Petit Le Mans: WTR wins after leaders clash in final stint

David Malsher-Lopez
·6 mins read

Prototype

Alexander Rossi in the Acura ARX-05 snatched the lead from Felipe Nasr’s Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R with 1hr42min to go but Nasr held on, hung tough, repassed for a split second at Turn 10B and went slightly long, allowing Rossi back ahead.

Meanwhile when Dixon handed over the Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac to Ryan Briscoe, the full-timer dropped it at Turn 10 which dropped him 25sec behind the lead battle.

With 74mins to go, Nasr pitted to hand over to Derani, while Rossi stopped one lap later and left the wheel for Taylor. The pair emerged just 1.2sec apart, and Derani used his warmer tires to make the outside pass at Turn 10A and made it stick.

However, these two remained within a second, regularly jockeying for position, especially in the Turn 10 brake zone, the Cadillac appearing stronger through the curves, and the Acura stronger in a straight line. Meanwhile, van der Zande was chipping away at the pair of them…

Taylor followed Derani into the pits for his final stop and with one lap’s worth less fuel to put in – having previously stopped a lap later – the Team Penske team sent Taylor out ahead. However, Derani was in no mood to settle for second and into Turn 1 two laps later, the AXR Cadillac dived down the inside and grabbed P1.

Again, the pair stayed tied together though and with 10mins to go, Taylor dived down the inside of the AXR machine at Turn 6, didn’t look far enough alongside and the pair collided. The #31 AXR car was fired off into the gravel, allowing the closing van der Zande to move the WTR Cadillac into the lead. Taylor resumed in second, with Acura teammate Dane Cameron – who had had a separate ‘off’ moments earlier – taking third.

Tristan Vautier brought the JDC Miller MotorSports Cadillac home fourth, with AXR classified fifth and last of the cars that had been on the lead lap.

Unbelievably, in the final hour Simon Trummer had to pit and go behind the wall with the PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca after dominating the whole race. Mikkel Jensen thus ran unopposed to the checkered flag in the Tower Motorsports by Starworks machine.

GT Le Mans

Porsche finally scored its first GT Le Mans victory of the season courtesy of Frederic Makowiecki, Nick Tandy and Matt Campbell in the #911 car.

Augusto Farfus had held a 10-second lead before his final stop, but with less than 40mins to go, the lead BMW M8 was punted onto the grass at the final turn by a Prototype, and had to do a slow lap with his radiator full of grass debris and his left-front brake rotor on fire, obliging him to stop again to have the foreign matter removed.

That moved Makowiecki’s Porsche 911 RSR into the lead, 3.5sec ahead of Antonio Garcia's Corvette, with Laurens Vanthoor 7sec further back in the #912 Porsche. Farfus was right behind the second 911 however, and had Tommy Milner in the #4 Corvette right behind.

When the penultimate restart came with 7mins to go, Vanthoor collided with a GTD Lexus and went spinning off the track and into the wall.

So BMW got a consolation prize of a podium finish, and Milner, wrestling with a Corvette damaged much earlier in the race, came home fourth.

GT Daytona

Scuderia Corsa’s WeatherTech Ferrari 488 shared by Cooper MacNeil, Alessandro Balzan and Jeff Westphal took GT Daytona honors, as Westphal held on ahead of the AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F of Jack Hawksworth through the final stint.

The #12 Lexus, with Townsend Bell at the wheel, had a tough final stint, clinging onto third ahead of the GRT Magnus Lamborghini Huracan of Andy Lally until Lally took advantage of the Prototype leaders coming through.

Bell’s disappointment got worse yet. Six seconds further back, Jan Heylen in the Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R – who had an odd couple of very slow laps in the middle of the stint – passed Trent Hindman’s Heinricher Racing MSR Acura NSX, with Dennis Olsen in the Pfaff Motorsports Porsche following Heylen through.

But these Porsches caught up with and demoted Bell and then the #12 Lexus was fired into the wall by Vanthoor. That promoted Hindman into sixth, ahead of Bryan Sellers in the Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini.

