Tequila Patrón ESM Scores Another Crown Jewel with Motul Petit Le Mans Victory by No. 22 Nissan DPi Team
Saturday, October 7, 2017
https://www.imsa.com/news/102017/tequil ... -22-nissan
Throughout most of Saturday’s 10-hour Motul Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, the pair of Tequila Patrón ESM Nissan DPi cars were the class of the field.
The team’s No. 22 machine shared by Pipo Derani, Johannes van Overbeek and Bruno Senna, and the No. 2 Nissan DPi of Ryan Dalziel, Scott Sharp and Brendon Hartley were fixtures inside the top five for most of the race and ran either first or second for several hours. There were other challengers, to be sure, but it was readily apparent throughout the race that the Patrón cars would figure in the outcome of the race.
In the end, it all came down to the race’s final restart with 28 minutes remaining. Derani held the lead, with Filipe Albuquerque second in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R, Hartley third in the No. 22 and Dane Cameron fourth in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi.
By the end of the first lap following the restart, Derani was leading Albuquerque, while Cameron relegated Hartley to fourth in the running order. But incidents and costly penalties wreaked havoc on the top three.
Teammates Albuquerque and Cameron tangled, resulting in an unjustifiable risk penalty for Albuquerque. Derani had a dustup with the No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT of Ryan Briscoe, bringing the No. 22 Nissan onto pit road to serve a penalty for incident responsibility.
In the end, Hartley had the cleanest closing stint. He and co-drivers Sharp and Dalziel were rewarded with a victory in one of the crown jewels of sports car racing, by 7.633 seconds over Cameron. It was Hartley’s first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship victory and second IMSA win, taking a GRAND-AM Rolex Series victory at Road America in 2013.
“We had a really strong middle of the race,” Hartley said. “We had a comfortable lead, actually. We had a little problem halfway through, which put us P4 or P5, so we had to fight back. I got past Filipe Albuquerque just before the last safety car. He got me back in the pits.
“Then, with the last restart, that was nuts. I mean, the three or four race contenders were at the back of the GTs and it was mayhem. In the end, I kept it clean, and the other two didn’t and that’s how I ended up in the lead. I was looking forward to a good scrap at the end with Filipe. It was a shame he got a penalty. It would have been a nice finish of the race, but I’m so proud of everyone involved, Ryan, Scott, the whole team. Not a scratch on the car after 10 hours of hard racing, and around here that says a lot. Awesome race.”
For Sharp, Dalziel and the Patrón ESM team, it was the third major North American endurance race victory in the past two years, after taking both the Rolex 24 At Daytona and Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida last year. It was the Patrón ESM team’s second win this season, as Derani and van Overbeek won in the No. 22 Nissan DPi at Road America in August. It was Sharp’s 15th IMSA win and Dalziel’s 10th IMSA.
“We came back fighting, a great effort from Patrón ESM, both cars,” said Dalziel. “I think either car could have won it. Its a shame we had the penalty. Super, super stoked for Scott and for the 2-car guys, they did an amazing job as always.”
Despite the late-race incident, 2016 WeatherTech Championship Prototype champions Cameron and Curran – who were joined for this race by Conway – came home second in Cameron’s final race with the team before going to the new Team Penske Acura DPi program next year. That was one spot better than his future teammates, Juan Pablo Montoya, Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud, who finished third in the No. 6 Team Penske ORECA LM P2 car.
Complete race results are available at Results.IMSA.com.
No. 26 BAR1 Motorsports Team of Grist, Drissi, Falb Wins Motul Petit Le Mans
The final race in the history of the Prototype Challenge (PC) class featured a trio of first-time winners in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition.
John Falb, Garett Grist and Tomy Drissi co-drove the No. 26 BAR1 Motorsports ORECA FLM09 to victory in the 20th Anniversary Motul Petit Le Mans on Saturday at Road Atlanta, as a seven-race PC win streak by the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA FLM09 team.
