Petit Le Mans: WTR wins after leaders clash in final stint

Wayne Taylor Racing scored its third Petit Le Mans victory after the lead battle between Action Express Racing and Acura Team Penske saw Pipo Derani and Ricky Taylor collide with 10 minutes to go.

Petit Le Mans: WTR wins after leaders clash in final stint

Prototype

Alexander Rossi in the Acura ARX-05 snatched the lead from Felipe Nasr’s Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R with 1hr42min to go but Nasr held on, hung tough, repassed for a split second at Turn 10B and went slightly long, allowing Rossi back ahead.

Meanwhile when Dixon handed over the Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac to Ryan Briscoe, the full-timer dropped it at Turn 10 which dropped him 25sec behind the lead battle.

With 74mins to go, Nasr pitted to hand over to Derani, while Rossi stopped one lap later and left the wheel for Taylor. The pair emerged just 1.2sec apart, and Derani used his warmer tires to make the outside pass at Turn 10A and made it stick.

However, these two remained within a second, regularly jockeying for position, especially in the Turn 10 brake zone, the Cadillac appearing stronger through the curves, and the Acura stronger in a straight line. Meanwhile, van der Zande was chipping away at the pair of them…

Taylor followed Derani into the pits for his final stop and with one lap’s worth less fuel to put in – having previously stopped a lap later – the Team Penske team sent Taylor out ahead. However, Derani was in no mood to settle for second and into Turn 1 two laps later, the AXR Cadillac dived down the inside and grabbed P1.

Again, the pair stayed tied together though and with 10mins to go, Taylor dived down the inside of the AXR machine at Turn 6, didn’t look far enough alongside and the pair collided. The #31 AXR car was fired off into the gravel, allowing the closing van der Zande to move the WTR Cadillac into the lead. Taylor resumed in second, with Acura teammate Dane Cameron – who had had a separate ‘off’ moments earlier – taking third.

Tristan Vautier brought the JDC Miller MotorSports Cadillac home fourth, with AXR classified fifth and last of the cars that had been on the lead lap.

Unbelievably, in the final hour Simon Trummer had to pit and go behind the wall with the PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca after dominating the whole race. Mikkel Jensen thus ran unopposed to the checkered flag in the Tower Motorsports by Starworks machine.

GT Le Mans

Porsche finally scored its first GT Le Mans victory of the season courtesy of Frederic Makowiecki, Nick Tandy and Matt Campbell in the #911 car.

Augusto Farfus had held a 10-second lead before his final stop, but with less than 40mins to go, the lead BMW M8 was punted onto the grass at the final turn by a Prototype, and had to do a slow lap with his radiator full of grass debris and his left-front brake rotor on fire, obliging him to stop again to have the foreign matter removed.

That moved Makowiecki’s Porsche 911 RSR into the lead, 3.5sec ahead of Antonio Garcia's Corvette, with Laurens Vanthoor 7sec further back in the #912 Porsche. Farfus was right behind the second 911 however, and had Tommy Milner in the #4 Corvette right behind.

When the penultimate restart came with 7mins to go, Vanthoor collided with a GTD Lexus and went spinning off the track and into the wall.

So BMW got a consolation prize of a podium finish, and Milner, wrestling with a Corvette damaged much earlier in the race, came home fourth.

GT Daytona

Scuderia Corsa’s WeatherTech Ferrari 488 shared by Cooper MacNeil, Alessandro Balzan and Jeff Westphal took GT Daytona honors, as Westphal held on ahead of the AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F of Jack Hawksworth through the final stint.

The #12 Lexus, with Townsend Bell at the wheel, had a tough final stint, clinging onto third ahead of the GRT Magnus Lamborghini Huracan of Andy Lally until Lally took advantage of the Prototype leaders coming through.

Bell’s disappointment got worse yet. Six seconds further back, Jan Heylen in the Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R – who had an odd couple of very slow laps in the middle of the stint – passed Trent Hindman’s Heinricher Racing MSR Acura NSX, with Dennis Olsen in the Pfaff Motorsports Porsche following Heylen through.

But these Porsches caught up with and demoted Bell and then the #12 Lexus was fired into the wall by Vanthoor. That promoted Hindman into sixth, ahead of Bryan Sellers in the Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini.

