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.”
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.
Bourdais, van der Zande give Cadillac and CGR back-to-back wins in Detroit
DETROIT, MI (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande made it back-to-back Chevrolet Sports Car Classic wins for Cadillac Chip Ganassi Racing Saturday at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park. Bourdais and van der Zande held off the Meyer Shank Racing Acura to win by 0.398-seconds.
“It was definitely not the easiest race we have ever won, but I am super proud of everyone on the 01 Cadillac team,” said Bourdais. “Renger brought it home. It was a hard fight, but it is that much sweeter when you win it.”
“We got it done,” said van der Zande. “We’ve had some trouble this year. It is good to get it behind us so we can look forward and win some more races hopefully.”
The victory helped the No. 01 V-Performance Academy Cadillac team make up 65-points in the Championship battle. The No. 01 now sits fourth through six rounds.
Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn finished third in the No. 02 Cadillac Accessories Cadillac DPi-V.R., giving CGR two of the three podium spots.
“To be honest, both the 01 and 02 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillacs this weekend were phenomenal,” said Bamber. “We were in fourth and came through and caught the car in third – the 31. He did a big move in Turn 1 and later on he got checked up and we were able to get by. Podium finish and good for championship points, and good to get a Cadillac 1-3. Awesome for the 01. They’ve had such a tough time this season it is well deserved.”
“Very intense race with a lot of fuel saving in both stints,” said Lynn. “I really tried to maximize how much fuel capacity we have in the car and it was a game of playing with it all day. I think P3 was a good result.”
“A very spirited race. Congratulations to all the Cadillac teams today. It’s awesome to be back on the podium and to be taking two places including the top spot,” said Rory Harvey, Cadillac Global Vice President.
The Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen on the 3.4-mile, 11-turn Watkins Glen International on June 26.
Racing Notebook: Bourdais puts Ganassi Caddy on IMSA Pole; Kirkwood fastest in INDYCAR first practice; Acura LMDh teaser and more
The latest edition of the Pittsburgh Racing Now Notebook has details on IMSA qualifying, the first practice on the Streets of Belle Isle for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, Acura teases their LMDh entry and NASCAR at Gateway:
Bourdais Wins IMSA Pole:
- Sebastian Bourdais in on the Pole Position for Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Series race at Belle Isle. Bourdais fast lap of 1:18.818/107.335 mph in the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac edged Tom Blomqvist in the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura (1:18.928) for the top spot despite making contact with the wall at Turn 2. “It was a bit of a messy qualifying, and I don’t think I’ve hit that many walls in succession in a very long time,” Bourdais said. “You have to hustle the cars and push so hard here that you really expose yourself. It proves that we really have to dig deep to keep those Acuras at bay,” said Bourdais. IMSA Detroit Qualifying
Kirkwood Fastest In INDYCAR First Practice:
- Rookie Kyle Kirkwood turned the fastest lap in the first practice session for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear. Kirkwood’s fast lap of 1:16.1345 in the No. 14 RoKit Chevrolet. Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward was second fastest in the No. 5 Chevrolet (1:16.1556). Alexander Rossi was third quickest at 1:16.5146 in the No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS/AutoNation Honda. Simon Pagenaud was fourth at 1:16.6177 in the No. 60 AutoNation/Sirius XM Honda, while newly crowned Indianapolis 500 winner Marcus Ericsson rounded out the top five at 1:16.6574 in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. INDYCAR Detroit Practice One
Rossi Fastest in INDYCAR Second Practice:
- Andretti Autosports Alexander Rossi turned the fastest lap in the second NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice Saturday morning on Belle Isle. Meyer Shank Racing’s Simon Pagenaud was second quick at 1:15.880 in the No. 60 Honda. Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden was third quick at 1:15.911. MSR’s Helio Castroneves turned the fourth fastest lap at 1:16.041. Rookie David Malukas rounded out the Top 5 at 1:16.118. Alex Palou was the fastest of the Ganassi cars in 9th (1:16.384) with Scott Dixon 13th and Marcus Ericsson 14th. Knockout-style qualifying takes place from 12:35 to 1:50 p.m. and can be seen on Peacock Premium.
Acura Teases New ARX-06 LMDh Entry:
- Acura Motorsports on Friday released images of it’s ARX-06 LMDh prototype which will race in IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship hybrid-powered GTP category in 2023. Based on the ORECA LMDh chassis, the ARX-06 features Acura-specific internal combustion power unit, bodywork and aerodynamics. Acura will continue to partner with Wayne Taylor Racing and Meyer Shank Racing to campaign the entry in 2023.
Penske Trio Leads First Cup Practice at Gateway:
- The Team Penske Ford’s of Joey Logano (32.906-seconds, 136.753-mph), Ryan Blaney (136.260) and Austin Cindric (136.104) led the first NASCAR Cup Series practice at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway. Kurt Busch’s 23XI Racing’s Toyota was fourth (136.096) and Petty GMS Racing’s Erik Jones was fifth (136.001). Teams will qualify today at 11 A.M. ET.
Ganassi Cadillac’s look to make sweet music in Motown
DETROIT, MI (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Chip Ganassi’s Cadillac’s are looking forward to getting back on the street circuits as the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Series shares the Raceway at Belle Isle this weekend with the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.
“The last street track was in Long Beach and we did very well, especially Sebastien (Bourdais) had a race that was amazing,” said Renger Van der Zande, who shares the driving duties on the No. 01 Caddy with the four-time open wheel Champion. “I think we’re going confident into the second street race of the year. I think the Cadillac has always been doing well at Detroit.”
Therein lies part of the problem. Success comes at a cost in IMSA so the Cadillac’s are being hit with a Balance of Power (BoP) adjustment for Detroit.
“We, obviously, have a bit of a BOP hit with 15 kilos,” explained Van der Zande. “The car is really on edge with the weight, so that 15 kilos might not sound like too much, but it is that little extra that has killed us in the past. That was at tracks like Road America. I don’t know how it’s going to hit us in Detroit.”
Fortunately not that bad, at least based on the first two practice sessions.
Ganassi teammate Earl Bamber posted the fastest lap in the morning session (1:20.178-seconds, 105.515 mph) in the No. 02 Caddy and Bourdais turned the fastest lap (1:19.307/106.674) in the second session in the No. 01 Caddy.
“I love going there,” said Van der Zande. “I love the island. It’s home for Cadillac and General Motors, so on the backstraight you see the tower and kind of feel like the bosses are watching you and have pressure to win it. Last year that worked out really well, and it’s always nice to be there with INDYCAR. It always a good show.”
Qualifying takes place Friday evening with race on Saturday. USA Network will telecast the race live at 3 p.m., while IMSA Radio will broadcast all sessions at IMSA.com along with XM 207 and SiriusXM Online 992.