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Maximum Attack, Full Risk for the No. 01 Cadillac DPi at CTMP
Braun and Bennett Win Again in Canada

 
July 3, 2022
By John Oreovicz
IMSA Wire Service

 
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario – Renger van der Zande’s opportunistic run through late-race traffic produced an unexpected victory for himself and Sebastien Bourdais Sunday in the Chevrolet Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.

 
Van der Zande guided the No. 01 Cadillac V Performance Academy Cadillac past Oliver Jarvis in the leading No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Acura DPi with 10 minutes remaining in the 2-hour, 40-minute event when Jarvis was inadvertently blocked in Turn 3 by a GT Daytona Pro (GTD PRO) competitor. Once in front, van der Zande pulled away to win by 3.509 seconds to claim the third victory of the season for the No. 01 Cadillac.

 
The victory, which was the 10th in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition for Bourdais and the 17th for van der Zande, came as a surprise to both veteran drivers.

 
Bourdais qualified the No. 01 Cadillac fifth fastest, and the experienced Frenchman admitted that he struggled to come to grips with the fast and tricky CTMP circuit on his first visit. Then both drivers grappled with what they described as an intermittent and unpredictable problem with the Cadillac’s power steering.

 
“This race wasn’t going to be ours,” said van der Zande, who completed 123 laps of the 11-turn, 2.459-mile road course located 60 miles northeast of Toronto. “We changed the car around completely after the warm-up practice this morning and didn’t know what to expect. The changes worked, but the power steering failed, and that was the toughest part of today.

 
“I knew I needed traffic to get by, so it was maximum attack, full risk,” he added. “I thought, ‘This is the time to go,’ and it worked.”

 
Bourdais deferred to van der Zande when he was asked to place the decal signifying a WeatherTech Championship race win onto the victorious Cadillac after the race.

 
“That was all him,” Bourdais remarked. “With the massive power steering issues, I was barely hanging on and I have no idea how he put that thing up there to fight those guys. He obviously reads traffic super-well, and when he gets all wound up with emotions, he uses that anger in a positive way. He really made it work today, and it was very impressive.”

 
Blomqvist and Jarvis finished second for the fifth consecutive IMSA race, a streak dating to the event at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in mid-May. Consolation came in the form of regaining the WeatherTech Championship DPi points lead over the No. 10 Konica Minolta Racing Acura shared by Filipe Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor, which finished sixth at CTMP.

 
The No 60 Acura duo now lead the No. 10 pairing by 56 points after arriving in Canada trailing by 17. Bourdais and van der Zande moved up to third in the standings, 148 points off the lead.

 
“Our race car was very difficult to drive and we really struggled a lot in traffic,” Blomqvist said. “We learned some lessons and know we can achieve performance over a single lap. But this hurts a lot, and everyone is heartbroken because we believe we should have won that one.”

 
Pipo Derani and Olivier Pla completed the podium by finishing third in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac.
Braun and Bennett Win Again in Canada

 
Jon Bennett and Colin Braun seem unbeatable at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

 
“I just really enjoy this place,” Braun said. “It’s one of my favorite tracks, and things just kind of seem to flow our way when we come here.”

 
That proved to be the case again this year, as the duo combined to claim the Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3) class victory in the No. 54 CORE autosport Ligier. It was their fifth IMSA win at the Canadian facility.

 
The No. 36 Andretti Autosport Ligier JS P320 shared by Jarett Andretti and Gabby Chaves was fastest in qualifying, and the No. 74 Riley Motorsports Ligier manned by Gar Robinson and Scott Andrews led for the first 90 minutes of the 2-hour, 40-minute race.

 
But the Andretti car was delayed in the pits, and the No. 74 suffered a crash, leaving Bennett and Braun an uncontested run to the finish. They won by 2.753 seconds over Andretti and Chaves, with Ari Balogh and Garrett Grist taking third in the No. 30 Jr III Motorsports Ligier.

 
“Jeff Braun, our race engineer, really set up a fast car, and I ran a clean stint,” said Bennett. “Then Colin was just a rocket.”

 
“A great day,” Braun added. “I’m really proud of those CORE autosport guys. We had great pit stops and a fast car, obviously. Jon did a great job in that opening stint.”

 
The next round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for prototype classes (DPi, LMP2, LMP3) is the IMSA Sports Car Weekend at Road America, August 4-7. The GT classes are in action at Lime Rock Park July 15-16 for the FCP Euro Northeast Grand Prix.
Plaid Power: Pfaff Porsche Scores GTD PRO Win on Home Soil
No. 27 Aston Martin Capitalizes to Capture Second Straight GTD Win

 
July 3, 2022
By Jeff Olson & Mark Robinson
IMSA Wire Service

 
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario – The plaid Pfaff Porsche finished the race where it started – at the head of the class.
 
In the Canadian team’s return to its home track, Pfaff Motorsports extended its points lead in GTD PRO with a nearly perfect flag-to-flag victory by Mathieu Jaminet and Matt Campbell in the No. 9 Porsche 911 GT3R.
 
Jaminet, who won the Motul Pole Award on Saturday, started Sunday’s Chevrolet Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park up front. He surrendered the lead briefly with 1 hour 6 minutes left in the two-hour 40-minute race when he pitted after a 53-lap stint. Not long after, the No. 9 Porsche was back in front. 
 
“It’s extremely special,” Campbell said. “To come away with a victory like that is super special. (The team) put so much effort and work into this one race. We’ve had so many supporters and fans here this weekend. It’s been fantastic to see.” 
 
After Jaminet’s stop, Campbell took over and brought the No. 9 to the line 1.434 seconds ahead of the No. 3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C8.R GTD co-driven by Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia.
 
While it may have looked simple, Jaminet said, it was anything but.
 
“It wasn’t easy, not at all,” he said. “Luckily it worked out. Starting up front was one of the keys today. Amazing job from the boys.”
 
Jaminet, Campbell and the Pfaff crew never faltered, even as the No. 3 Corvette and the No. 23 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 co-driven by Alex Riberas and Ross Gunn challenged valiantly. At times midway through the race, the three cars were separated by less than a second.
 
“It was tough,” Jaminet said. “The car was hard to drive, but in the end, we managed to keep everybody behind.”
 
After Campbell replaced Jaminet, Ben Barnicoat, who was off pit sequence in the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3, led the GTD PRO class. When Barnicoat pitted under caution with 59 minutes left, Campbell regained the lead for the No. 9, then held off Garcia’s attempts to pass him.
 
“I could see he was pushing all the time, and I could see where he was starting to look at places if he was close on the restarts and such,” Campbell said. “I could see where the car was strong, but I always wanted to make sure I had a little bit of a buffer and gap going into those places.
 
“I was just trying to manage the tires. It wasn’t easy up there to be able to keep him off, especially at the end of the race, but we got there in the end.”
No. 27 Aston Martin Capitalizes to Capture Second Straight GTD Win
 
For Roman De Angelis, Maxime Martin and the No. 27 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3, the first sign things were going their way came in Turn 1 on the opening lap.

 
That’s when the pole-sitting GT Daytona (GTD) No. 12 Lexus RC F GT3 was collected by the spinning No. 33 Sean Creech Motorsport Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3). The Lexus sustained significant damage, forcing lengthy repairs that ended in a last-place finish in the GTD class.

 
The No. 12’s misfortune opened the door for De Angelis, Martin and the No. 27 Aston Martin that started second in class to forge ahead and win the GTD race. But not without drama. Martin had Philip Ellis in the No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 on his bumper over the final hour, the margin of victory but 0.493 seconds.

 
“It was very tough. The Mercedes was quite big in my mirrors, for sure,” Martin said after the Belgian took home the third win of his IMSA career. “At the end, it was really close. The Mercedes behind was so fast, but a win is a win; we’ll take it. It’s fantastic for the whole team.”

 
Ellis, racing for the first time at CTMP, gave it his all but couldn’t find a way past the Aston Martin.

 
“It’s a very flowing track but as it’s so flowing it’s super hard to overtake as well,” Ellis said. “I feel like I could have had a little bit of pace on the Aston in front. I wasn’t really close enough to put a dive on him or make a move on him, so I basically had to wait and try to pressure him into a mistake, but Maxime never did. Have to be happy with P2 this time.”

 
The No. 27’s win gives the team back-to-back victories on consecutive weekends following their June 26 triumph in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. Sunday’s race awarded points only for the IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup and not the overall season championship, but it didn’t lessen the sweetness for De Angelis and Martin.

 
“Definitely special to win here,” said De Angelis, a five-time WeatherTech Championship race winner who hails from Windsor, Ontario, and considers CTMP and Detroit his home tracks. “I’ve done a lot of racing here in the past but obviously to win here in Canada the first time back with IMSA is pretty special. Amazing job by the team, amazing job by my teammate and good strategy all weekend.

 
“We’ve had a good string of results after some bad ones in the beginning, so definitely clawing our way back. We’ve had two really strong tracks that we knew we’d be competitive at, so we tried to take advantage of it."

 
The GT classes are in action at Lime Rock Park July 15-16 for the FCP Euro Northeast Grand Prix.

 


 
Additional results are available at results.imsa.com.

