Motorsport Week  |    |   0  |  6 May 2018

Acura Team Penske Claims 1-2 at Mid-Ohio

Ricky Taylor and Juan Pablo Montoya led home an Acura Team Penske one-two at the Mid-Ohio round of the IMSA Sportscar Championship.

The pair of Acura ARX-05s crossed the line 8.4 seconds apart, with Taylor initially having to hold off a hard-charging Montoya before the Colombian faded during the final laps.

Taylor shared the win with team-mate Helio Castroneves, who controlled the opening stages of the 2-hour 40-minute contest from pole position.

The result marked Acura Team Penske's first IMSA Sportscar Championship victory, and the first for Castroneves who switched to the series from IndyCar at the end of last year.

Completing the podium was the #77 Joest-run Mazda RT24-P DPi of Tristan Nunez and Oliver Jarvis, while the #5 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi of Filipe Albuquerque and Joao Barbosa claimed fourth.

Mazda offered the sternest challenge to the pair of Penske cars up front, but their early opposition fizzled out as the race progressed.

Despite initially matching the Acuras for pace, Bomarito couldn't find a way past as Castroneves and Dane Cameron made a formidable roadblock at the front.

Castroneves handed over to Ricky Taylor at the first opportunity, with the defending series champion going on to preserve his lead through two more stops.

The #55 Mazda had its chances of a podium scuppered by a side-by-side clash between Spencer Pigot and the SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes AMG-GT3 driven by Maro Engel.

Pigot had not long been in the car, having taken over driving duties from Jonathan Bomarito who took the fight to the Acuras early on after passing Jarvis for third on lap nine.

Completing the top five was the Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi of Renger van der Zande and Jordan Taylor, which finished almost a minute off the winner.

Sixth was the PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Ligier JSP217-Gibson which ended the day as the best-placed global-spec LMP2 entry.

In GT Le Mans, Laurens Vanthoor gave Porsche its second-ever North American series victory with the 911 RSR.

Vanthoor, who took over from Earl Bamber, inherited the lead when Connor de Phillippi pitted the leading BMW M8 GTE with just over half an hour to go.

De Phillippi picked up the chase in second but was too far behind to mount a challenge on the Porsche driver, while Jan Magnussen took third for Corvette after a race-long scrap with the two Ford GTs.

The fight for GT Daytona honours went to the wire as the 3GT Racing pairing of Dominik Baumann and Kyle Marcelli claimed the first victory for Lexus in IMSA Sportscars.

Baumann came under intense pressure from Alvaro Parente in the #86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura during the run to the flag but managed to hold station to win by a car's length.

Rounding out the class podium were Byran Sellers and Madison Snow in the Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3.

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