IMSA SportsCar Weekend at Road America Recap
The No. 7 Porsche Penske Porsche 963 secured its first win of the season at IMSA Sportscar Weekend at Road America. The car benefited from the beginning of the race when it was announced that the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac V-Series.R would start from the back of the grid after crashing out of the morning warm up session prior to the race. The No. 07 Porsche would never look back; holding the lead for all but one lap of the race. Driver Matt Campbell had the following words for the IMSA media, “
“Obviously, we got a little bit lucky with the No. 31 having an incident in the warm-up,” said Campbell, who claimed his third career victory at Road America – the first in a prototype. “I had such an incredible lack of traffic at the beginning and that’s why the gap got as big as it was at times. We’ve been fast on quite a few occasions, but luck has never been on our side. Today we just executed perfectly and it’s nice to get a win on the board after a tough year.”
Co-Driver Felipe Nasr Also Offered his Comments
“I’m just happy everything finally came together this weekend,” added Nasr. “We came close several times this year; the speed was always there, but we had a couple reliability issues, a couple mistakes, and some bad luck. It’s a big relief for the whole team. I know how much work the No. 7 crew has put in, and it was about time, I would say.”
The Team RLL Racing No. 25 BMW M entered the race weekend in second place. Starting driver Conner De Phillippi made contact with the wall on the second lap just before turn 11 which required the car to pit. The car would be released again down 58 laps behind the race leader and ultimately would be retired. The car will definitely relinquish their championship position. Neither car from the RLL Racing team finished the race this weekend. The No. 24 car completed 55 laps before retiring due to an electrical issue. The team did not included a statement regarding the car failures in their post race press release.
Meyer Shank Racing claimed second place in the race. The No. 60 Acura ARX-06 held on to the No. 07 Porsche for the majority of the race but never showed that it had the pace to pass it. The team finished 4.635 seconds behind the No. 07 Porsche. Acura had a great day as a manufacturer securing two podium positions. The No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura Arx-06 rounded out the podium in third.
PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports took the win from P4 on the grid. The win comes during a very tight race for the LMP2 championship. The win will place the team at the top of the table pending any post race changes to the finishing order. With two races to go in the season wins are all that matter. The top 3 in the class were separated by 6 points as the teams entered the weekend. PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports started the weekend in 3rd place.
PRI Mathiasen Motorsports driver Ben Keating stated, “I had a really good start, didn’t make mistakes, got up to the front. Our car was better in the race than it was in qualifying. I think I did a lap close to my quali lap with a lot of fuel and on used tires. A great day for the championship.”
The TDS Racing team rounded out the top 3 after a treacherous opening to the race weekend. Both cars were heavily damaged in practice sessions but the teams got the cars turned around and their efforts resulted in a double podium for the team. All top 3 cars finished the race on the lead lap.
Riley secured their fourth straight win with the No. 74 Ligier JS P320. Riley won the in class race by a margin of 11.785 seconds ahead of the Sean Creech Motorsport No. 33 car. The No.13 AWA Racing Duqueine D08 finished third. The championship seems all but decided for Riley this year. The team came into the race weekend with a 181 point lead. With this win that margin will only be extended. Final standings will be released at a later time. 4 cars in class finished on the lead lap.
In GTD Pro the Heart of Racing Team No. 23 wins again in back to back wins this season. The win came form pole position. Driver Ross Gunn stated after the race, “We seem to have found something that’s working very well for us. But to be honest, throughout the whole season we’ve had a package that has been quick enough and competitive enough to be at the front, but it just hasn’t clicked. Now things are starting to work.” The No. 23 car was the only car in class to finish on the lead lap of the race. In second place was the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 followed by the No. 03 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C8.R GTD.
In GTD Paul Miller Racing continued their dominance maintaining the top spot in the championship race. The team finished 2.261 seconds ahead of the Inception Racing McLaren 720S GT3 EVO. The Team Korthoff Motorsports Mercedes AMG GT3 finished third in class.
The next stop for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is August 25-27 at VIRginia International Raceway with the Michelin GT Challenge at VIR featuring the Grand Touring Daytona Pro (GTD PRO) and GTD classes. The Prototype cars rejoin the championship race for the TireRack.com Battle On The Bricks at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sept 15-17.