Mazda wins Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Acura at CTMP
BACK TO BACK WIN FOR MAZDA AND A 1-2 FINISH FOR THE SECOND RACE IN A ROW. AIM VASSER SULLIVAN ON GTD PODIUM
What a race it was at CTMP today for the huge crowd that showed up again for an event at this track; the only track outside the USA for the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Beautiful weather all weekend although track temperatures were really high due to the harsh sun. The track personnel having to repair some of the corners due to the degradation from the high grip race cars.
In the Dpi class, the 2hours 40 minutes race was a battle between Mazda and Acura to the checkered flag. Acura assuming the lead in the early stages as the #7 started on pole thanks to the Nissan Core Autosport having to start form the back.
After an hour of racing, and with the first pitstops, Mazda took the lead. A full course yellow was thrown with less than 40 minutes to go and that brought the cars back together for a restart. Some of the teams opting to pit for fuel/tires.
Not long after the restart, the #50 Juncos Racing DPi went off at the bottom of corner 2 and hit the wall hard, causing a second full course yellow initially. Then Series officials decided to stop the race to let the track workers reposition the tire wall but also to give a change for the fans to get a dash to the finish as their was less than 15 minutes to go.
On the restart, things got serious fighting for positions in all classes. Mazda got things under control placing both their cars in the first two position and that is how it stayed for the remainder of the race.
The #77 of Jarvis / Nunez finished ahead of the sister #55 Mazda Team Joest of Bomarito / Thinknell and third place went to #6 Acura Team Penske of Montoya/Cameron.
The GTLM class was won by #912 Porsche Motorsport of Bamber / Vanthoor ahead of the #24 BMW Team RLL of Krohn / Edwards and the #911 Porsche Motorsport of Pilet / Tandy.
Pfaff Motorsport was off to a good start holding third place until their first stop. Unfortunately, when Scott Hargrove left the pits on cold tires and was trying to beat the Acura NSX of Farnbacher / Hindman pitting a the time the Porsche driver cam around corner 5, Hargrove went a little bit wide as he turned in and as he came back on the racing line for 5b came in contact with the Lexus of AIM Vasser Sullivan. This spun the Porsche around and ultimately Pfaff Motorsports had a drive through penalty having come back on the track in an unsafe manner. Very unfortunate as a podium finish was highly possible.
In the end, the GTD class was won by the #96 BMW Turner Motorsports of Auberlen / Foley followed by the #86 Meyer Shank Racing w/ Curb-Agajanian Acura NSX of Farnbacher / Hindman and in third the #14 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 of R. Heistand / J. Hawksworth.
Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GTR finished in fifth place just over four seconds form the class winner. Compass Racing McLaren 720S GT3 of Holton/Plumb ended up with a top 10 finish some 11 seconds from the winning BMW.
The second Lexus RC F GT3 of AIM Vasser Sullivan was not running at the checkered flag.
This sums up another great event for IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship held at a race facility that we have to be proud of. CTMP has invested so much to maintain top Series to come back year after year. We could only wish other Canadian Venues could follow suit.
Next Event for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will be held at Lime Rock Park on the weekend of July 19-20 but without the DPi class.
Next event for DPi will be at Elkhart Lake (WI) the first weekend of August.
Image: PMstills Photography