Post-Race Nuggets


 

DPi

No. 01 Cadillac Racing

·     64th career win

·     Third win of 2022 for #01

·     Fourth win of 2022 for Cadillac Racing (CGR)

·     Third win at CTMP

·     First prototype win at CTMP

 

Sebastien Bourdais

·     10th career win

·     Third win of 2022

·     First win at CTMP in first start at the track

 

Renger van der Zande

·     18th career win

·     Third win of 2022

·     First win at CTMP

 

LMP3

#54 CORE autosport

·     44th career win

·     Second win of 2022

·     Seventh win at CTMP

 

Colin Braun

·     22nd career win

·     Second win of 2022

·     Fifth win at CTMP

 

Jon Bennett

·     20th career win

·     Second win of 2022

·     Fifth win at CTMP

 

GTD PRO

No. 9 Pfaff Racing

·     Ninth career win

·     Third win of 2022, most of all cars

·     First win at CTMP, at the team’s home track

 

Matt Campbell

·     Eighth career win

·     Third win of 2022

·     First win at CTMP in first start at the track

 

Mathieu Jaminet

·     Fifth career win

·     Third win of 2022

·     First win at CTMP in first start at the track

 

GTD

No. 27 Heart of Racing Team

·     Sixth career win

·     Fourth career GTD win

·     Second GTD win of 2022

·     Won the last two races of 2022

·     First win at CTMP

 

Roman De Angelis

·     Fifth career win

·     Second win of 2022

·     First win at CTMP in first start at the track

 

Maxime Martin

·     Third career win

·     Second win of 2022

·     First win at CTMP

 

 

 

Kasemets Puts in Masterful Drive to Win IMSA Prototype Challenge Race at CTMP

The Wulver Racing Veteran Holds off the ‘Young Guns’ on a Late Restart

 
July 3, 2022
By Mark Robinson
IMSA Wire Service
 
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario – Tonis Kasemets showed he had the measure of the IMSA Prototype Challenge field at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on Sunday. Twice.

 
The Estonian dominated the first hour at CTMP, then fended off a late challenge following the only full-course caution of the 90-minute race for Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3) cars. He won for the second straight time this season and extended his championship lead.

 
Starting from the pole position, Kasemets steadily pulled away from the pack in the No. 60 Wulver Racing Ligier JS P320, building a cushion of more than 50 seconds as the race ran under green-flag conditions. Until, that is, Danny Formal slid off track in Turn 5 in the No. 46 CT Motorsports Duqueine D08 with just under 25 minutes remaining to bring out the only yellow of the race on the 2.459-mile, 10-turn road course.

 
Racing restarted with 13 minutes to go, and soon after, Parker Thompson (No. 14 Sean Creech Motorsport Ligier) and Patrick Kujala (No. 77 O’Gara Motorsport/Change Racing/US RaceTronics Ligier) maneuvered through lapped traffic and were hot on Kasemets’ tail. Both contenders closed within a half-second of the leader until Kasemets responded.

 
He stretched the gap to more than two seconds before easing off on the final lap and crossing the finish line 0.512 seconds up on Thompson, who shared the No. 14 with Lance Willsey.

 
“The young guns, the future stars, it’s hard to keep them behind but I used everything I had in my book and did what I could,” Kasemets said. “It was tough.”

 
The 48-year-old race winner was one of only three solo driver entries in the race. Knowing the demands of CTMP, Kasemets worked on his endurance by going cross-country skiing in the interim between the last Prototype Challenge race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in May and this weekend’s event.

 
“We were slightly behind because we did not test here,” Kasemets said, “so it took us quite a lot of work to get the ride height right because it’s very demanding. Almost every corner is over 100 miles an hour. You’ve got to hold your breath and then you’ve got to learn how to breathe again. It takes everything you know.”

 
It was a remarkable recovery to second place for the No. 14 Sean Creech entry, considering the team was assessed a stop-and-go penalty for its pit stop falling 0.5 seconds shy of the minimum time. Thompson, the 24-year-old native from Red Deer, Alberta, charged back to reach the second step of the podium to the delight of the Canadian crowd.

 
“We were quick on track and we were a little (too) quick in the pits – under one second,” Thompson said. “We took that drive-through penalty, which was too bad, but kept my head down and picked them off one by one.

 
“Once I got back up on the podium after a drive-through penalty, I was fairly content,” added Thompson, racing in his homeland for the first time in three years. “Every Canadian’s dream is to stand on this podium. This is the most legendary track that we have to offer. Big shout-out to (IMSA) for getting us back to Canada; it’s awesome to be back. You see the Canadian fans; they’ve been dying to have a race.”

 
With the win, Kasemets expanded his points lead to 120. Memo Gidley and Alexander Koreiba, who finished fifth Sunday in the No. 23 AL Autosport with JDC MotorSports Duqueine, are second in points. The No. 77 of Kujala and Brian Thienes crossed the finish line in third place, but was moved to the rear of the field when post-race technical inspection revealed that the plank on the bottom of the car exceeded maximum permitted wear.

 
A recap of Sunday’s race airs at noon ET Sunday, July 10 on USA Network.

 
Two races remain on the Prototype Challenge schedule. Next up is VIRginia International Raceway from Aug. 26-28.
 

 

Warmp-up Results | WeatherTech Championship

Chevrolet Grand Prix
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park - Sunday, July 3, 2022
Jaminet Serves up Home Cookin’, Puts Pfaff Porsche on GTD PRO Pole
Montecalvo Goes Fastest in GT Daytona

 
July 2, 2022
By Jeff Olson and Mark Robinson
IMSA Wire Service

 
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario – The plaid Porsche from Canada was nearly perfect on its home track in GTD PRO qualifying for the Chevrolet Grand Prix.
 
Mathieu Jaminet recorded a lap of 1 minute, 15.468 seconds (117.300 mph) Saturday to secure the Motul Pole Award for the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship team based less than an hour away from Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in suburban Toronto.
 
“That’s the best present I can give to the boys,” Jaminet said of the Pfaff crew. “They’ve been working hard the last two days to make it happen and improve the car. Even after (practice), we weren’t really sure what we had. But they put together a really good setup to make it better.”
 
Jaminet will start 13th overall in Sunday’s two-hour, 40-minute race. He’ll co-drive the fan-favorite Porsche with Matt Campbell after Jaminet’s pole-winning effort added another 35 points to their class-leading total.
 
It’s the first time the WeatherTech Championship has raced at CTMP since 2019 and the first Jaminet and Campbell time will race at the track, so they used videos of past performances to acquaint themselves with the 10-turn, 2.459-mile layout. 
 
“This was pretty much it for our preparation,” said Jaminet, who was able to test recently at CTMP. “We also watched the last IMSA race there on TV. We’ll see tomorrow. We’ve already seen in practice (that) traffic is difficult with the (prototypes). Let’s see how it plays out, for sure we’ll have to be careful in traffic.”
 
Alex Riberas posted the second-fastest lap in GTD PRO – 1:15.890 (116.647 mph) – in the No. 23 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 he co-drives with Ross Gunn. John Edwards moved up to third late in the 15-minute session with a lap of 1:15.899 (116.633 mph) in the No. 25 BMW M Team RLL BMW M4 GT3 he shares with Connor De Phillippi.
Montecalvo’s Love Grows for CTMP Following GTD Pole Run

 
Frankie Montecalvo has a long-term love affair with Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. No wonder. He’s finished on the podium in each of his three previous IMSA races at the track, though he has yet to stand on the top step.

 
Montecalvo put himself and co-driver Aaron Telitz in prime position to get that elusive CTMP win by rolling to the Motul Pole Award in GT Daytona (GTD) qualifying. Driving the No. 12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3, Montecalvo sped around the 2.459-mile circuit in 1:15.633 (117.044 mph), enough to earn the top starting spot in class while also being second fastest among all GT cars.

 
“This is a track that I really love,” Montecalvo said after collecting his third career pole position. “It was my first podium in pro racing. To come here and put the car up front with the team is great.”

 
Montecalvo finished third in the Prototype Challenge class in his CTMP debut in 2010 and followed it the next year with a second-place result in the same class. He didn’t return to the track until 2019, when he and Townsend Bell placed third in GTD in a Vasser Sullivan Lexus. CTMP clearly suits his style.

 
“I just love the high-speed corners and it’s just really flowing,” Montecalvo said. “Everything is timing here – (you’re) very light on the brakes and just trying to carry as much speed as possible.

 
“It’s just a fast, flowing track. A lot of risk but when you get the corner right, it’s a lot of reward. It’s probably my favorite North American track.”

 
On Sunday, he’ll seek his first win at the track, first win with co-driver Aaron Telitz and second WeatherTech Championship career victory.

 
“We have a phenomenal car and a great team behind us,” Montecalvo said. “We’ve just been a little unlucky at some of the events. Hopefully, we’ll have some luck on our side. We have the pace.”

 
Roman De Angelis qualified second in GTD with a lap of 1:15.975 (116.517 mph) in the No. 27 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3. Madison Snow took third in the No. 1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3 (1:16.004/116.472 mph).

 
Sunday’s GTD race counts toward the IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup and not for the overall season championship. Snow, Sellers and the No. 1 BMW lead the Sprint Cup standings, now by 138 points over Bill Auberlen, Robby Foley and the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW. Montecalvo and the No. 12 Lexus are in third, 183 points from the lead.

 
Sunday’s race airs live at 3 p.m. ET on NBC.

 

Qualifying Results | WeatherTech Championship
Chevrolet Grand Prix
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park - Saturday, July 2, 2022
 
Practice Results | WeatherTech Championship
Chevrolet Grand Prix
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park - Saturday, July 2, 2022

 
Additional results are available at results.imsa.com.
History-Making Lap Propels Blomqvist, No. 60 Acura to CTMP Pole
It’s the Fastest Qualifying Lap Ever in the WeatherTech Championship; Robinson, No. 74 Riley Ligier Take LMP3 Pole

 
July 2, 2022
By John Oreovicz
IMSA Wire Service
 
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario – Tom Blomqvist and Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian teammate Oliver Jarvis are tired of losing out to “the other Acura.”

 
Blomqvist and Jarvis have engaged their No. 60 Acura ARX-05 DPi in a compelling Daytona Prototype international (DPi) battle with the No. 10 Konica Minolta Racing Acura and drivers Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque for honors in the top class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

 
The No. 60 won the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona and is riding a streak of four consecutive second-place finishes. Meanwhile, the No. 10 swept to victory in three of the last four races to seize a 17-point advantage over the No. 60 following its most recent triumph in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen a week ago.

