Joey Hand capitalizes on Jan Magnussen mistake to win at Lime Rock Park, Madison Snow claims crucial points win in GTD
Joey Hand put on a masterclass in patience and efficiency, capitalizing on a rare misstep by Jan Magnussen to win the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park on Saturday. Madison Snow claims Paul Miller Racing’s second GTD win of the season.
“That win is truly a win for the whole team,” Dirk Mueller, Hand’s car-mate, said. “We did so many changes from qualifying to the race, and it paid off… I’m still shaking.”
Entering the race with Corvette Racing as heavy favourites having set a new qualifying record to claim pole and boasting the strongest race pace throughout the day, Hand began meticulously picking away at Magnussen’s lead late in the two hour, forty minute race.
Eventually, as Magnussen was lapping GTD traffic, he understeered off course and let the hard charging Hand past.
Magnussen would have to settle for a P2 finish, ahead of the Porsche of Earl Bamber. Running faster and faster as the race went on, Bamber ran out of time in hunting down the leaders but still managed a spot on the podium after a chance at winning was thwarted by wheel gun failure on pit road.
Teammate Nick Tandy went from being last in the class to the fastest on track, but multiple issues regulated the Porsche to P5, just behind Oliver Gavin whose Corvette never matched the pace of his teammates.
The winning Ford took a major jump in the standings, as teammates in the #67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing entry came home P6 after Briscoe tussled with Tandy. Entering the race as points leaders, the result will be a major thorn in the team’s side as the championship moves on.
In GTD, it was a big day for the points leaders as Madison Snow brought the Paul Miller Racing across the finish line P1. It was an up and down weekend for the team, having to fight for pace across Friday’s practice sessions and even missing Practice 2 due to an engine change.
Fighting their way to the front of the class, the #48 Lamborghini took advantage of hard fighting behind them to run away for their second victory of the season, strengthening their points lead.
“It’s just a big moment for us,” car-mate Bryan Sellers said. “[Wins] are so hard to come by, so hard to come by. When you get the opportunities, you have to take advantage of them. This morning, I didn’t know if we had a car to win. When the opportunity opens up, you have no choice but to try and convert it.”
Andy Lally came up with a strong P2 ahead of Gunnar Jeannette who stole away P3 from Alvaro Parente late with a stunning overtake. The P4 finish for the #86 Meyer Shank Racing entry is crushing in points for Katherine Legge, who has been just barely trailing Paul Miller Racing in the championship for several races.
After a blinding qualifying lap that put Patrick Long on the pole, a win or at least a podium appeared to be in the cards for Wright Motorsports. Long would lose pace late in the final stint, and a loss of grip in a crucial position battle pushed his Porsche back to a P8 finish.