IMSA: Derani, Van Overbeek back to the top podium spot at Laguna Seca
Tequila Patron ESM’s Pipo Derani and Johannes van Overbeek won the Monterey Grand Prix/America’s Tire 250, the penultimate round of the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship that took place at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
For the duo in the #22 Nissan DPi, it’s the second win of the year after they triumphed at Sebring 12 Hours in March. They made it after starting from the back of the Prototype grid as Van Overbeek missed Saturday’s qualifying session due to illness. They progressed through the field and Derani took the lead with 35 minutes remaining in the 160-minute race when race leader Harry Tincknell spun the #55 Mazda DPi.
Derani stayed in front and won the race by 10.9 seconds over Colin Braun in the #54 CORE Autosport’s ORECA LMP2 machine. Braun’s co-driver was Jon Bennett. Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron finished third in the #6 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 DPi. Tincknell recovered from a spin to finish fourth with co-driver Jonathan Bomarito.
The podium finish moved Braun/Bennett to the second place in the Prototype standings, just four points behind Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr, who finished fifth in the #31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R. Just one race is on the calendar, the Petit Le Mans, scheduled for October 13 at Road Atlanta.
In the GTLM class, the BMW Team RLL scored the second win in a row after a previous triumph of their #25 BMW M8 GTE at Virginia. Connor De Phillippi and Alexander Sims won the race ahead of the #912 Porsche 911 RSR, driven by Laurens Vanthoor and Earl Bamber. De Phillippi crossed the finish line 2.488 seconds ahead of Vanthoor.
The #3 Corvette C7.R of Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen crossed the finish line in the third place, scoring seventh consecutive podium finish to remain in the championship lead ahead of season’s finale. They lead Ford’s Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe by nine points (299-290).
In the GTD class, the championship contender Katherine Legge took his second win of the season in the #86 Acura NSX GT3 of Meyer Shank Racing which she was sharing with Alvaro Parente. Following the team’s final pit stop with 30 minutes remaining, Parente powered the #86 Acura from P4 to the lead during the final 10 minutes of the race.
Legge is now just six points behind GTD class leaders Madison Snow and Bryan Sellers, who finished fourth in Paul Miller Racing’s #48 Lamborghini Huracan GT3. Patrick Lindsey and Jorg Bergmeister reached the second place at Laguna Seca in the #73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, ahead of Ben Keating and Jeroen Bleekemolen in the #33 Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3.