 
Blomqvist reduced that deficit to 14 points Saturday by earning the Motul Pole Award for the Chevrolet Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park with the fastest lap in WeatherTech Championship history. Blomqvist hustled the No. 60 Acura around the iconic 2.459-mile, 10-corner road course in 1 minute, 4.394 seconds for an average speed of 137.472 mph. The fastest previous lap, ironically, was set by Blomqvist’s current teammate Jarvis in 2019 at Daytona International Speedway (136.792 mph).

 
That’s hauling the mail.

 
“When you’re in the car, it feels fast. This track is insane,” said Blomqvist, a 29-year-old Brit. “The high speed and bumpy nature of this track has made it really, really difficult for us out there, especially the super-fast corners out there like Turns 1 and 2.

 
“I wasn’t confident we could get the job done over the No. 10, to be honest,” he continued. “It was more a case of just putting common sense out the window and just going for it, because that was a proper wild ride. I had a few moments I thought I wasn’t going to make it back to the pits. Thankfully, I did, and thankful for the pole position. But we have some work to do overnight to give ourselves a car we can feel comfortable with tomorrow.”

 
Taylor set the early pace in the No. 10 Acura, turning two laps that beat the existing CTMP lap record of 1:05.452 established by Colin Braun in 2019. Taylor ultimately logged a 1:04.462 lap (137.327 mph) to secure the outside front-row starting spot and second-fastest qualifying lap in series history.

 
Tristan Vautier qualified a season-best third in the No. 5 JDC-Miller MotorSports Cadillac DPi-V.R (1:04.895/136.411 mph), with Alex Lynn fourth in the No. 02 Cadillac Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R (1:05.082/136.019 mph). All six DPi entries qualified under the existing track record.

 
Blomqvist admitted that he and Jarvis were frustrated after pacing practice and qualifying at Watkins Glen, only to lose the race to Albuquerque in traffic in the final 20 minutes. They hope to use that frustration as fuel to propel them into the final three DPi races of the 2022 campaign.

 
“Last weekend still hurts, and we’ve used a bit of that anger to kind of spur us on this weekend,” Blomqvist said. “We need to do the best job we can do and hopefully that brings us the win tomorrow.

 
“Obviously, we’ve done the job here, putting the car on pole, which should make my life a bit easier, hopefully,” he added. “Track position is going to be key around here again. Traffic is not that easy.”
Robinson Awarded LMP3 Pole Following Infraction
 
Gar Robinson logged the second-best lap during Le Mans Prototype 3 qualifying but earned the Motul Pole Award in the No. 74 Riley Motorsports Ligier JS P320 after Jarett Andretti’s time was disallowed for the No. 36 Andretti Autosport Ligier using a non-compliant suspension component.
 
Robinson’s best lap was 1:13.174 (120.977 mph) to bring the reigning LMP3 champion his second pole position of the season. Robinson won the LMP3 class at the Sahlen’s Six Hours last weekend with Felipe Fraga and Kay van Berlo to move into third place in the class standings. Robinson will drive with Scott Andrews on Sunday.
 
"This isn't really how you want to win pole, but it’s always exciting to start these races from the front,” Robinson said. “It’s going to be a long race and traffic management will be crucial tomorrow. Keeping it clean and giving Scott the best car I can will be my main objective throughout the race."
 
With the No. 36 Andretti Ligier moved to the rear of the six-car LMP3 field for the infraction, the No. 30 Jr III Racing Ligier advanced to the second spot. Ari Balogh posted a qualifying lap of 1:13.185 (119.926 mph) in the No. 30 he shares with Garett Grist.
 
Live coverage of the Chevrolet Grand Prix begins at 3 p.m. ET Sunday on NBC, Peacock and IMSA Radio.
Wickens, Wilkins Thrill Home Crowd with TCR Win in Canada
Charging from the Rear of the Field, the No. 33 Hyundai Duo Win for the Second Straight Week in the Michelin Pilot Challenge

 
July 2, 2022
By Jeff Olson
IMSA Wire Service

 
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario – It’s been a blur, Robert Wickens said. That’s an understatement.
 
Wickens finished off a whirlwind week Saturday by teaming with Mark Wilkins to win on home turf in the Touring Car (TCR) class of the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park 120, the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
 
The victory came a week after they won at Watkins Glen International – Wickens’ first victory since a crash in 2018 left him paralyzed – and a day after Wickens and wife Karli welcomed the birth of their son, Wesley Joseph.
 
“It’s been a fairytale, really,” Wickens said. “The win at Watkins felt very deserved. We’ve worked hard. We’ve been there every race this year. It finally clicked when we got that win. We thought, ‘Let’s take this momentum into our home race.’”
 
After Wickens and Wilkins arrived in their native Canada to do advance promotional work for the race, Karli called during Thursday’s track walk. Wesley was arriving two weeks earlier than expected, she said, and Robert needed to get back to Indianapolis.
 
“She said, ‘I need you home tomorrow morning,’” Wickens said. “I can’t thank everyone at Bryan Herta Autosport enough – not only for being understanding, but for not making me feel like there was any pressure. They made it very clear that family always comes first. Honestly, I’m so grateful.”
 
Because he wasn’t at CTMP to qualify Friday, the No. 33 Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian Hyundai Elantra N TCR started from the back of the 14-car TCR field. Little more than 30 minutes into the two-hour race, Wickens had the car in third place.
 
Wilkins took over midway through the race, drove to the lead on a restart with 20 minutes left and went on to prevail in a podium sweep for the BHA Hyundais on what the two Canadian drivers consider their home track.
 
“The story is really Robert today,” Wilkins said. “Coming in (to start the race) with no laps and passing three cars on his first lap? He hadn’t turned a lap at all here in I don’t know how many years. Mega drive. Lots of tense nerves for me waiting to get out there. … It just feels amazing.”
 
Michael Lewis finished second – just 0.522 seconds behind Wilkins – in the No. 1 BHA Hyundai he co-drove with Taylor Hagler. Harry Gottsacker was third in the No. 98 BHA Hyundai he shared with Parker Chase.
 
As Wilkins praised Wickens after the victory, Wickens returned the favor. Without Wilkins doing the prep work and communicating it, Wickens said he wouldn’t have been able to be as fast as he was.
 
“I’ve never been so prepared ahead of a race,” Wickens said. “But I’ve also never jumped into a race without a single lap of practice. Honestly, it’s just amazing. I definitely didn’t expect to win today. It’s obviously a dream.” 
 
Eight days, two wins and – most importantly – a son. The time of a racer’s life.
 
“It’s been a blur,” Wickens said. “Everything up until Thursday afternoon was pretty calm. It’s been a world of emotions. I think I got all my tears out on Friday when our son Wesley was born and he was healthy. I just can’t wait to get back home and see the baby again.”
 
Lewis and Hagler unofficially reclaimed the TCR points lead by 40 over Roy Block, Tim Lewis and the No. 5 KMW Motorsports with TMR Engineering Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR. Wickens and Wilkins moved into a third-place tie with Gottsacker and Chase, 90 points out of the lead.
 
The Michelin Pilot Challenge returns to action July 15-16 with the Lime Rock Park 120 at the track of the same name in Connecticut.
Foss Fights off Teammate, Injury to Win Michelin Pilot Challenge CTMP Race
The No. 56 Murillo Racing Driver Closes within 90 Points of the Grand Sport Class Lead

 
July 2, 2022
By John Oreovicz
IMSA Wire Service

 
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario – From the outside, few IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race wins looked as straightforward as the victorious drive Marc Miller and Eric Foss combined to produce in the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park 120 at the racetrack of the same name.

 
But Foss, who drove the anchor stint in the No. 56 Murillo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4, struggled physically in the latter stages of the two-hour race, the legacy of injuries he sustained recently when brake failure caused a student he was coaching to crash during a training session.

 
A couple minor errors in the closing laps allowed his Murillo Racing teammate Christian Szymczak to pull the No. 72 Mercedes alongside the No. 56 as they negotiated the Mario Andretti Straightaway on the penultimate lap. But Foss maintained the advantage into Turn 9 and held on to claim the overall and Grand Sports (GS) class win by 0.338 seconds over Szymczak.

 
Trent Hindman and Alan Brynjolfsson took third place in the No. 7 Volt Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT4. The top five GS entries crossed the line grouped within 1.496 seconds in a race slowed by just two full-course cautions.

 
Miller was victorious in his first Michelin Pilot Challenge start in more than three years as a stand-in for the injured Jeff Mosing, who has been out of action with a rib injury since April’s race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. This was his fourth career series win and first since 2016. Foss took a GS class win earlier this year at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with Kenton Koch as his co-driver.

 
Foss, who claimed his ninth Michelin Pilot Challenge win, has won two previous season championships and is smack in the middle of another title battle. Saturday’s victory unofficially draws him and the No. 56 Mercedes within 90 points Hindman, Brynjolfsson and the No. 7 Aston Martin with four races remaining in 2022.

 
“I’m in quite a bit of pain right now, but overall I can’t think the Murillo team enough,” Foss said after he and Miller completed 77 laps on the way to victory in the two-hour race. “Christian was a great teammate. I obviously made a couple mistakes there near the end, but he never really pounced.

 
“Ken Murillo is our engineer, and the car setup was perfect on the No. 56 and the No. 72,” he added. “We have a great driver lineup sharing information that’s helping the team progress as well as the drivers.”

 
Szymczak said that while it looked like he was playing defense in the closing laps, there were no team orders and he was free to attempt a pass on Foss if the opportunity presented itself.

 
“It was tough,” Szymczak said. “I tried to get as close as I could at tighter parts of the track. I’d pull out of Turn 5 and be able to equalize and get caught up at the end of the straight, but I couldn’t really do much. I couldn’t make anything happen, and I’m not going to do anything crazy to my teammate.”

