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IMSA Reschedules Acura Sports Car Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio

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Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

DAYTONA BEACH, FL (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) is moving the Acura Sports Car Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio to the weekend of September 25-27, 2020.

The race was originally scheduled for the weekend of May 1-3 but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic that is affecting the World.  Ohio has been particularly hard hit by COVID-19.

The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course released the following statement in regards to the announcement:

The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course announced today that the 2020 Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio originally set for May 1-3, 2020, has been rescheduled to Sept. 25-27, 2020.

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge series are confirmed to run on the new September weekend.  Additional series updates, broadcast information and event schedules will be announced as they become available.

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The rescheduled date is subject to the ongoing guidance and mandates of national, state and local authorities regarding public gatherings.  The health and safety of all associated with this event remain our priority.

Previously purchased tickets will be honored on the rescheduled Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course dates of Sept. 25-27, 2020.  Email for additional information at info@midohio.com for questions on ticket purchases, or visit midohio.com/imsafaq for further details.

The rescheduled race at Mid-Ohio is one of three rescheduled events announced on Tuesday by IMSA. Also moving is The IMSA Monterey SportsCar Championship at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, which has been moved up one weekend and is now scheduled to run on September 4-6, 2020.  It was originally scheduled to run the weekend of September 11-13.  The date adjustment was made to accommodate IMSA teams planning to run in the 24-Hours of Le Mans, which Pittsburgh Racing Now reported was moving to the weekend of September 19-20.

The other race that is moving is The 23rd annual Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.  Originally scheduled to run October 7-10, that race is moving back one weekend and is now scheduled to run October 14-17, 2020.

IMSA will provide additional series updates, broadcast information and event schedules as they become available.  For more information fans should visit www.imsa.com.

Sports Cars

JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac Wins 12-Hours of Sebring

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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).

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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.

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Heartbreak for Chip Ganassi Racing in Rolex 24 at Daytona

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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.

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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.

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Wayne Taylor Racing Wins Rolex 24 At Daytona

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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.

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“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.

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