Connect with us
Mr. Magic Car Wash

Sports Cars

Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Takes IMSA Win At Lime Rock Park

Published

on

Ford

LAKEVILLE, CT (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Ford Chip Ganassi Racing’s Richard Westbrook passed Earl Bamber with a tick over 6-and-a-half minutes remaining to win IMSA’s Northeast Grand Prix Saturday afternoon at Lime Rock Park.

The victory was the first IMSA WeatherTech Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) victory of the season for Westbrook, co-driver Ryan Briscoe and the No. 67 Ford GT of Ford Chip Ganassi Racing team.

“I had to pick my moment,” Westbrook said.  “I just had to be patient with the 912 and when the opportunity came, it was a matter of taking it.  There was a lot of marbles off-line.  I got it just right.”

The Ganassi team utilized a three-stop strategy whereas Bamber and his Porsche GT team opted for a two-stop strategy and for a large portion of the race it looked like it would pay off. The Porsche GT teams combined to lead 140 of the race’s 182 laps around the 1.474-mile circuit.

“We didn’t think we’d have the pace, so we went into the race with the goal of doing a three-stop strategy,” said Briscoe.  “We knew the tire life on two stops was going to be really difficult for everyone, so we just committed to it and knew we had to put the lap time in on fresh tires when everyone else was falling off and it worked out.”

Three Rivers Karting

Ryan Briscoe (left) congratulates Richard Westbrook after the co-drivers win the IMSA race at Lime Rock Park.

Bamber and co-driver Laurens Vanthoor wound up second for their fifth podium result in seven races on the season.

The No. 66 Ford GT made it a double-podium for the Ganassi team as co-drivers Joey Hand and Dirk Mueller, the defending race winners, finished third.

“It was just an amazing race to be part of, fighting with two Porsches and my teammate, it was really close out there,” said Westbrook.

Bamber and Vanthoor’s second place finish extended their Championship lead in the GTLM standings to 8-points, 218-210, over their No. 911 Porsche teammates Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet, who finished fourth.

The next race for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is the IMSA Road Race Showcase at Road America on Sunday, August 4th.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Sports Cars

JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac Wins 12-Hours of Sebring

Published

on

Photo: IMSA

SEBRING, FL (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Sebastien Bourdais, driving without the top element of the rear wing of the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac, took home the overall win in IMSA’s 12-Hours of Sebring for JDC-Miller Motorsports and co-drivers Tristan Vautier and Loic Duval.

Bourdais crossed the finish line 1.45-seconds ahead of Harry Tincknell and the No. 55 Mazda.  Bourdais said he lost the element with just under 19-minutes left in the event and was fortunate he didn’t lose control of the car.

“I’m just really lucky that I didn’t stuff it in Turn 17 before I made the adjustments,” Bourdais said. “That was a very, very close call there. At the same time, thankfully I had enough of a gap to (Tincknell) that he didn’t pass us by the time I collected myself. I didn’t know it was the rear wing until I got out of the car (in victory lane), but I knew something had happened aerodynamically.”

The No. 48 Cadillac co-driven by Jimmie Johnson, Kamui Kobayashi and Simon Pagenaud finished third followed by the Acura Dpi’s of Meyer Shank Racing (Dane Cameron, Olivier Pla, Juan Pablo Montoya) and Wayne Taylor Racing (Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque, Alexander Rossi).

Three Rivers Karting

The No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac finished 2-laps down in sixth.  The CGR Caddy was one of the dominant cars in the event but got clipped by the BMW of Connor De Phillippi with 71-minutes left in the race.

“It was very frustrating,” said Scott Dixon, who was behind the wheel of the Ganassi machine at the time. “It was a very late call from the pits, so I was scrambling to get everything undone. On my way into pit road there was another car there and I had nowhere to go. I feel bad for the team, because everybody at Chip Ganassi Racing did a fantastic job.”

The Ganassi team’s misfortune opened the door for Bourdais, who just put his head down and somehow kept Ticknell behind him.

“Every corner that was coming, I was like, ‘Man, how am I going to do this one?’” Bourdais said. “The flip side of (the broken wing) is that the car was extremely fast down the straightaway, too. I was very hard to pass there.”

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season resumes May 14-16 with the Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio.

Continue Reading

Sports Cars

Heartbreak for Chip Ganassi Racing in Rolex 24 at Daytona

Published

on

Chip Ganassi Racing

DAYTONA BEACH, FL (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Chip Ganassi Racing’s return to IMSA sports car racing was going along as planned in this weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona endurance race.

The No. 01 Cadillac Daytona Prototype International (DPi), driven by Renger Van der Zande, Kevin Magnussen and Scott Dixon, started seventh but quickly made their presence known leading 225 of the races 807-laps.

A battle to the end was shaping up between CGR and Wayne Taylor Racing in the race’s final half hour.  CGR brought Van der Zande in for his final pit stop and WTR brought their new Acura ARX-05 to pit road and changed just left side tires and was able to get out ahead of the No. 01 by about 5-seconds.

Van der Zande, who used to drive for WTR, put the hammer down and chased down Filipe Albuquerque in an epic duel between the two drivers.

Disaster struck a few minutes later for the Ganassi team when Van der Zande had to come to pit road because of a cut right rear tire.

Three Rivers Karting

The Ganassi team quickly changed the tire but the battle was over at that point as WTR raced to the victory and CGR settled for a fifth place finish.

Team owner Chip Ganassi was proud of his team, especially since the program came together late in 2020.

Magnussen knew the team had a car capable of winning, which is something the second generation driver didn’t have a chance to do the past few years in Formula One.

The Ganassi team did serve notice that they will be a force to be reckoned with in the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship.

Continue Reading

Sports Cars

Wayne Taylor Racing Wins Rolex 24 At Daytona

Published

on

IMSA

DAYTONA BEACH, FL (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Wayne Taylor Racing (WTR) is the 2021 winner of the Rolex 24-Hours At Daytona endurance race.

WTR’s Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05 crossed the finish line 4.704-seconds ahead of the Ally Cadillac of Action Express Racing to capture the Daytona Prototype International (DPi) class victory as well as the overall victory.

The victory was the third straight for team owner Wayne Taylor, who switched manufacturers from Cadillac to Acura in the off-season, and WTR’s fifth overall.

Filipe Albuquerque drove the final stint of the race and survived a late race battle with Chip Ganassi Racing’s (CGR) Renger Van der Zande, who was forced to pit road after cutting a tire with just over 7-minutes remaining in the twice around-the-clock race.

Three Rivers Karting

“He was fast,” said Albuquerque of Van der Zande. “He was faster than me, obviously. But I thought there must be tire trouble. Physics tells you that. When you push too hard, something happens. When you go off track as well, something goes bad. I was not expecting that to happen. When he blew, we were lucky. But there is nobody who has ever won Daytona or any championship without luck.”

WTR’s victory tied CGR’s record of three straight overall wins in the event. The Ganassi team went back-to-back-to-back from 2006-2008.

Co-drivers Helio Castroneves, Alexander Rossi and Ricky Taylor (son of team owner Wayne) exalted in winning the Rolex watch, which is awarded to all of the class winner.

“So much went into this,” said Ricky Taylor, who scored the second overall Rolex victory of his career. “It was definitely a test of trust and a testament to preparation and sticking to a plan. We skipped all of the offseason testing because the guys needed time to do everything properly. They know how to win this race. I feel like we were all lucky to be a part of it.”

The next race for WeatherTech IMSA Sports Car Series is the 12-Hours of Sebring, March 17-20 at Sebring International Raceway.

Continue Reading