 
The USA Network broadcast of Saturday’s race airs at noon ET Friday.

 
The next round of the Michelin Pilot Challenge is the Lime Rock Park 120, set for July 15-16 in Lakeville, Connecticut.

 

 

 

it Cannot Get Any Closer: Acura, Cadillac Tie for CTMP Practice Honors

Tom Blomqvist in the No. 60 Acura and Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 01 Cadillac Post Identical Times in the Opening Session

 
July 1, 2022
By John Oreovicz
IMSA Wire Service
 
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario – Having two drivers in two distinctly different Daytona Prototype international (DPi) cars tying for fastest time of the day around Canadian Tire Motorsport Park to the thousandth of a second is enough to leave anyone speechless.

 
For Sebastien Bourdais and Tom Blomqvist – each clocking laps timed at 1 minute, 5.712 seconds (134.715 mph) around the legendary 10-turn road course commonly called Mosport – the track itself did the job.

 
Blomqvist, Bourdais and their respective co-drivers looked spent after completing 90 minutes of practice in warm, humid conditions Friday in preparation for the Chevrolet Grand Prix (3 p.m. ET Sunday, NBC).
For Bourdais, sharing the No. 01 Cadillac Racing DPi-V.R with Renger van der Zande, it’s his first time at a track that hosted the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix and countless major sports car races since the 1960s.

 
“Honestly, I’m just trying to find my way around,” Bourdais admitted. “It’s a tricky place. I think I would really like it if it was smooth. But these cars are ride-height sensitive and they’re heavy, and when you hit those bumps – man, oh, man – it’s dodgy out there. And there’s no room for error. You feel like you’re on oval-type corners 50 or 60 percent of the time, but bumpy as can be. If you make a mistake, you’re gonna pay, and fast.”

 
Blomqvist and teammate Oliver Jarvis, driving the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Acura ARX-05, are embroiled in a fierce DPi championship battle with the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura driven by Filipe Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor. Albuquerque was fifth fastest on Friday at 1:06.013 (134.100 mph).
 
“It’s a pretty crazy track,” Blomqvist observed. “Super-fast, and it’s a lot more bumpy than I remember. I know they resurfaced some areas, but it seems like the bumps are pretty intense.

 
“Our car seems pretty fast, but we definitely need to tune it up a little bit,” he added. “It’s not easy out there. I think it’s going to be a difficult weekend for everyone and super close. We’re hanging on for dear life. I was scared out there, I’m not going to lie.”

 
Garett Grist was fastest in the Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3) class, recording a lap of 1:12.245 (122.533 mph) in the No. 30 Jr III Racing Ligier JS P320 to edge four-time CTMP class winner Colin Braun in the No. 54 CORE autosport Ligier (1:12.284/122.466 mph).

 
The No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 driven by Daniel Juncadella paced the Grand Touring Daytona Pro (GTD PRO) class, circulating in 1:16.520 (115.687 mph). The fastest GT Daytona (GTD) entry was the No. 12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 manned by Frankie Montecalvo at 1:16.927 (115.075 mph).

 
WeatherTech Championship action resumes Saturday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park with another 90-minute practice session at 8 a.m. ET prior to Motul Pole Award qualifying that streams live at 12:40 p.m. on IMSA.com/TVLive.
Globetrotting Kobayashi Excited for GTD PRO Opportunity

 
Call Kamui Kobayashi the ultimate corporate man.

 
The versatile 35-year-old racer was named team principal of Toyota Gazoo Racing’s FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) effort in December 2021, while continuing as a Toyota works driver. This year, he has combined that dual role while also serving as an IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup driver for the No. 48 Ally Cadillac DPi-V.R in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship.

 
Kobayashi was at Watkins Glen International seven days ago with the No. 48 team when Andy Graves, Toyota Racing Development’s technical director, asked if he could co-drive Vasser Sullivan’s GTD PRO Lexus RC F GT3 with Ben Barnicoat in this weekend’s Chevrolet Grand Prix at CTMP. Regular driver Jack Hawksworth is missing a third consecutive race as he continues to recover from injuries sustained in a motocross accident.

 
Kobayashi was facing a busy schedule that required him to fly to Europe immediately after the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen for important Toyota WEC meetings and a session in the Toyota simulator in Germany in preparation for the six-hour WEC race at Monza, Italy, on July 10.

 
But how could he say no – as a racer or a good corporate man?

 
Kobayashi arrived in Canada on schedule Thursday night – following a side trip to Charlotte to log time in the TRD simulator there to familiarize himself with the GTD PRO Lexus – but he had never seen CTMP prior to Friday morning and joked about not even knowing the track’s name.

 
“I got everything done and I’m pretty happy being here,” Kobayashi said. “I think the biggest challenge will be adapting from the simulator to the real car and the real track. It could be different, but I’ll try to do my best. It’s short notice, but there’s good support from the team, Toyota and Lexus.”

 
Kobayashi has previous experience in Ferrari and Mercedes-AMG cars built to the international GT3 formula that serves as the platform for IMSA’s GTD and GTD PRO classes. He has also compiled extensive seat time in the unique GT300 and GT500 cars that compete in Japan’s popular Super GT championship.

 
Perhaps most importantly, Kobayashi is playing a key role as Toyota Gazoo Racing develops its next-generation GT3 platform that will serve as the basis for future Toyota and Lexus racing cars. He called it “a huge project in Japan.”

 
“To have this experience racing the Lexus will be very important and helpful,” he said. “We are collaborating more with TRD USA to make sure in the future to work well for the next stage of the GT3 program.”

 
Kobayashi logged 26 laps in Friday’s practice with a best lap of 1:17.516 (114.200 mph) that was just two-tenths of a second behind co-driver Ben Barnicoat.
M&Ms, Murillo and Maxson, on Poles for Michelin Pilot Challenge Race

 
 
Kenny Murillo and Tyler Maxson set the fastest laps in their respective classes to win the Motul Pole Awards in qualifying for the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park 120. The race streams live on Peacock starting at 4:10 p.m. ET Saturday.

 
Murillo was fastest in the Grand Sport (GS) class with a best lap of 1:22.735 in the No. 72 Murillo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT GT4 that he shares with Christian Szymczak. Murillo was but 0.074 seconds quicker than Damian Fineschi in the No. 14 Riley Motorsports Toyota Supra GT4.

 
Maxson put the No. 77 Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Elantra N TCR on the Touring Car (TCR) class pole with a lap of 1:24.318. Maxson’s co-driver is Mason Filippi. Chris Miller qualified second in TCR in the No. 17 Unitronic JDC-Miller MotorSports Audi RS3 LMS SEQ (1:24.436).
 

Entry List Notebook – FCP Euro Northeast Grand Prix
GT Classes Headline the Show at Historic Lime Rock Park in Connecticut

 
July 6, 2022
By Mark Robinson
IMSA Wire Service
Entry List (Click Here)
 
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship continues a busy summer stretch with its third event in a four-week span, the FCP Euro Northeast Grand Prix on July 15-16. The condensed weekend features the two Grand Touring (GT) classes in action at historic Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut.

 
Fifteen cars are on the pre-event entry list – six in GT Daytona Pro (GTD PRO) and nine in GT Daytona (GTD). Drivers, teams and manufacturers in both classes will be competing for points that count toward the season championship. GTD entries will also earn points for the IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup.

 
Here’s what you need to know in advance of race week:
 
Fast Facts
Lime Rock Park – Lakeville, Connecticut
July 15-16, 2022
Race Day/Time: Saturday, July 16 – 3:10 p.m. ET
Peacock Streaming Coverage: LIVE – Flag-to-flag beginning at 3:10 p.m. (available on IMSA.com/TVLive outside the U.S.)
USA Network Coverage: 5 p.m. ET
IMSA.com/TVLive Live Qualifying Stream: Friday, July 15 – 5:35 p.m.
IMSA Radio: Select sessions live on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com; SiriusXM live race coverage begins Saturday, July 16 at 3 p.m. (XM 207, SiriusXM Web/App 992)
Circuit Type: 1.474-mile, seven-turn road course
Classes Competing: Grand Touring Daytona Pro (GTD PRO), Grand Touring Daytona (GTD)
Race Length: 2 hours, 40 minutes
Track Social Media: 
Event Hashtags: #IMSA, #NorthEastGP

 
WeatherTech Championship Track Records
Qualifying:
GTD PRO: new class in 2022
GTD: Trent Hindman, Acura NSX GT3, 51.456 seconds / 103.124 mph, July 2019
 
2021 FCP Euro Northeast Grand Prix Winners
GTD PRO: new class in 2022
GTD: Roman De Angelis/Ross Gunn, No. 23 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3
 
Storylines
  • GT Classes in Spotlight: This is the first of two IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship weekends featuring the popular and exciting GT classes. The other comes next month at VIRginia International Raceway. The GT cars typically put on an exciting display at Lime Rock, the shortest track on the schedule.
  • Nitty Gritty Time for Championships: Four races remain for the GTD PRO and GTD classes this season. The No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, which won the GTD crown last season, holds a strong 138-point lead in GTD PRO over the No. 3 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R GTD. The GTD race is nail-biting tight, with Stevan McAleer and the No. 32 Team Korthoff Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 just five points ahead of Jan Heylen, Ryan Hardwick and the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
  • Sprint Cup Battle Continues: The championship within the championship, the IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup continues for the GTD class at Lime Rock. Sprint Cup points are awarded at the eight races running two hours, 40 minutes or shorter. Heading into Lime Rock, Madison Snow, Bryan Sellers and the No. 1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3 lead the Sprint Cup battle by 118 points over Bill Auberlen, Robby Foley and the similar No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW.

