IMSA SportsCar Championship: Another double victory for Mazda
Mazda was waiting for seven years, since August 2012, to return to victory lane in the IMSA SportsCar Championship and then it took two victories in just seven days.
First, the #55 Mazda RT24-P has won the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen and then, Mazda Team Joest took another double victory in the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (Mosport). This time, the winners were Oliver Jarvis and Tristan Nunez in the #77 Mazda RT24-P, in front of teammates Harry Tincknell/Jonathan Bomarito in the #55 car.
Jarvis grabbed the lead from teammate Tincknell on the final pit stop with just under 50 minutes remaining and led the rest of the race, crossing the line 1.699 seconds ahead of Tincknell. It was third IMSA win for Jarvis and first since taking the overall victory at Sebring back in 2013. For his co-driver Nunez, it was his first overall IMSA victory and sixth class victory.
Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron extended their lead in the DPi class with a third-place finish in the #6 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 DPi. It was their fifth consecutive podium result and they now lead Action Express Racing’s Pipo Derani and Felipe Nasr by three points (207-204) after six of ten races in 2019. The #31 crew finished fourth at Mosport. Ricky Taylor and Helio Castroneves were fifth in the #7 Acura and they remain third in the DPi classification, nine points behind the leaders.
In the LMP2 class, Matt McMurry and the #52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca team picked up their third-consecutive class victory to move into the class lead in the championship. McMurry’s co-driver at Mosport was Canadian Dalton Kellett, who made his IMSA competition debut.
Among GT cars, Porsche scored record-breaking fifth consecutive GTLM class victory this year. The winners are Laurens Vanthoor and Earl Bamber in the #912 Porsche 911 RSR, what is their third win of the season. They also took over the championship lead in the GTLM class.
The #24 BMW M8 GTE of BMW Team RLL started from pole, driven by Jesse Krohn. He was in the lead for 45 laps, then handing a car to John Edwards, who finished he race in the second place. The #911 Porsche of Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet finished in the third place.
In the GTD class, the victory went to Turner Motorsport’s Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley in the #96 BMW M6 GT3. For Auberlen, it’s his 59th IMSA victory in a career and he is just one win behind record-holder Scott Pruett.
Foley qualified the car on pole and stayed in the lead. He and Auberlen were leading 107 of 113 laps in the race. While it was Auberlen’s 59th IMSA win, Foley recorded his maiden victory in IMSA’s premier division.
Meyer Shank Racing’s Trent Hindman and Mario Farnbacher collected their third consecutive podium, finishing second in the #86 Acura NSX GT3, and expanded their championship lead to 19 points (151-132) over the #12 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 duo of Frank Montecalvo and Townsend Bell. Bell and Montecalvo finished third at Mosport.
The race was red-flagged for eight minutes following a heavy crash in Turn 2 by Victor Franzoni in the #50 Juncos Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R. Franzoni was awake and alert and was transported to a local hospital for further evaluation.
The next IMSA race would be the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park on July 20, reserved for GTLM and GTD cars. The DPi and LMP2 classes would return to competition next month at Road America.
Photos: IMSA, Mazda Motorsports, Porsche,