Ricky Taylor and Helio Castroneves have taken victory for Acura Team Penske in a chaotic IMSA SportsCar Weekend race at Road America that was red-flagged for torrential rain.
The #7 Acura ARX-05 started the race from pole position and spent the majority of the race battling with their pair of Mazda RT24-Ps that included a breathtaking pass for the lead by Helio Castroneves on the #77 Mazda of Oliver Jarvis.
Jarvis then retook the lead in the middle of a pitstop cycle before the heavens opened and heavy rain hit the track, during which Renger van der Zande pitted the #10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-VR for wet tyres while Jarvis stayed out on slicks.
The heavy rain caught out several cars, including GTLM leader Earl Bamber in the #912 Porsche 911 RSR-19, who slid into the gravel at turn 1, while LMP2 leader Simon Trummer slammed his #52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA 07-Gibson into the #6 Acura of Dane Cameron, damaging both cars and ending any victory hopes.
The race was red-flagged shortly thereafter, and when the race resumed behind the safety car, Jarvis immediately dived into the pits, allowing Van der Zande to take the lead, still in torrential conditions.
The Dutchman then came under pressure from Castroneves and eventually lost the lead, while the rain continued to worsen. A second full course yellow was then brought out on the final lap of the race as several GTLM cars had an incident, allowing Castroneves to cruise to victory.
He finished ahead of Van der Zande and the #31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-VR of Pipo Derani and Felipe Nasr, which did well to recover after crashing prior to the red flag.
Sebastien Bourdais and Joao Barbosa finished fourth in the #5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-VR, with Jonathan Bomarito and Harry Tincknell finishing fifth in the #55 Mazda.
Top honours in LMP2 went to the #81 Dragonspeed ORECA 07-Gibson of Ben Hanley and Henrik Hedman, which inherited after Trummer’s crash. James French and Cameron Cassels finished second in the #38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA 07-Gibson, ahead of Kyle Tilley and Dwight Merriman in the #18 Era Motorsport entry.
Corvette survives chaos for another one-two
Corvette Racing meanwhile took an unlikely one-two in the final stages of the race after their rivals crashed out in the treacherous conditions. Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor led much of the race in the #912 Porsche 911 RSR-19 after starting from pole, but Bamber was one of the first to fall victim to the heavy rain, sliding off the circuit in a frightening spin shortly before the red flag.
Both Corvettes had fallen out of favor for the race win after both cars had separate issues during their pitstops. But when the GTLM field pitted under yellow after the restart, almost the entire field came in to fit wet tyres, promoting the #3 Corvette C8.R, in the hands of Antonio Garcia to second place behind John Edwards.
Edwards then crashed the #24 BMW M8 GTE in the increasing rain, as did Nick Tandy in the #911 Porsche 911 RSR-19, allowing Garcia through into the lead to take the victory for himself and Jordan Taylor.
Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner moved up into second in the #4 Corvette, allowing the American squad to take its second consecutive one-two finish.
John Edwards recovered from his spill to fill the remaining podium spot for himself and Jesse Krohn, ahead of the two Porsches, both two laps down.
Lexus wins again
AIM Vasser Sullivan continued their unbeaten streak since the season restart with a win for the #12 Lexus RC F GT3 of Townsend Bell and Frankie Montecalvo.
Bell had taken the lead in class from team-mate Jack Hawksworth in the #14 Lexus prior to the red flag, but came under immense pressure from the #86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo, driven by Mario Farnbacher after the restart. Farnbacher charged up the order in the wet conditions and took the lead from Bell with minutes remaining.
The German, however, was also caught out by the treacherous conditions and spun, handing the lead back to Bell. Farnbacher and Matt McMurry took second place, while Hawksworth hung on to third place for himself and Aaron Telitz after the #63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo of Toni Vilander and Cooper MacNeil briefly held third before the restart, ultimately ultimately finishing fourth.
The top five was completed by the #16 Wright Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R of Patrick Long and Ryan Hardwick.
|1||DPi||Helio Castroneves / Ricky Taylor||Acura DPi|
|2||DPi||Renger van der Zande / Ryan Briscoe||Cadillac DPi||0.383|
|3||DPi||Felipe Nasr / Pipo Derani||Cadillac DPi||4.131|
|4||DPi||Joao Barbosa / Sébastien Bourdais||Cadillac DPi||36.994|
|5||DPi||Jonathan Bomarito / Harry Tincknell||Mazda DPi||40.192|
|6||DPi||Oliver Jarvis / Tristan Nunez||Mazda DPi||4:04.486|
|7||DPi||Chris Miller / Tristan Vautier||Cadillac DPi||1 lap|
|8||LMP2||Henrik Hedman / Ben Hanley||ORECA LMP2 07||2 laps|
|9||DPi||Dane Cameron / Juan Pablo Montoya||Acura DPi||3 laps|
|10||GTLM||Antonio Garcia / Jordan Taylor||Corvette C8.R||3 laps|
|11||GTLM||Oliver Gavin / Tommy Milner||Corvette C8.R||3 laps|
|12||LMP2||Cameron Cassels / James French||ORECA LMP2 07||3 laps|
|13||LMP2||Dwight Merriman / Kyle Tilley||ORECA LMP2 07||3 laps|
|14||GTLM||Jesse Krohn / John Edwards||BMW M8 GTE||3 laps|
|15||GTLM||Nick Tandy / Frédéric Makowiecki||Porsche 911 RSR – 19||5 laps|
|16||GTLM||Earl Bamber / Laurens Vanthoor||Porsche 911 RSR – 19||5 laps|
|17||GTD||Frankie Montecalvo / Townsend Bell||Lexus RC F GT3||6 laps|
|18||GTD||Mario Farnbacher / Matt McMurry||Acura NSX GT3||6 laps|
|19||GTD||Jack Hawksworth / Aaron Telitz||Lexus RC F GT3||6 laps|
|20||GTD||Cooper MacNeil / Toni Vilander||Ferrari 488 GT3||6 laps|
|21||GTD||Ryan Hardwick / Patrick Long||Porsche 911 GT3 R||6 laps|
|22||GTD||Gar Robinson / Lawson Aschenbach||Mercedes-AMG GT3||6 laps|
|23||GTD||Robby Foley / Bill Auberlen||BMW M6 GT3||6 laps|
|24||GTD||Andy Lally / John Potter||Lamborghini Huracan GT3||6 laps|
|25||GTD||Corey Fergus / Paul Holton||McLaren 720S GT3||6 laps|
|26||GTD||Rob Ferriol / Spencer Pumpelly||Audi R8 LMS GT3||6 laps|
|27||GTLM||Bruno Spengler / Connor de Phillippi||BMW M8 GTE||8 laps|
|28||GTD||Till Bechtolsheimer / Marc Miller||Acura NSX GT3||8 laps|
|29||LMP2||Simon Trummer / Patrick Kelly||ORECA LMP2 07||10 laps|
|30||GTD||Alvaro Parent / Mikhail Goikhberg||Acura NSX GT3||16 laps|