 
Who’s Hot?
  • Pfaff Motorsports: The No. 9 Porsche 911 GT3 R has two GTD PRO wins sandwiched around a third-place finish in the past three races. It has propelled drivers Mathieu Jaminet and Matt Campbell into a 138-point lead in the class standings.
  • Heart of Racing Team: The team has a car entered in both the GTD PRO and GTD classes, and they are on a roll. The No. 23 Aston Martin Vantage GT3, with drivers Ross Gunn and Alex Riberas, has won two of the last four GTD PRO races and finished third Sunday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The No. 27 Aston Martin piloted by Roman De Angelis and Maxime Martin has won the last two GTD races and preceded that with a second-place finish. And when they were paired last year at Lime Rock, Gunn and De Angelis won the GTD race to clinch the IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup.
 
Who’s Good Here?
  • John Edwards: The Kentucky native has three wins at Lime Rock, the most of any driver entered this weekend. He’ll go for a fourth in the No. 25 BMW M Team RLL BMW M4 GT3.
  • Porsche: As is the case at many tracks, Porsche has the most class wins (20) of any manufacturer entered this year. With one car in GTD PRO and one in GTD, the famous German marque is chasing a couple more in 2022.
 
Previous FCP Euro Northeast Grand Prix Winners in 2022 Field (9)
  • John Edwards (3): GT – 2010, 2012, 2013
  • Jordan Taylor (2): DP – 2013; GTLM – 2021
  • Bill Auberlen (1): GTU – 2000
  • Roman De Angelis (1): GTD – 2021
  • Antonio Garcia (1): GTLM – 2021
  • Ross Gunn (1): GTD – 2021
  • Cooper MacNeil (1): GTC – 2012
  • Bryan Sellers (1): GTD – 2018
  • Madison Snow (1): GTD – 2018

 
Previous FCP Euro Northeast Grand Prix Pole Winners in 2022 Field (6)
  • John Edwards (2): GT – 2012, 2013
  • Jordan Taylor (2): GT – 2010; GTLM – 2021
  • Bill Auberlen (1): GT – 2012
  • Roman De Angelis (1): GTD – 2021
  • Antonio Garcia (1): GTLM – 2018
  • Madison Snow (1): GTD – 2017

 
Previous FCP Euro Northeast Grand Prix Winning Teams in 2022 Field (6)
  • Corvette Racing (6): GTS – 2004; GT1 – 2005, 2007 2008; GTLM – 2016, 2021
  • BMW M Team RLL (2): GT – 2011, 2013
  • Heart of Racing Team (1): GTD – 2021
  • Paul Miller Racing (1): GTD – 2018
  • Pfaff Motorsports (1): GTD – 2019
  • Turner Motorsport (1): GTD – 2015

 
Previous Northeast Grand Prix Winning Manufacturers in 2021 Field (6)
  • Porsche – 20
  • Chevrolet – 13
  • BMW – 5
  • Acura – 2
  • Aston Martin – 2
  • Lamborghini – 1

 

 

Heart of Racing Beating Loud in Both GT Classes
After Winning in GTD PRO and GTD at the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, Both Cars Finished on the Chevrolet Grand Prix Podium 

 
July 6, 2022
By John Oreovicz
IMSA Wire Service
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – With increased support from Aston Martin, the Heart of Racing Team expanded to field two Vantage GT3 entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s GT Daytona (GTD) class in mid-2021. Since then, the team managed by longtime racer Ian James has developed into one of the most consistent performers in the production car-based GT categories.

 
This year, the Heart of Racing Team split its attack, running one of its Astons in the GT Daytona (GTD) class and the other in the new GTD PRO class. After a slow start to the 2022 campaign generally not of its own making, the team has rebounded strongly, capped by an amazing run through back-to-back weekends at Watkins Glen International and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park that produced a total of three wins and a perfect four-for-four podium finishes.

 
Unlike at The Glen, where both Heart of Racing Team victories happened when they were elevated to winners after crossing the finish line second due to infractions by other competitors, the win for Roman De Angelis and Maxime Martin in the No. 27 GTD class Aston Martin and the hard-fought third-place finish in GTD PRO for Ross Gunn and Alex Riberas in the No. 23 at CTMP were cemented on the track.

 
The recent string of strong results has thrust the drivers back into championship contention, with the duo of Riberas and Gunn lying fourth in the GTD PRO standings. De Angelis likewise ranks fourth in the GTD season standings and third in the IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup – the latter a title he won last year with Gunn.

 
For De Angelis, a 21-year-old native of Windsor, Ontario, the win on home soil was especially sweet. Wise beyond his years, De Angelis likes the way the Heart of Racing Team is progressing.

 
“It’s just all of us molding,” he observed. “We’re more of a family than a team, and that really helps. When you go through hard times like we did early in the year, it’s always hard to get motivated to get back up again. But the guys have been working tirelessly all the time. They never got down on themselves, and that’s really important.

 
“We take them when they come,” he continued. “A streak of bad luck isn’t really the end of the world. We had an amazing season last season and some great results the season before. We knew we were a strong team, we just needed to put everything together – and get some luck as well.”
Gunn, who at 25 is a rising star in sports car racing, also appreciates the close-knit nature of the team.

 
“There’s great team harmony, and that comes from the top all the way down to the bottom,” he said. “The team is really coming into its own now. We had a tough start to the year, but we really have dug deep to keep pushing, believing that we can get the good results flowing. Of course, in racing you sometimes need a bit of luck, but we’ve had some very strong performances and are happy to be in the hunt.”

 
James, 47, is a longtime sports car racer whose 24-year IMSA career resume boasts 10 race wins and a Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) championship in 2004. He has also earned a podium class finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

 
James started as a driver for the team now known as the Heart of Racing Team in 2014 and quickly added “team principal” to his skill set. He still maintains an in-cockpit presence, co-driving the team’s No. 27 GTD entry in IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup races.

 
“We’ve found a bit of a rhythm,” James remarked. “The crew are knocking it out of the park; the pit stops are amazing, and even if we’re not the fastest car, we seem to be executing on strategy and work in the pit box. So, I’m very happy with what’s going on. The drivers are doing an awesome job and it’s great to be at the front.

 
“We’re doing a lot of work off the track, building our engineering base around the team and some of the resources we need to get better,” he added. “We’re never going to settle for where we are, and that’s a testament to the people involved in the team that work so hard in between races.”

 
With a youthful driver lineup (excluding James, 36-year-old Martin is the elder statesman) and an expanding role in Aston Martin’s worldwide racing efforts, the Heart of Racing Team has evolved into a premier organization that is making its presence known in IMSA’s GT classes. The future looks bright.

 
“I couldn’t put myself in a better situation,” said De Angelis, who is developing into one of sports car racing’s hottest young prospects. “Obviously, Ross, Maxime and Alex are amazing drivers, and what Ian has done as a team manager and team owner, and as a driver in the past – he’s had a very decorated career, with podiums at Le Mans and Daytona.

 
“To be trusted by them to go racing every weekend is a dream of mine, and I hope it doesn’t ever stop.”
From Watkins Win to Wesley, What a Week for Wickens
The Canadian Returns Home to Race Today to Conclude a Most Memorable Week

 
July 2, 2022
By Jeff Olson
IMSA Wire Service
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario – Quick summary of Robert Wickens’ week:
 
Landmark victory at Watkins Glen. Travel to Canada to begin homecoming race week. Unscheduled late-night trip to Indianapolis. Become a father. Travel back to Canada. Try to win again.
 
If you were wondering why he wasn’t at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on Friday, there’s a wonderful reason: Wickens and his wife Karli welcomed Wesley Joseph Wickens to the world. Wickens then hustled back to Canada to compete later today in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race.
"For those of you wondering why I wasn’t at the track today," Wickens posted on social media, "I would like everyone to meet Wesley Joseph Wickens. Born two weeks early but we could not be happier. Baby and Mom are doing great! I am so grateful to be married to such a strong woman! Let’s start the next chapter!"

 
It’s just one more chapter in the story of Wickens’ life, which provides inspiration beyond the motorsports world – even if he doesn’t see himself the way others do.  
 
“I don’t see myself as an inspirational person,” Wickens said earlier this week. “I’m just a guy trying to get back to something I love to do. People tell me that they think they beat cancer because of how motivated and driven I was, and they thought they could do it. When people tell me their life story and what they’ve been through, it’s a crazy experience. It’s hard to explain in words.”
 
He’s likely to hear similar stories today as he prepares for the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park 120 at the historic track in Bowmanville, Ontario, a short drive from his boyhood home. Because they didn’t participate in Friday’s qualifying, Wickens, co-driver Mark Wilkins and the No. 33 Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian Hyundai Elantra N TCR will start at the back of the field in the race, which starts at 4:10 p.m. ET and airs live on Peacock (in the U.S.), IMSA.com/TVLive (outside the U.S.) and IMSA Radio.
 
After Wickens and Wilkins teamed to win the Tioga Downs Casino Resort 120 last week at Watkins Glen International – Wickens’ first win since returning from a crash in 2018 that left him with a spinal cord injury – Wickens is once again the inspirational and motivational talk of racing.
 
And, since it’s his first race in Canada since finishing third in an IndyCar Series race at Toronto in 2018, he’s expecting to see plenty of family members, friends and fans. In his younger years, Wickens watched races at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, then known as Mosport International Raceway, from Turn 2. 
 
“It’s definitely going to be a great turnout,” Wickens said. “I know I’m going to have some close friends and family there, people who haven’t seen me race since 2018 and a lot of people who haven’t seen me since prior to my accident.”
 
While he expects the attention, Wickens says he doesn’t have any other expectations.
 
“I always work on not having any expectations in anything,” Wickens said. “You kind of set yourself up for failure if you expect something great. If it doesn’t happen, you’re disappointed. But if you didn’t expect anything, you’re not disappointed.”
 