The complexion of the PC race changed just past the halfway point in the 10-hour race. Leader Kyle Masson in the No. 38 machine was involved in an incident with the No. 13 Rebellion Racing ORECA LM P2 car of Nick Heidfeld, removing both cars from contention. Two laps later, Drissi took the lead from his BAR1 teammate, Buddy Rice in the No. 20 entry.
The teammates traded the class lead a couple of times in the sixth hour, but the No. 26 pulled away over the last three-and-a-half hours to win by eight laps. While it was the first WeatherTech Championship win for all three drivers, it was Drissi’s fourth career IMSA win, with three previous victories in the American Le Mans Series. Falb and Grist had not won previously at the top levels of IMSA.
“The PC class, you know, it really did its job since 2010,” Drissi said. “They were great battles, I know they weren’t the P1 or P2 cars, or the big factory teams, but some of the greatest racing in those cars will be talked about by drivers and teams and fans. I’m just so happy to be here. It was so hard to fight today. Everybody was on it ten tenths. I think before my next race I need to do some pushups.”
BMW Team RLL Scores Motul Petit Le Mans Victory In GTLM Class At Road Atlanta
Saturday, October 7, 2017
https://www.imsa.com/news/102017/bmw-te ... ad-atlanta
BMW Team RLL capped off an impressive IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season Saturday with its second win in a Tequila Patrón North American Endurance event this year Saturday in the Motul Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.
Alexander Sims held off Antonio Garcia over a final 28-minute sprint to the checkered flag to give the No. 25 BMW Team RLL BMW M6 GTLM co-driven by Bill Auberlen and Kuno Wittmer its third GT Le Mans (GTLM) win of the season. The team’s other two wins came at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and the six-hour Patrón Endurance Cup race at Watkins Glen.
It was a milestone victory for Auberlen, who was making his 400th career start with BMW. It was his 58th career IMSA win, putting him two behind Scott Pruett who leads all-time with 60 wins.
“I'm the most fortunate person in the world,” said Auberlen. “It’s been a privilege driving for BMW for 21 years, and on my 400th race to win … I'm amongst a lot of great guys here, a lot of great teammates. A lot of the smartest people in the world here working for BMW. I'm very thankful and so happy.”
“Co-driving with such a legend, I mean this guy is amazing to drive with,” added Wittmer. “He teaches every young kid out there a trick or two. And Alex (Sims) at the end, a ball of talent. It’s just really, really pleasant to be with these two guys.”
The No. 25 BMW team finished the season second in the GTLM standings.
Three different manufacturers made up the top three spots with the No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTE of Giancarlo Fisichella, Toni Vilander and Alessandro Pier Guidi.
Montaplast Audi Team Wins GTD Class At Motul Petit Le Mans
The Montaplast by Land-Motorsport team may not campaign a full-season entry in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, but when they show up at a track they have to be considered one of the favorites.
That was certainly the case this weekend with Connor De Phillippi, Sheldon van der Linde and Christopher Mies co-driving to an impressive victory in the Motul Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. It was the team’s third start of the season in the No. 29 Audi R8 LMS GT3, after finishing second at the Rolex 24 At Daytona and fourth at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida.
It was the first career WeatherTech Championship win for the team and each of its three drivers.
“We almost got our first win at Daytona,” said De Phillippi. “We left there with a very sour taste in our mouth because we knew it was right in front of us. We recovered, we did some homework. We improved in some areas we knew we needed to after the first two rounds and we came here and gave it all we had.”
Despite a lengthy lead in the final hour, a late-race caution set up a 28-minute dash to the checkered flag with De Phillippi suddenly just ahead of the No. 28 Alegra Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R of Michael Christensen. It didn’t take long, however, for De Phillippi to pull away, eventually winning by 15.518 seconds.
Christensen held on to second for he and co-drivers Daniel Morad and Michael de Quesada. The No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R of Patrick Lindsey, Joerg Bergmeister and Matt McMurry rounded out the podium.
Race Results and Final Table: http://results.imsa.com/
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- Mike D
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