IMSA - Road America: Breakthrough victory for Nissan DPi
A duo in the #22 Tequila Patron ESM Nissan DPi scored the breakthrough victory for Nissan in the new DPi class and stopped the 7-race win streak for Cadillac. It’s the first win for Tequila Patron ESM since their triumph in the last year’s Sebring 12 Hours.
After two hours and 40 minutes of racing, championship leaders and this season’s five-time winners Ricky and Jordan Taylor were not far away, their #10 Konica Minolta Cadillac crossed the finish line just 2.356 seconds behind the winners.
Tequila Patron ESM’s another crew, Ryan Dalziel and Scott Sharp in the #2 Nissan, finished in the third place, scoring their third podium of the season. Dane Cameron and Eric Curran, who won both of the past two IMSA Championship races at Road America – finished fourth in the #31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi, with Renger van der Zande and Marc Goossens fifth in the #90 Visit Florida Racing Ligier LMP2.
Seven out of seven for French and O’Ward
In the Prototype Challenge class just three cars participated. Performance Tech’s James French and Patricio O’Ward maintained their perfect score with seventh win in seventh race. BAR Motorsports’ Mark Kvamme and Gustavo Yacaman finished second in the same lap as the winners. The third crew in the #20 BAR1 Motorsports ORECA FLM09 were Don Yount and Buddy Rice.
GTLM class win for #66 Ford
In the GTLM class, Daytona 24h winners Joey Hand and Dirk Müller returned to the top podium spot. Their #66 Ford GT beat the #912 Porsche 911 RSR of Laurens Vanthoor and Gianmaria Bruno by just 0.621 second. Joey Hand made a decisive move on a restart with 31 minutes remaining when he passed Laurens Vanthoor.
Another Ford crew in the #67 completed a podium. Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe finished third with comfortable gap ahead of Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen in the #3 Corvette Racing C7.R. Garcia and Magnussen remained in the championship lead, five points in front of Hand and Müller. Bill Auberlen and Alexander Sims are third in the championship, just a point behind second-placed rivals, after finishing sixth at Road America in the #25 BMW Team RLL BMW M6 GTLM.
First win for Turner Motorsport BMW
In the GTD class, Turner Motorsport scored the first win of the season with #96 BMW M6 GT3. The drivers were Jens Klingmann and Jesse Krohn. They were leading for 65 of 67 laps, crossing a finish line three seconds ahead of #73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R of Patrick Lindsey and Jörg Bergmeister. Lawson Aschenbach and Andrew Davis finished third in the #57 Stevenson Motorsports Audi R8 LMS GT3.
The championship-leading #63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 of Alessandro Balzan and Christina Nielsen finished fifth and holds a 15-point lead over Ben Keating and Jeroen Bleekemolen in the #33 Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3.
The next race in the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is the Michelin GT Challenge at Virginia International Raceway on August 27,but only for GTLM and GTD cars. Prototype class will return to action in the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on September 24 while PC class will race again at season’s finale (Petit Le Mans, October 7).
Photos: LAT Images/imsa.com,