When he returned home in 2019 after extensive rehabilitation, Wickens found “cases and cases” of cards and other correspondence from fans. At the time, he said he didn’t know the full effect of the support. Three years later, with his career resumed and victory in hand, he still doesn’t know the full effect.
 
“It’s very humbling,” he said. “All I can say is that the fans in motorsports are a great group of people. They’re very kind. Everyone in the IMSA paddock has been so welcoming to me. It’s a category I wasn’t really a part of in my prior life, but they’ve welcomed me with open arms. It’s been a very nice experience so far.”

 

 

IMSA VP Racing SportsCar Challenge Featuring LMP3, GT4 Cars to Launch in 2023
New Series of Single-Driver, 45-Minute Sprint Races to Debut to Feature Five Doubleheader Events for 10-Race Season
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A new, multiple-class, sprint-race series will make its debut in 2023 as International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) officials today unveiled the IMSA VP Racing SportsCar Challenge, with entitlement sponsorship from longtime pillar IMSA partner VP Racing Fuels.

 
The series will feature currently homologated Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3) and Grand Touring 4 (GT4) race cars in 45-minute sprint races with one driver per car. The new series class names will be LMP3 and GSX respectively. To be eligible to drive in either class, all drivers must have an FIA Driver Categorization of either Bronze or Silver. A five-event, 10-race schedule is planned for the series, which replaces the current IMSA Prototype Challenge series.

 
The IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge will continue in its traditional endurance format, featuring the Grand Sport (GT4) and Touring Car (TCR) classes, competing across a 10-race schedule.

 
“We are grateful to our longstanding partners at VP Racing Fuels for expanding their relationship with us to bring a new and different brand of excitement for IMSA race fans,” said IMSA President John Doonan. “LMP3 and GT4 cars, drivers and teams have delivered fantastic competition over the years. Putting them together in a sprint format is a fresh and differentiated approach that we expect will be popular with fans and competitors alike.”

 
Each IMSA VP Racing SportsCar Challenge event weekend will include a qualifying session in which the fastest timed lap will set the field for the first race. The second fastest qualifying lap by each car will determine the starting grid for the second race of the weekend. There will be no pit stops during the races, and all race cars will ride on Michelin tires.

 
The IMSA VP Racing SportsCar Challenge further expands a robust partnership between IMSA and VP Racing Fuels. Since 2014, VP has supplied the Official Fuel of IMSA, and in 2020, the company added the distinction of Official Performance Coolant of IMSA with its “Stay Frosty” line of automotive coolants. Last year, the partnership expanded again, becoming the Official Performance Additive of IMSA with VP’s “Madditives” line of fuel treatments and octane boosters.

 
“VP Racing and IMSA have enjoyed a nearly decade-long partnership, bringing world-class racing to racers and fans around the globe,” said Bruce Hendel, Senior Vice President of Global Sales for VP Racing. “We are proud to enhance our relationship as the entitlement sponsor of the IMSA VP Racing SportsCar Challenge, an appropriate entitlement, signifying our continued commitment to IMSA.”

 
All 2023 IMSA VP Racing SportsCar Challenge races will be streamed live in the United States on Peacock, with television coverage airing post-event on USA Network. Live race streaming for international audiences will be available on IMSA.com.

 
The schedule for the inaugural IMSA VP Racing SportsCar Challenge season will be unveiled as part of IMSA’s annual State of the Sport presentation planned for Saturday, Aug. 5 at Road America. 
Event

Chevrolet Grand Prix
 

For the first time since 2019, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship heads north of the border to one of the most iconic tracks on the schedule – Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The championship battles are hotter than ever, so tune into the Chevrolet Grand Prix for all the action on NBC and Peacock starting at 3 p.m. ET Sunday.

Follow along on social media using #IMSA.

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Grant Heads to CTMP for First Solo Effort in IMSA Prototype Challenge
Normally Paired with His Brother, Keith Grant Is Going It Alone This Weekend

 
July 1, 2022
By Mark Robinson
IMSA Wire Service
Entry List (Click Here)
 
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Keith and David Grant are used to having each other around. The brothers have operated a Tennessee home-building business for 26 years. They’ve been co-drivers in every IMSA Prototype Challenge race since they joined the series in 2018.

 
That streak will end this weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park when Keith Grant is scheduled to drive solo in the No. 40 JDC MotorSports Duqueine D08 for the third round of the 2022 season, taking on Sunday’s entire 90-minute race and all sessions leading up to it by himself. He’s not fazed and said preparations won’t change.

 
“I don’t think it’s any different,” he said. “We both are very similar in speed when we’ve raced together. You just have to be competitive in both segments of the race, and I think I can. I’ve run two-hour stints in other races that we’ve done, so it shouldn’t be a problem.”

 
The Grant brothers – both Bronze-rated – come from a racing family. They joined the Prototype Challenge midway through 2018 and closed the season with a third-place finish at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. They finished eighth in the overall standings in both 2019 and 2020, as well as taking second in the Bronze Cup competition for Bronze-only entries in ’20.

 
Last year, their first with JDC, they finished sixth in the overall championship and ran away with the Bronze Cup title. Following a fifth-place finish at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in May, they rank seventh in the overall standings but are only 50 points out of fourth.

 
Keith Grant credited the JDC operation and engineer John Walko in particular for the continued improvement.

 
“John’s putting us in positions to run at the front as Bronze drivers and we’ve enjoyed that,” he said.

 
Grant also said he’s eager to return to CTMP, which is hosting the LMP3 series for the first time since 2019.

 
“It’s a really fast track and it’s just a lot of fun to drive,” Grant said. “But it’s quick. Turns 1 and 2 seem to be the most challenging turns on the track. And then the ones before you go onto the back straight are probably the most important since it kicks you onto the straightaway.”

 
Prototype Challenge teams and drivers have two practice sessions on Friday before qualifying at 8:15 a.m. ET Sunday. The race streams live on Peacock in the U.S. and on IMSA.com/TVLive elsewhere beginning at 11:30 a.m. Sunday.

 
Tonis Kasemets (No. 60 Wulver Racing Ligier JS P320) is the overall points leader heading into the race, 20 ahead of Alexander Koreiba and Memo Gidley (No. 23 AL Autosport with JDC MotorSports Duqueine). Kasemets is also the Bronze Cup leader, 60 points ahead of Ari Balogh (No. 30 Jr III Racing Ligier). The Grants are third in the Bronze Cup standings, 100 points from first place.
Scherer, Murry Placed on Probation for Next Four IMSA Races
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 1, 2022) – Drivers Fabio Scherer and Dylan Murry have been placed on probation by IMSA for the next four IMSA races they enter for their actions in an incident during last Sunday’s six-hour race at Watkins Glen International.

 
Scherer, who was driving the No. 20 LMP2 entry, and Murry in the No. 29 LMP2 were determined by IMSA Race Director Beaux Barfield and Supervisory Officials Simon Hodgson, Mark Raffauf and Driver Advisor Johannes van Overbeek to share responsibilities for an incident that caused Jeff Westphal to crash heavily in the No. 39 GTD entry.

 
IMSA will continue to monitor all on-track conduct and will act accordingly and consistently should there be a further deterioration of driving behavior. Endurance and Multi-class racing is the embodiment of IMSA competition and requires mutual respect and coexistence among all competitors at all times. 

 

 

 

What to Watch for: Chevrolet Grand Prix
The Time Between Visits to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Makes It Difficult to Predict Any Favorites, Other than the Homegrown Teams and Drivers

 
June 30, 2022
By David Phillips
IMSA Wire Service
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – And now for something at once completely different yet vaguely familiar.
 
Different? This weekend’s Chevrolet Grand Prix marks the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s first visit to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) since 2019. Thus, not a few competitors will be pitting themselves against the demanding, high-speed, maximum-commitment road course for the first time.
 
Familiar? Demanding, high speed, maximum commitment. Sounds a lot like the 3.4-mile Watkins Glen International circuit that IMSA competitors tackled only last weekend in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.
 
Given that three years have elapsed since the WeatherTech Championship last visited CTMP, the historical record offers only the vaguest hint as to who and what are best suited to the iconic track this weekend. What’s more, some sections of the 2.459-mile, 10-turn circuit were recently resurfaced, so the added grip that accompanies fresh pavement throws another “unknown” into the mix. 
 
It's Cadillac Go Time
 
It’s hardly a revelation to observe that the Acura ARX-05 has thrived on high-speed, natural-terrain road courses this season – most recently in the 1-2 Daytona Prototype international (DPi) finish at The Glen by Wayne Taylor Racing’s No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura and the No. 60 of Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian. What’s more, CTMP’s newly smooth surface will enable the Acuras to run minimal ride height, thus generating maximum downforce that will come in handy in the blindingly quick run from Turn 1 through Turn 4 as well as Turn 8.
 
And what about Cadillac? Cadillac Racing has a win, two thirds and a P4 to show for the last two races. A late run to challenge for the DPi championship is not out of the question, but the Cadillac Racing entries, along with the No.31 Whelen Engineering Racing and No. 5 JDC-Miller MotorSports Caddies, will have to become regular fixtures atop the podium from here on out. The Chevrolet GP would be a great place to start.
 
Michelin Pilot Challenge in the Spotlight
 
Many (maybe all?) eyes will be on the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge this weekend after Robert Wickens and Mark Wilkins teamed to score a glorious Touring Car (TCR) class win at Watkins Glen last weekend. It was, of course, Wickens’ first win since suffering spinal cord injuries in a 2018 crash while competing in the IndyCar Series.
 
Given that he and Wilkins both hail from nearby Toronto, the No. 33 Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian Hyundai Elantra N TCR figures to be a veritable magnet for fans and media alike this weekend. And while that’s a good thing for Wickens, Wilkins, BHA and Hyundai, the fact that the spotlight will shine on the series as a whole is great news for a series that, week-in and week-out, features 40-plus entries and stages some of the fiercest racing competition to be found in any of the four corners of the globe.
 
