ELKHART LAKE, WI (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Ford Chip Ganassi Racing’s Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook powered to victory in the IMSA Road Race Showcase Sunday at Road America. The win marked the third straight year a Ganassi entry captured the checkered flag and the second straight in the event for Briscoe and Westbrook.
“We always come here with a lot of confidence and know that we’re going to have a good shot a winning,” said Briscoe about the 4.048-mile permanent road course. “It’s just a track that really suits the Ford GT. The long, fast corners and obviously now, it was more about the consistency than outright speed.”
The No. 67 Ford GT victory led a 1-2 finish for the Ganassi GT’s as Dirk Mueller and Joey Hand finished second in the No. 66 GT. Mueller and Hand won in 2017.
“I think we’ve always run strong here and I think we were unlucky not to win the first year (2016) too,” said Briscoe. “To get a 1-2 was just fantastic.”
Briscoe started second in class (GTLM) and passed class pole sitter Oliver Gavin and the No. 4 Corvette Racing C7.R on lap 19, about 40-minutes into the 2-hour, 40-minute race. Westbrook took over six laps later during a pit stop and then double-stinted to the checkered flag in the caution free race.
“I think the yellow-free race played to our strength of long runs,” said Briscoe. “It was a pretty straightforward strategy of two stops. We knew our advantage was going to be on old tires and that showed today.”
“The key was being good on the tires,” said Westbrook. “Really, those last 10 laps on the stint were the most important 10 laps, not the first 10 laps. If you fell off the cliff (in tire performance) like the Corvette’s definitely did 20-laps into the stint, then you were toast.”
The win was also the 2nd straight for Briscoe and Westbrook, who won two weeks ago at Lime Rock Park.
“Polar opposite of Lime Rock when we won on a three-stopper,” said Westbrook comparing the strategies in the victories. “Today we made the two-stopped work. Just feels awesome.”
Three races remain in the WeatherTech Championship season with Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor atop the Championship standings with 248-points. Patrick Pilet and Nick Tandy are second with 234-points. Briscoe and Westbrook are third with 230-points.
Acura Partners With Meyer Shank Racing and Wayne Taylor Racing For 2021 DPi Effort
TORRANCE, CA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Acura Motorsports is partnering with Meyer Shank Racing and Wayne Taylor Racing to field a pair of Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototype International entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, beginning in 2021.
Meyer Shank Racing is the defending IMSA GTD class Champion and are the current leaders in all three major GTD title championships plus the Ohio-based team played a key role in the development of the successful Acura NSX GT3 Evo, parking it in victory lane in four consecutive seasons.
Wayne Taylor Racing has raced to two IMSA driver Championships and one IMSA team Championship in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype class. WTR has also captured eight IMSA manufacturer championships and has scored multiple victories in endurance racing’s most iconic events: The Rolex 24 At Daytona, Twelve Hours of Sebring, Petit Le Mans, and Six Hours at Watkins Glen.
“It is a pleasure to announce that Wayne Taylor Racing will be joining the Acura ARX-05 IMSA program in 2021, along with Meyer Shank Racing, which will build on our very successful partnership by moving up to the prototype ranks,” said Jon Ikeda, Acura Brand Officer. “We’re confident that both teams will help us build on the successes we’ve achieved to date in IMSA competition, as we continue to apply Precision Crafted Performance to all of our activities – on the race circuits of North America, in our production vehicles and in the marketplace.”
“When Acura and HPD chose Meyer Shank Racing to debut the Acura NSX GT3 in 2017, it was a big moment in our history. I’m really proud of building a championship-winning program and everything that we’ve been able to accomplish together with the NSX,” said Michael Shank, co-owner of Meyer Shank Racing. “As a team, we’ve been working toward the opportunity to go and fight for overall wins for a long time, and I am eager to get going with this program. But we have some work to do first, and we are 100 percent focused on bringing another IMSA championship home with the Acura NSX in 2020.”
