Petit Le Mans: AXR Cadillac wins, Montoya/Cameron seal title
Action Express Racing trio Pipo Derani, Felipe Nasr and Eric Curran won a thrilling Petit Le Mans after a late yellow, but it wasn’t enough to stop Acura Team Penske’s Dane Cameron and Juan Pablo Montoya from winning the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship title.
A full-course caution caused by Toni Vilander spinning the Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GTE into the gravel saw the five leading DPi cars make a splash-and-dash.
Following the restart with 24 minutes to go, suddenly the hitherto leader, the #5 AXR Cadillac DPi-V.R of Mike Conway, Filipe Albuquerque and Joao Barbosa pulled in with an exploded brake disc, leaving Derani up front, fending off the Jordan Taylor-steered Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac and Ricky Taylor in the #7 Acura Team Penske ARX-05.
Derani had a late scuffle with the #912 Porsche of Earl Bamber at Turn 10A, but held on for victory in the #31 Cadillac he shared with Nasr and Curran.
But fourth place was still enough for Cameron and Montoya to win the drivers' title by five points ahead of AXR pair Nasr and Derani.
The #77 Mazda RT24-P should have been in the hunt too, having delayed its final stop and having therefore led up until the yellow, but a misfire on the restart left Oliver Jarvis helpless and falling down the field, behind Montoya’s lapped title-winning Acura.
Jarvis eventually finished sixth behind the leading JDC-Miller Cadillac in fifth, while the stricken #5 AXR Cadillac was classified seventh ahead of the CORE autosport Nissan DPi on the team's final outing in the DPi class.
Neither of the two LMP2s were running at the finish, but the PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca of Dalton Kellett, Gabriel Aubry and Matt McMurry was credited with class victory.
GTLM: Risi Ferrari wins on IMSA return
In GT Le Mans, James Calado did a brilliant job for Risi Competizione to edge away from Ryan Briscoe in the Ford GT in the closing stages, winning by 7.795sec, having run a similar distance apart the previous side of the yellow.
Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi and Daniel Serra drove a near-spotless race, staying within range of the Fords when they were at their peak through the middle third of the race with Scott Dixon leading, before Pier Guidi pounced on Dixon’s co-driver, fulltimer Richard Westbrook.
Third place was a great effort by Tom Blomqvist, Connor De Philippi and Colton Herta in the #24 BMW M8 GTE, inching away from the Antonio Garcia/Jan Magnussen/Mike Rockenfeller-driven #3 Corvette in the C7.R’s swansong outing.
Porsche duo Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor won the GTLM title despite a muted run to fifth place for the #912 along with Mathieu Jaminet, having only needed to finish eighth to be sure of the title, ahead of the #911 driven by Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet and Frederic Makowiecki.
GTD: Auberlen wins for Turner after late drama
There was last-lap drama in GT Daytona as Felipe Fraga in the Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 ran off the track and out of fuel while Bill Auberlen was on his decklid in the Turner Motorsports BMW M6 GT3 pushing for the lead.
Victory for the Auberlen/Robby Foley/Dillon Machavern-piloted car meant that Auberlen has now scored 60 IMSA wins – equalling the record held by the now-retired Scott Pruett.
Christopher Mies, Ricky Feller and Daniel Morad came home a close second in the Montaplast by Land Motorsport Audi R8 LMS, ahead of the Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R of Scott Hargrove, Zacharie Robichon and Lars Kern.
Meyer Shank Racing pair Trent Hindman and Mario Farnbacher sealed the title despite the Acura NSX GT3 they shared with Justin Marks dropping out in the first half of the race with engine trouble.
Petit Le Mans: Mazda vs AXR battle rages with two hours left
Briscoe hails one of Ford’s best performances in GT swansong