More Canadian Spotlight and Love
 
With two wins earlier this season paired with last week’s third-place finish at The Glen, Pfaff Motorsports heads to CTMP atop the Grand Touring Daytona Pro (GTD PRO) standings, with drivers Mathieu Jaminet and Matt Campbell occupying the same position in the driver rankings. Pfaff’s distinctive silver and plaid-liveried No. 9 Porsche 911 GT3 R will doubtless attract even more attention than usual given that this will be the Toronto-based team’s first appearance on home turf since coming home fifth in the GTD class at CTMP in ’19, the team’s WeatherTech series debut season.
 
Having captured the 2021 WeatherTech Championship’s GTD crown, Pfaff moved into the new GTD PRO class this year and would like nothing more than to add another win to the record this weekend in front of their home fans.
 
If you’re not fortunate enough to be at CTMP this weekend, be sure and catch all the action on the IMSA channels. WeatherTech Championship qualifying is live Saturday on IMSA.com/TVLive and IMSA Radio at 12:35 p.m. ET. The Michelin Pilot Challenge race kicks off Saturday at 4 p.m. on Peacock and IMSA Radio. The WeatherTech Championship race airs at 3 p.m. Sunday on NBC and IMSA Radio.
Moss Corner Can Create Most Chaos at CTMP
The Slow, Double-Apex Corner Named for the Legendary Driver Who Designed It Could Play a Key Role in the Chevrolet Grand Prix

 
June 30, 2022
By John Oreovicz
IMSA Wire Service
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – In diagram view, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park looks deceptively simple, with 10 turns spread over 2.459 miles. There’s not a straight stretch worth mentioning, though there is a mildly curved section of track linking Turns 5 and 8 called the Mario Andretti Straightaway.

 
The terrain is hilly and the curves are mostly fast, of the fourth- to sixth-gear variety, with one notable exception: Moss Corner.

 
Named for another racing legend – Stirling Moss, who won the very first race at was originally called Mosport Park on June 24, 1961 – Moss Corner actually comprises Turns 5A and 5B, a double-apex right-hander generally taken in second gear.

 
And while it may seem incongruous to name the slowest segment of Canada’s most famous road course after an English driver known for glorious, high-speed four-wheel drifts, there’s a simple explanation: During the construction of the track more than 60 years ago, Moss, as a consultant to designer Alan Bunting, suggested modifying what was originally laid out as a classic, constant-radius hairpin into a pair of closely linked 90-degree bends.

 
Since then, Moss Corner has often served as the track’s focal point – especially in multi-class racing like the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship. With the racing as close as it is throughout all four classes that will be in action at CTMP this weekend in the Chevrolet Grand Prix (3 p.m. ET Sunday on NBC, Peacock and IMSA Radio), it’s almost guaranteed that Moss Corner will produce a signature moment in the 2-hour, 40-minute contest.

 
That’s especially true in the Daytona Prototype international (DPi) category, where the competition between manufacturers Acura and Cadillac is this close, and the battle between Acura teams Wayne Taylor Racing and Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian is even closer.

 
DPi drivers Oliver Jarvis (who shares the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura ARX-05 with Tom Blomqvist) and Renger van der Zande (in the No. 01 Cadillac Racing DPi-V.R with co-driver Sebastien Bourdais) addressed the challenges of CTMP on Wednesday.

 
The No. 60 Acura sits second in the DPi standings, 17 points behind their counterparts Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura. The No. 01 Cadillac ranks fourth, 185 points out of the lead and 25 behind the sister No. 02 Cadillac manned by Alex Lynn and Earl Bamber.

 
Jarvis was one of the winning DPi drivers the last time the WeatherTech Championship raced at CTMP, taking the laurels in July 2019 in a Mazda he shared with Tristan Nunez. The only Canadian round of the WeatherTech Championship was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and ’21.

 
Jarvis finished second at Watkins Glen International in 2019 the week before his CTMP victory. He and Blomqvist are coming off a runner-up finish from the pole position in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen last Sunday and are hoping for similar good fortune this year.

 
“Going into this weekend, the aim is to get back onto the top step of the podium; it’s been a while,” said Jarvis, who has been part of four straight second-place finishes since the No. 60 won the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona. “Mosport is certainly a track I like. Extremely fast; you need a lot of commitment around there.

 
“It’s very similar to Watkins Glen in many respects, so I’m really looking forward to getting on track to see where we’re at,” he continued. “Hopefully, it will be a good track again for us. I believe it’s been resurfaced, so that’s a bit of an unknown for us all heading there.”

 
Van der Zande and Bourdais finished third behind the Acuras last week at Watkins Glen. The Dutchman said the slow-speed Moss Bend could create overtaking opportunities this weekend.
 
“That’s a very interesting corner and a lot is going to happen there,” van der Zande said. “At high speed, if you’re close behind someone, you lose ground because you’re losing the downforce and you have understeer and can’t follow that well. But in those slow corners, that’s where the opportunities become big to make a move. In those corners, there’s just one way if you’re in the faster car, and that’s to wait for the traffic. When you’re attacking, it’s the opposite.”
 
Jarvis noted that even if a faster car is held up going into Moss Corner, a superior exit from the corner can create a gap up Andretti Straightaway to Turn 8 that allows a driver to defend its position.
 
“It’s such a fast circuit that your opportunities to overtake are very limited, apart from making a big move in traffic,” said Jarvis. “If you can get good drive out of that tight right-hander, it’s a long back straight and it’s going to offer you the best opportunity to make a move. It’s a corner that’s very traction dependent and certainly one that we have to keep an eye on, especially in traffic, so that they can’t get a run.”

 
Fans have been patiently waiting three years for racing excitement to return to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Moss Corner is the most likely place to find it.

 
Chevrolet Grand Prix practice begins Friday. Qualifying streams live on IMSA.com/TVLive at 12:35 p.m. ET Saturday. The race will air live at 3 p.m. ET Sunday on NBC.
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Back Where He Belongs: Wickens Expected To Return To Victory Lane

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Back Where He Belongs: Wickens Expected to Return to Victory Lane
The Bryan Herta Hyundai Driver Never Wavered in Believing He Could Get Back to the Top Step of the Podium

 
June 28, 2022
By Holly Cain
IMSA Wire Service
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – It was legitimately difficult to tell who was smiling bigger, who high-fived harder, who was more thrilled in the feel-good moments immediately following the checkered flag in Saturday’s IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race at Watkins Glen International.
 
The recipient in those extended congratulatory exchanges, Robert Wickens, may have enjoyed being caught in the excitement, but the truth is Wickens absolutely expected to win the race. It’s the mind frame that made him such an exceptional talent.
 
And it is indicative of the strength he’s summoned – the belief in himself – to race fulltime again this season after suffering a severe spinal cord injury in a 2018 IndyCar race. 
 
While Wickens’ humility would seem to say it was just another day at work, others appreciate the rare courage, fortitude and focus it took to get to this point again – raising trophies, spraying champagne and celebrating on a victory podium. It was such a popular Touring Car (TCR) class victory, even the other competitors were happy for Wickens and his co-driver of the No. 33 Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian Hyundai Elantra N TCR, fellow Canadian Mark Wilkins.
 
“There were a couple more hugs than I think there would have been normally, it was just great,’’ Wickens, 33, said with a smile. “I never think I’m an inspirational person but, to come here and to drive – I’m just trying to get back to what I love to do and Bryan Herta Autosport and Hyundai are giving me that opportunity. 
 
“It’s reassuring to myself that I can still win and compete and challenge even though I’m driving with hand controls. It’s, hopefully, just the beginning of what’s to come. 
 
“Really, Mark doesn’t get enough credit for the amount of work he puts into this organization, to this crew. He has so much experience, so much knowledge. I lean on him so much with any idea. I ask him a million questions all the time. He always has patience and answers them all thoroughly. And I think together we’re kind of building something good, so hopefully this is the start of good things to come.’’
And, frankly, it is the fruition of what Wickens expected.
 
“I think anytime I compete, I compete with the intent to win,’’ he said. “The most important thing is, when Bryan Herta and the people at Bryan Herta Autosport gave me this opportunity to race, we knew deep down we could get there and compete for race wins.
 
“Internally, I wanted to hit the ground running, I wanted to win (the season opener at) Daytona, I wanted to qualify on pole, have the fast lap, do the whole thing, right? That wasn’t reality, then from there, it was getting it done when we were in good opportunities to score good points, if it was just a top-five that day or a podium, whatever the case may be.
 
“So, we just kept honest to ourselves and kept working internally to make sure we were getting the best out of our packages as possible. So, to finally get the win in the fifth race of the year – I’ll be honest, I was hoping it would have come earlier – but five races in isn’t bad.’’
 
The Wickens/Wilkins driving pair earned the lofty expectations honestly – a third-place showing in their Daytona debut was indicative of their potential. And the Watkins Glen victory comes at an ideal time as they head home this weekend to compete in front of the friendly crowd at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
That taste of victory champagne at Watkins Glen and the confidence gained has only stoked this team’s competitive energy. All the reason Wickens was earning praise as an IndyCar rookie before his accident is evident now – and there is a whole new level of respect for the difficult path he has taken to be so competitive again. 
 
And as you would expect, it’s just stoked the pair’s expectations.
 
“Daytona went well, then some tough races, but we always knew we had the pace, the speed and the people to make it happen,’’ said Wilkins, the 2019 Michelin Pilot Challenge TCR champion. “It takes a little time, but we’re here and I think this will be that sort of kickstart of momentum to have a great balance of the season for us.”
 
And while Wickens may have hoisted the trophy Saturday, everyone was feeling the triumph.
 
“One hundred percent,’’ Wickens said of his confidence in winning this year. “I didn’t know how long it would take but I knew I didn’t forget how to drive. It was just about finding the right opportunity to show it was still possible.
 
