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.


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

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