Starworks wins at Lime Rock Park, Corvette Racing leads GTLM class
Starworks Motorsport’s Alex Popow and Renger van der Zande are the winners of the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park, the eighth round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The race was reserved for PC, GTLM and GTD cars only, without Prototype cars. In the GTLM class, Corvette Racing took 1-2 victory ahead of Chip Ganassi’s Ford, with Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin in the victorious #4 Corvette C7.R. In GTD class, Magnus Racing’s John Potter and Andy Lally climbed to the top podium spot.
At the start of the race, Alex Popow in the #8 Starworks car moved from fourth to second, behind Robert Alon in the #52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports’ Oreca. Third was Jose Gutierrez in the #7 Starworks car, ahead of Matt McMurry in the #20 BAR1 Motorsport’s car. At half distance of the 2h40min race, Alon led McMurry by 13 seconds, with Renger Van Der Zande in the #8 Starworks car a further 18 seconds back.
However, the yellow caused by the Bamber/Werner shunt, and the subsequent pitstops caused an order reshuffle, as Van Der Zande took the lead, ahead of Tom Kimber-Smith in the #52 PR1/Mathiasen car. Johnny Mowlem in the #20 BAR1 machine was third. In the closing stages, Kyle Marcelli grabbed the final podium spot for #38 Performance Tech Motorsports.
In the GTLM class, Richard Westbrook started from pole in the #67 Ford GT but he went wide and lost the lead, dropping to eighth. Dirk Werner in the #25 BMW M6 was the new leader, ahead of Toni Vilander n the #62 Risi Competizione’s Ferrari and Tommy Milner in the #4 Corvette.
With hour and half to go, Vilander grab the lead from Werner. Vilander then had pulled a six second lead over Werner. On the other side, Earl Bamber in the #912 Porsche wanted to take Werner’s second place. The battle finished with a big crash, causing the full course yellow.
Giancarslo Fisichella took over the leading Ferrari and remained in the lead until lap 135, when he went off the course at the end of the pit straight losing the lead to Gavin. On the next lap, the Ferrari went off at Big Bend, and this time Briscoe’s Ford past the recovering Ferrari. The last change followed with 20 minutes to go, when Garcia moved to the second, securing 1-2 victory for Corvette Racing.