“Deep down, I always thought I would return to racing quicker than I did, but I also underestimated what goes into adapting a race car,’’ Wickens added. “I thought when I was ready, I’d call someone and then people would come running with it – and that’s not the case. We really had to hustle to get it done. 
 
“And here we go.’’

 

Three Takeaways from Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen

Weather Woes, Title Battle and Nonstop Action Make It a Weekend to Remember

 
June 27, 2022
By John Oreovicz
IMSA Wire Service

 
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – In golf, they call an accidental and unpredictable outside interference the “rub of the green.” The gist: If something happens that a competitor cannot control, they should grin and bear it.

 
BMW M Team RLL and Winward Racing must be feeling the rub of the green after losing IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD PRO and GTD class victories, respectively, in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen to drive time violations. Those penalties were the indirect result of an unpredictable outside interference – a brief storm that produced lightning in the region of Watkins Glen International – that caused the race to be red-flagged with just over 90 minutes remaining.

 
During the one-hour race stoppage, the six-hour race time clock frozen with 35 minutes remaining. And while the rules didn’t change, they were adapted to the circumstances. A minimum one-hour, 30-minute drive time for each driver in every class but Daytona Prototype international (DPi) over six hours of racing adjusted to one hour, 17 minutes over what became five-plus hours. It destroyed the carefully crafted pit stop strategy for several teams that would have fulfilled that requirement in normal circumstances.

 
Unfortunately, the timing of the inclement weather on Sunday put the two aforementioned teams – as well as the Andretti Autosport team that crossed the finish line third in Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3) – into a situation they couldn’t overcome.

 
Call it the first takeaway from the Watkins Glen weekend: Sometimes, it ain’t over until even well after it’s over.

 
Here are two more:

 
The DPi Battle Is Going to Rage: The raw emotion was palpable after the hard-fought battle for DPi and overall honors in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen between the Acuras of Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque (No. 10 Konica Minolta) and Tom Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian).

 
Blomqvist and Jarvis set the pace in every practice session and claimed the Motul Pole Award with a track-record lap, but their white and pink Acura ARX-05 once again came up short against the identical black and blue one fielded by Wayne Taylor Racing.

 
When the race was restarted after the one-hour delay, Albuquerque snatched the lead from Blomqvist with an aggressive move in Watkins Glen’s “inner loop” sequence similar to the one Bill Auberlen used on his way to winning the Tioga Downs Casino Resort 120 in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge the day before.

 
“I knew it was my one and only shot to overtake Blomqvist,” related Albuquerque. “I just put my foot down, we ended up side-by-side, and I just sent the car into the corner. It went over the curb, but it ended up working.”

 
The No. 60 won the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, but Blomqvist and Jarvis have been stymied since with four straight second-place finishes. Three of those bridesmaid results have seen the No. 10 Acura finish on the top step of the podium. The frustration of coming home second again to the No. 10 showed at Watkins Glen.

 
“It’s just a tough way to finish, especially after we were so strong all weekend,” Blomqvist said. “They were running less wing than we were, so they were quick there and it just meant we were vulnerable on restarts. Thankfully, not long until the next race.”

 
The DPi championship lead changed hands once again at The Glen, from a 13-point advantage for the No. 60 to a 17-point cushion for the No. 10.

 
This is one class championship that is going to go down to the final lap of the season-closing Motul Petit Le Mans in October.
The Action Never Stops: The Sahlen’s Six Hours weekend featured five distinct IMSA-sanctioned racing series encompassing 15 classes of competition. There was nonstop on-track action from 9 a.m. Thursday until 5 p.m. Sunday.

 
And the racing was compelling, through the single-make series featuring Mazda, Porsche and Lamborghini, the Michelin Pilot Challenge and, of course, the flagship WeatherTech Championship.

 
It’s no wonder that almost every acre of Watkins Glen’s expansive 3.4-mile layout was packed with campers – race fans who arrived before the first Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires car hit the track to spark the proceedings and partied long into Sunday night, reticent to pull up stakes after a (mostly) sun-splashed weekend.

 
While the Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands and Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America series provided signature moments during the weekend, the most significant memories came in Saturday’s two-hour Michelin Pilot Challenge race.

 
Auberlen backed up his IMSA legend status with a fifth-to-first victory charge during the closing laps of the race in Grand Sport (GS), while Robert Wickens celebrated a landmark moment in his inspirational comeback from severe spinal cord injuries by co-driving with Mark Wilkins to the Touring Car (TCR) class win.

 
After all that goodness, the marquee six-hour WeatherTech Championship race was just an added bonus.
 

  Lamborghini Super Trofeo series

 

Patience Pays off in Lamborghini Super Trofeo Win for Marcelli, Formal
The No. 1 Wayne Taylor Racing Duo Collects Third Victory of Season

 
June 24, 2022
By Mark Robinson
IMSA Wire Service
 
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – Kyle Marcelli exhibited a characteristic difficult for most race drivers – patience – until it was time to pounce Friday and drive away to victory in the first Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America race of the weekend at Watkins Glen International.

 
Driving the No. 1 Prestige Performance with Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo Evo2 he took over for co-driver Danny Formal, Marcelli zipped into the lead with just more than nine minutes left in the 50-minute race and zoomed away. It marked the third time Marcelli and Formal have won this year and second straight race following last month’s finale at NOLA Motorsports Park.

 
Starting from the overall and Pro class pole in the series-record 36-car field, Formal held the lead until making his mandatory pit stop for the driver change with 28 minutes remaining. Once the pit cycle completed for all teams, Marcelli trailed Giano Taurino in the No. 88 Taurino Racing by D Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach Huracán.

 
Marcelli bided his time on Taurino’s bumper for more than 10 minutes before smoothly sailing inside and into the lead exiting the Boot section of the 3.4-mile road course. Marcelli went on to win by 4.292 seconds over Edoardo Liberati, solo driver of the No. 27 Dream Racing Motorsport, Lamborghini Las Vegas Huracán.

 
“We had a good race car underneath us and I was kind of in the catbird seat,” Marcelli said of his laps behind Taurino. “I was just waiting for the right moment and didn’t want to be foolish. You really had to be methodical, and I knew if it was going to happen, it was going to happen in a slow section of the track. Just had to wait for the right opportunity and it finally came.”

 
Marcelli will start from the pole position in Saturday’s race that streams live on Peacock and IMSA.com/TVLive at 12:10 p.m. ET.

 
“Big points race for us and two poles (earned in morning qualifying), so that’s two points more,” Formal said. “Super happy and super excited for Race 2 tomorrow and hopefully we can get our first perfect weekend.”

 
Sebastian Carazo and Bryan Ortiz made it two wins in a row in ProAm, cruising to a 6.752-second win in the No. 47 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach Huracán. Second place went to Ashton Harrison and Tom Long in the No. 25 Harrison Contracting with Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus Huracán.

 
“Sebastian did a great job on the first stint, stayed out of trouble, then I jumped in and it was a clean race,” Ortiz said. “I was with a pack of the Pro guys and I didn’t want to be in their race too much since we were pretty comfortable in the (ProAm) lead.”

 
Teammate Carazo added, “It definitely feels great being able to go back-to-back. It’s good points for the championship. We just need to keep working on it and keep being consistent.”

 
Shehan Chandrasoma built enough of a cushion in the Am class that he was able to survive a last-lap spin on his own and still win in the No. 19 MCR racing, Lamborghini Austin Huracán. It gave the series newcomer his second straight victory as well.

 
“I had no radio, had no idea where I was, how many minutes were left,” Chandrasoma said. “I just kept on and tried to do a safe speed, consistent race. I ended up having a little spin at the last lap. Apparently, I was 15 seconds ahead so I was very lucky.”

 
In LB Cup, Scott Schmidt crossed the finish line second but was awarded the class victory in the No. 38 TPC Racing, Lamborghini Washington Huracán when the No. 54 Dream Racing Motorsport, Lamborghini San Francisco Huracán driven by Charlie Martin and Jason Gagne-Keats was assessed a 1.5-second postrace penalty for their pit stop not meeting the minimum time standard.

 
It’s the first Lamborghini Super Trofeo win for Schmidt, whose best previous finish was second place in the 2020 season finale at Sebring International Raceway when he was paired in the Am class with Trevor Andrusko, his driver coach. Andrusko was in Schmidt’s ear on the radio Friday, alerting Schmidt to the impending penalty for the No. 54 in front of him.

 
“He said, ‘I want you on their bumper,’’ Schmidt said. “For those last two or three laps, it was just push, push, push the car. I got into (Turn) 7, got a little sideways, recovered and back at it, and finished up within that second and a half and got victory No. 1. First ever, it was awesome!”
 

 

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2022 SVRA/SpeedTour Schedule

 

1.     Auto Club-February 4-6

2.     Sebring-February 24-27

3.     Charlotte-March 17-20

4.     Road Atlanta-March 24- 27

5.     NOLA-April 8-10

6.     Laguna Seca-April 21-24

7.     Sonoma-April-28-May 1

8.     Road America-May 19-22

9.     Lime Rock-May 27-30

10. Ridge-June 10-12

11. Indianapolis Motor Speedway-June 16-19

12. Mid-Ohio-June 23-26

13. Portland-July 2-4

14. Watkins Glen-September 7-11

15. VIR-October 6-9

16. Utah Motorsport Campus-October 14-16

17. CoTA-November 3-6

 
 
 
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This site is dedicated to my dad " Hoot" who introduced me to the great sport of auto racing............. rest in peace  DAD

larry criss....................A true race fan LIKE AN UNCLE TO ME

   gary lee.................auto racing broadcast legend and personnel friend

charlie patterson ............my old friend that supported me when mo one else did

 Carroll Horton .......................................life long friend and indy car owner

Judy Morris.................... a true race fan

todd shafer..............."a rock n roller" with a love for racing!

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