Race results:

Cla Class Num Driver Chassis Laps Gap
1 DPi 10 Netherlands Renger van der Zande
Australia Ryan Briscoe
New Zealand Scott Dixon
Cadillac DPi 460
2 DPi 7 Brazil Helio Castroneves
United States Ricky Taylor
United States Alexander Rossi
Acura DPi 460 0.429
3 DPi 6 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya
United States Dane Cameron
France Simon Pagenaud
Acura DPi 460 1.236
4 DPi 5 France Sébastien Bourdais
France Tristan Vautier
France Loic Duval
Cadillac DPi 460 3.700
5 DPi 31 Brazil Felipe Nasr
Brazil Pipo Derani
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
Cadillac DPi 458
6 LMP2 8 Canada John Farano
Denmark Mikkel Jensen
Netherlands Job Van Uitert
ORECA LMP2 07 450
7 LMP2 38 James McGuire
United Kingdom Matthew Bell
United States Colin Braun
ORECA LMP2 07 445
8 DPi 55 United States Jonathan Bomarito
United Kingdom Harry Tincknell
United States Ryan Hunter-Reay
Mazda DPi 441
9 LMP2 51 United States Austin McCusker
Poland Jakub Smiechowski
United States Rob Hodes
ORECA LMP2 07 441
10 GTLM 911 United Kingdom Nick Tandy
France Frédéric Makowiecki
Australia Matt Campbell
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 431
11 GTLM 3 Spain Antonio Garcia
United States Jordan Taylor
Netherlands Nick Catsburg
Corvette C8.R 431
12 GTLM 24 Finland Jesse Krohn
United States John Edwards
Brazil Augusto Farfus
BMW M8 GTE 431
13 GTLM 4 United Kingdom Oliver Gavin
United States Tommy Milner
Switzerland Marcel Fassler
Corvette C8.R 431
14 GTLM 912 New Zealand Earl Bamber
Belgium Laurens Vanthoor
France Mathieu Jaminet
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 429
15 DPi 77 United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis
United States Tristan Nunez
France Olivier Pla
Mazda DPi 427
16 LMP2 52 United States Patrick Kelly
Switzerland Simon Trummer
United States Scott Huffaker
ORECA LMP2 07 418
17 GTD 63 United States Cooper MacNeil
Italy Alessandro Balzan
United States Jeff Westphal
Ferrari 488 GT3 413
18 GTD 14 United Kingdom Jack Hawksworth
United States Aaron Telitz
United States Michael de Quesada
Lexus RC F GT3 413
19 GTD 44 United States Andy Lally
United States John Potter
United States Spencer Pumpelly
Lamborghini Huracan GT3 413
20 GTD 16 United States Ryan Hardwick
United States Patrick Long
Belgium Jan Heylen
Porsche 911 GT3 R 413
21 GTD 9 Norway Dennis Olsen
Canada Zacharie Robichon
Germany Lars Kern
Porsche 911 GT3 R 413
22 GTD 57 Portugal Alvaro Parente
Canada Mikhail Goikhberg
United States Trent Hindman
Acura NSX GT3 413
23 GTD 48 United States Bryan Sellers
United States Madison Snow
United States Corey Lewis
Lamborghini Huracan GT3 413
24 GTD 12 United States Frankie Montecalvo
United States Townsend Bell
United States Kyle Kirkwood
Lexus RC F GT3 410
25 GTD 96 United States Bill Auberlen
United States Robby Foley
United States Dillon Machavern
BMW M6 GT3 408
26 DPi 85 United States Chris Miller
Brazil Matheus Leist
France Gabriel Aubry
Cadillac DPi 406
27 GTLM 25 Canada Bruno Spengler
United States Connor de Phillippi
United States Colton Herta
BMW M8 GTE 399
28 GTD 86 Germany Mario Farnbacher
United States Matt McMurry
Japan Shinya Michimi
Acura NSX GT3 399
29 GTD 23 United Kingdom Ian James
Canada Roman De Angelis
United Kingdom Darren Turner
Aston Martin Vantage GT3 297
30 GTD 74 United States Gar Robinson
United States Lawson Aschenbach
United States Ben Keating
Mercedes-AMG GT3 268
31 GTD 30 United States Rob Ferriol
Germany Markus Winkelhock
United States Andrew Davis
Audi R8 LMS GT3 258
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