing Team Nederland car of Frits van Eerd.
JOTA Sport's #38 Oreca of Anthony Davidson, Antonio Felix da Costa and Roberto Gonzalez finished third, while a late battle for fourth between Nicolas Lapierre's pole-winning Cool Racing car and Nyck de Vries in the RTN entry went the way of Lapierre.
The Signatech Alpine Oreca lost two laps with a brake failure in the second hour, ultimately finishing sixth in class, while the one-off DragonSpeed entry was dropped to ninth and last in class by a brake problem with just 10 minutes remaining.
GTE: Aston Martin's #95 crew victorious again
Aston Martin's championship-leading #95 crew of Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen secured their third victory of the season in dominant fashion.
Thiim was able to establish a buffer out front in the opening stint, and resisted a late charge from the #92 Porsche of Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre, which finished only 4s in arrears.
Alex Lynn and Maxime Martin had run second in the #97 Vantage for much of the race, but Martin dropped behind Estre in the penultimate hour before Lynn conceded a position to the #51 Ferrari of James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi in the final half hour, finishing fourth.
The second Porsche 911 RSR-19 of Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz was in the mix for a podium finish as well before a battery problem caused the #91 car to stop on track with just over an hour to go, dropping the pair to seventh and last in class behind the solo Corvette C8.R.
Aston Martin took a double victory in the GTE ranks as the #90 TF Sport entry of Charlie Eastwood, Salih Yoluc and Jonathan Adam scored a third Am win in four races.
The TF car battled the works Am Aston for much of the race, and a faster final stop catapulted the #98 machine of Paul Dalla Lana, Ross Gunn and Darren Turner ahead with an hour to go.
But Eastwood subsequently caught Gunn and passed with just over 20 minutes to run, pulling away to win by just over three seconds.
The #57 Project 1 Porsche of Egidio Perfetti, Matteo Cairoli and newcomer Laurents Horr - replacing David Heinemeier Hansson for the remainder of the season - took third ahead of the AF Corse Ferrari of Francois Perrodo, Nicklas Nielsen and Emmanuel Collard.
Bahrain winners Ben Keating and Jeroen Bleekemolen, joined again by Felipe Fraga at COTA, finished 11th and last in class after losing 20 minutes due to a gearbox problem.
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