“I am extremely excited to have this opportunity given to me by HPD and Acura Motorsports,” said Wayne Taylor, owner of Wayne Taylor Racing. “Since getting to know everyone at HPD and Acura Motorsports, I feel that they have a lot of respect for the Wayne Taylor Racing family. What I really like is that they have the same passion and vision as I do. I am looking forward to running the DPi for the next few years. I am equally excited to be able to bring my long-term partnership with Konica Minolta, Rick Taylor and Michael Mathe to the program. We all can’t wait to get started.”
The Acura NSX program will continue in IMSA 2021.
Weekend Racing Notebook
PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The weekend winners from around the world of motorsports including Local tracks plus the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions, and IMSA.
Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All-Star Circuit of Champions Weekend:
- Cory Eliason picked up his first Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions victory Sunday night at the reopening of Huset Speedway. Dominic Scelzi finished second and Kerry Madsen rounded out the podium.
- Kyle Larson won his seventh straight Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 feature on Saturday night at Knoxville Raceway, setting a record with the series. Rico Abreu finished second and Gio Scelzi rounded out the podium.
- Larson also picked up the win in Friday night’s feature at 34 Raceway. Eliason finished second and Tucker Klaasmeyer finished third.
Acura, Corvette, Lexus Claim IMSA Wins At Road America:
- Helio Castroneves found traction with his Acura ARX-05 where others could not, as he and his Acura Team Penske co-driver Ricky Taylor prevailed in monsoon-like conditions in the final hour to win in the Daytona Prototype International Class in Sunday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Road America.
- DragonSpeed USA’s Ben Hanley and Henrik Heeman took home the victory in LMP2. Hanley switched from slick tires to rain tires as the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA, which was leading went off course due to the wet conditions. They rallied to finish fourth behind the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA and the No. 18 Era Motorsports ORECA.
- Corvette Racing scored a 1-2 finish at Road America in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class. The No. 3 Vette with Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia finished first with the No. 4 of Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner coming home in second place.
- Frankie Montecalvo and Townsend Bell parked the AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus in victory lane in the GT Daytona (GTD) class. The victory was the third straight for the team. Mario Farnbacher and Matt McMurry finished second in their Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo.
Mother Nature Wins At Tri-City, PPMS, Jennerstown and Port Royal:
- Rains throughout Western Pennsylvania forced several area race tracks to cancel their programs. Tri-City cancelled their Sunday program while Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway (PPMS) and Port Royal had to throw the red flag on their programs Saturday night.
Norris, Flick, King Jr & Schneider Win At Lernerville:
Chip Ganassi Racing Begins “Best Paint Scheme” Contest
CONCORD, NC (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Chip Ganassi Racing is starting a cool contest where fans can pick the “Best Paint Scheme” that has appeared on one of the CGR cars over the 30-year history of the organization.
The contest started Wednesday on Twitter and features 32-paint schemes that have appeared on the teams NASCAR, INDYCAR and IMSA race cars.
Ready to begin determining the best-ever Chip Ganassi Racing paint-scheme!? 🙌🏼
• TODAY: Round of 32 👊🏻
• Check out the matchups 👀
• Vote for your favorites 📝
• Share with your friends! 👨👩👧👧
• Come back in 24 hours & see who advanced to the Round of 16! 🤩#CGR30 | 🏎🏁 pic.twitter.com/wGL5bvzZxj
— Chip Ganassi Racing (@CGRTeams) March 25, 2020
Fans can vote on their favorites in a bracket style elimination tournament where one paint scheme will be crowned the winner.
Cars involved include some favorites driven by Scott Dixon, Alex Zanardi, Juan Pablo Montoya, Sterling Marlin, Kyle Larson, Kurt Busch, Scott Pruitt, Felix Rosenqvist, Memo Rojas, Steve Arpin, Jamie McMurray, Joey Hand, Richard Westbrook, Ryan Briscoe and Dirk Mueller.