RACING

Pfaff Porsche and Winward Mercedes claim victories

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GTD-Pro

Poleman Ross Gunn at the heart of the Aston Martin Vantage race took the lead from the start of the race, and Matt Campbell had no trouble placing the Pfaff Porsche 911 GT3 R inside the Corvette C8.R by Antonio Garcia to take second place. Connor De Phillippi’s BMW M4 and Jack Hawksworth’s Lexus RC F took fourth and fifth place.

Over the first five laps, this classy quintet stayed covered by just 2 seconds, Garcia putting pressure on Campbell, but it was Hawksworth who made the first move, moving past De Phillippi to take fourth place on lap 7. Next time around, the Lexus driver set the fastest lap of the race so far as he began to close the gap to him and Garcia. In the process, he pulled away from De Phillippi, but with everyone running very conservatively, the BMW was able to close in when the driver chose him. On lap 22, just 3.3 seconds covered the top five.

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Corvette Racing pitted Garcia so Jordan Taylor could take over on lap 26, while Hawksworth stayed in the Lexus when he pitted. By the time the remaining riders pulled into the pits, the yellow C8.R was in the lead 10 seconds ahead of Matthieu Jaminet who had taken over the Pfaff Porsche which had also skipped Gunn’s Aston HoR. De Phillippi, who was the last to stop and pass the baton to John Edwards, was now 21 seconds off the lead and nine behind fourth – a spectacular demonstration of the benefits of an early pit stop late.

Under yellow with 75 minutes remaining, all five cars stopped, but now the Corvette needed more fuel because it had stopped early last time, so Taylor joined fourth in class, and it was Jaminet’s Porsche and Edwards’ BMW up front, ahead of Ben. Barnicoat who had taken over the Lexus #14. HoR’s second stoppage was disastrous and with Alex Riberas now in the car he was now 14e overall, and he would receive a pass for pit work outside his pitbox.

After the restart Jaminet lost time behind the off-strategy GTD cars, but with just under an hour remaining he passed Andy Lally’s Aston Magnus Racing to take the overall lead. This seemed to spur Taylor to pull away from the Corvette and passed Barnicoat’s Lexus and Edwards’ BMW to take second place, now three seconds behind Pfaff’s Porsche. However, just as he passed Lally’s Aston Martin GTD car, Taylor pitted but with no tire changes, and a recent stop, that was fast. Edwards and Barnicoat also pitted a lap later, but while Edwards took four new tires, Lexus only went for fuel, like Corvette.

A lap after that, Jaminet pitted and Pfaff fitted only rear tyres, and he came out still ahead of Taylor, but they were behind the penalized Aston Martin HoR although Riberas would need to make a third fuel stop.

Jaminet and Taylor, three seconds apart, passed Aston in the final 16 minutes, and sure enough, Pfaff Porsche led Taylor by just 0.823 seconds. Riberas’ late stop allowed Barnicoat to take third place, while Riberas headed home 11 seconds ahead of Edwards’ BMW.

GDT

#57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3: Russell Ward, Philip Ellis

Photo by: Art Fleischmann

Russell Ward converted his class-leading pole from the start of the race, his Mercedes AMG GT3 edging Aidan Read’s Rick Ware Racing Acura NSX ahead of Madison Snow’s Paul Miller Racing BMW M4, which started the race won the IMSA Michelin Sprint Cup. Behind Snow was racing Robert Megennis in the Carbahn with Peregrine Racing Lamborghini Huracan, Mike Skeen’s Korthoff Motorsports team, Robby Foley’s Turner Motorsports BMW and Roman de Angelis in the Aston Martin Pro-Am.

Unfortunately, Jaden Conwright had to pull over and park the Lamborghini Huracan NTE/SSR when its engine blew up on the opening lap.

Those seven had shot 4 seconds over the Lexus of Frankie Montecalvo and 18 seconds over the rest of the field on lap 15, while Ward had a margin of 1.8 seconds over Read.

Once the minimum driving time was completed (45 minutes) on lap 23, Turner Motorsport immediately pitted their M4, but in fact Foley remained on board. Being one of the fastest Am riders and with fresh tires and clean air, the team had high hopes of jumping several cars they were chasing that were all still running on the Michelins they were riding on. were qualified.

It was a great strategy, with WeatherTech Racing, Wright Motorsports and Team Hardpoint all pitting their cars against each other, following suit to install their Pro drivers, Jules Gounon, Jan Heylen and Katherine Legge starting with new tyres. However, the latter spun on her turn.

This of course triggered a slew of stops, but Winward Racing had a possible wheel failure, so the Mercedes crashed.

Turner’s tactics and Foley’s driving had both proven spot-on, and the No. 96 BMW had moved from sixth to lead ahead of Read’s RWR Acura, Stevan McAleer now driving the team’s Mercedes Korthoff, Bryan Sellers who had replaced Snow in the BMW PMR. , Jeff Westphal now in the Carbahn Peregrine Lambo, Maxime Martin now in the second HoR Aston and Philip Ellis now in the Winward Benz.

Unfortunately for the Korthoff team, McAleer had to bring the Mercedes back to the pits just five laps after taking over from Skeen. The problem was diagnosed as a loose right rear wheel.

The second stint was enlivened by the battle between Read and Sellers for second place, finally resolved in the BMW driver’s favor with a small boost in Turn 1 that swept the Acura away. The sellers pulled away to try and shut down another BMW Foley driver, who had taken a 7 second lead. Read was left to try and fend off Westphal, Martin, Ellis and Aaron Telitz in the second Lexus.

Just behind Westphal ahead of Read to take third place, Ellis tried to pass Martin’s Aston Martin through the Esses, ran wide and picked up a WeatherTech banner, dragging debris onto the track. Ellis would only lead one place, in the Lexus of Telitz.

Debris caused the first full yellow course, and Turner would suffer for the same reason Corvette did in GTD Pro – the early first stop meant the M4 needed more fuel, and so Bill Auberlen who had replaced Foley was now sixth in the class. Out of strategy, Andy Lally (Magnus Racing) and Legge (Hardpoint) were in the lead – ahead of the GTD Pro cars – but “clean” it was Sellers ahead of Telitz, Martin, Westphal and Ellis.

On the restart, Ellis hit Westphal’s Lambo, pushing its right rear bodywork onto its tire, causing the Carbahn Peregrine car to puncture. Ryan Eversley had to perform a drive-thru in the RWR Acura after the car was serviced by too many people over the pit wall.

Sellers and Telitz raced a second apart at the top of the field (and ahead of the general classification) with 30 minutes to go, while Ellis had demoted Auberlen, then Martin, to push the Winward Racing Mercedes into third and try to close the seven-second gap to the leaders.

Sellers stopped with 21 minutes to go, receiving only left-side tyres, but came in behind Jan Heylen in the Wright Motorsports Porsche which had made its third stop with the GTD Pro cars.

Telitz was in next and Vasser Sullivan fueled him for just over three seconds, and he emerged ahead of Heylen but just ahead, and backing the Porsche towards Sellers. Auberlen passed Martin for second with 14 minutes to go, but stopped two minutes later.

With nine minutes left, Ellis headed the Mercedes for a fuel splash, leaving Martin in front, but the Winward car emerged well before the Telitz vs Heylen vs Sellers battle, in which Sellers relied hard on his new right. side tires to make a run on Heylen with less than five minutes to go, then quickly downshift Telitz as well.

Up front, Martin was clearly trying to get fuel from his HoR Aston to the flag, but he had to give the lead to the charging Ellis. However, his margin over Sellers was such that Martin was able to claw back a remarkable second, although he inevitably ran out of fuel on the slowdown lap.

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