Chris Soulsby  |    |   1  |  14 October 2018

#10 Cadillac wins Petit Le Mans thriller, Felipe Nasr and Eric Curran take title

The #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi of Jordan Taylor, Renger van der Zande and Ryan Hunter-Reay took a dramatic win at the 21st running of the Petit Le Mans at Road America, sealing the victory on the final lap of the race with a late pass on the sister #5 car. 

Starting from the sixth row of the grid after qualifying in 12th place for the 10-hour endurance racing affair, victory for the #10 Konica Minolta-backed machine marked Cadillac's first win at the now iconic event that was created by the late Dr Don Panoz and first held in 1998. 

Having taken the lead with five minutes of racing remaining with a punchy pass in Turn 12 on Pipo Dernai's #22 ESM car, the #5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi of Filipe Albuquerque, Christian Fittipaldi and Tristan Vautier lead heading into the final lap of the race. 

Running on fumes due to strategy, the #5 machine ultimately ran out of fuel, dropping from first place to fourth allowing fortune to swing into the hands of the #10 crew. 

Due to the #5's sudden fall from grace on the final tour of the circuit, it was the two #77 and #55 Mazda Team Joest entries that benefitted clearly, with the team finishing in second and third place in the race to record its highest finishing positions of the 2018 season. 

Piloted by Oliver Jarvis, Tristan Nunez and Season Three Formula E champion Lucas di Grassi, the #77 Mazda started the race from second on the grid after narrowly missing out on pole position and remained in contention for victory up until the chequered flag waved due to the Mazda RT24-P's advantage in fuel efficiency. 

The #7 Acura Team Penske machine of Helio Castroneves, Ricky Taylor and Graham Rahal finished in fifth behind the #5 Cadillac, dropping out of contention after receiving a drive-through penalty for overtaking under yellow flags while Derani's #22 car took sixth.

Taking the chequered flag in seventh, the championship challenging #54 CORE Autosport entry of Jon Bennett, Colin Braun and Romain Dumas failed to outscore the #31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac of Felipe Nasr, Eric Curran and Gabby Chaves that finished in eighth, handing the #31 crew the 2018 IMSA title. 

In GTLM, 10 hours of racing saw an intense battle unfold although it was lady luck that played into the hands of the #3 Corvette crew of Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia, with the crew taking the title over the #67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT of Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook and Scott Dixon. 

Despite spinning into the wall after rejoining the race on a cold set of Continental tyres, Corvette Racing successfully repaired the stricken C7.R behind the pit wall with the car rejoining swiftly at the start of green flag running following a short safety car period, going on to finish in eighth place while the #67 Ford took fifth. 

The #911 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR of Patrick Pilet, Nick Tandy and Frédéric Makowiecki took victory in GTLM from the #4 Corvette while the pole starting #24 BMW Team RLL BMW M8 GTE car of John Edwards, Jesse Khron and Chaz Mostert finished in third place. 

In GT Daytona, it was Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow in the #48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 who denied Katherine Legge of the GTD title, finishing in third place in the class while Legge's #86 Acura machine took second with the assistance of Alvaro Parente and Trent Hindman although this was not enough to seal the title. 

The #63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 of Cooper MacNeil, Gunnar Jeannette and Daniel Serra secured victory in GTD after starting from pole position.

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