Race results:

1

DPi

10

Netherlands
Netherlands

Renger van der Zande
Ryan Briscoe
Scott Dixon

Australia
Australia
New Zealand
New Zealand

Cadillac DPi

460

2

DPi

7

Brazil
Brazil

Helio Castroneves
Ricky Taylor
Alexander Rossi

United States
United States
United States
United States

Acura DPi

460

0.429

3

DPi

6

Colombia
Colombia

Juan Pablo Montoya
Dane Cameron
Simon Pagenaud

United States
United States
France
France

Acura DPi

460

1.236

4

DPi

5

France
France

Sébastien Bourdais
Tristan Vautier
Loic Duval

France
France
France
France

Cadillac DPi

460

3.700

5

DPi

31

Brazil
Brazil

Felipe Nasr
Pipo Derani
Filipe Albuquerque

Brazil
Brazil
Portugal
Portugal

Cadillac DPi

458

6

LMP2

8

Canada
Canada

John Farano
Mikkel Jensen
Job Van Uitert

Denmark
Denmark
Netherlands
Netherlands

ORECA LMP2 07

450

7

LMP2

38

James McGuire
Matthew Bell
Colin Braun

United Kingdom
United Kingdom
United States
United States

ORECA LMP2 07

445

8

DPi

55

United States
United States

Jonathan Bomarito
Harry Tincknell
Ryan Hunter-Reay

United Kingdom
United Kingdom
United States
United States

Mazda DPi

441

9

LMP2

51

United States
United States

Austin McCusker
Jakub Smiechowski
Rob Hodes

Poland
Poland
United States
United States

ORECA LMP2 07

441

10

GTLM

911

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Nick Tandy
Frédéric Makowiecki
Matt Campbell

France
France
Australia
Australia

Porsche 911 RSR - 19

431

11

GTLM

3

Spain
Spain

Antonio Garcia
Jordan Taylor
Nick Catsburg

United States
United States
Netherlands
Netherlands

Corvette C8.R

431

12

GTLM

24

Finland
Finland

Jesse Krohn
John Edwards
Augusto Farfus

United States
United States
Brazil
Brazil

BMW M8 GTE

431

13

GTLM

4

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Oliver Gavin
Tommy Milner
Marcel Fassler

United States
United States
Switzerland
Switzerland

Corvette C8.R

431

14

GTLM

912

New Zealand
New Zealand

Earl Bamber
Laurens Vanthoor
Mathieu Jaminet

Belgium
Belgium
France
France

Porsche 911 RSR - 19

429

15

DPi

77

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Oliver Jarvis
Tristan Nunez
Olivier Pla

United States
United States
France
France

Mazda DPi

427

16

LMP2

52

United States
United States

Patrick Kelly
Simon Trummer
Scott Huffaker

Switzerland
Switzerland
United States
United States

ORECA LMP2 07

418

17

GTD

63

United States
United States

Cooper MacNeil
Alessandro Balzan
Jeff Westphal

Italy
Italy
United States
United States

Ferrari 488 GT3

413

18

GTD

14

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Jack Hawksworth
Aaron Telitz
Michael de Quesada

United States
United States
United States
United States

Lexus RC F GT3

413

19

GTD

44

United States
United States

Andy Lally
John Potter
Spencer Pumpelly

United States
United States
United States
United States

Lamborghini Huracan GT3

413

20

GTD

16

United States
United States

Ryan Hardwick
Patrick Long
Jan Heylen

United States
United States
Belgium
Belgium

Porsche 911 GT3 R

413

21

GTD

9

Norway
Norway

Dennis Olsen
Zacharie Robichon
Lars Kern

Canada
Canada
Germany
Germany

Porsche 911 GT3 R

413

22

GTD

57

Portugal
Portugal

Alvaro Parente
Mikhail Goikhberg
Trent Hindman

Canada
Canada
United States
United States

Acura NSX GT3

413

23

GTD

48

United States
United States

Bryan Sellers
Madison Snow
Corey Lewis

United States
United States
United States
United States

Lamborghini Huracan GT3

413

24

GTD

12

United States
United States

Frankie Montecalvo
Townsend Bell
Kyle Kirkwood

United States
United States
United States
United States

Lexus RC F GT3

410

25

GTD

96

United States
United States

Bill Auberlen
Robby Foley
Dillon Machavern

United States
United States
United States
United States

BMW M6 GT3

408

26

DPi

85

United States
United States

Chris Miller
Matheus Leist
Gabriel Aubry

Brazil
Brazil
France
France

Cadillac DPi

406

27

GTLM

25

Canada
Canada

Bruno Spengler
Connor de Phillippi
Colton Herta

United States
United States
United States
United States

BMW M8 GTE

399

28

GTD

86

Germany
Germany

Mario Farnbacher
Matt McMurry
Shinya Michimi

United States
United States
Japan
Japan

Acura NSX GT3

399

29

GTD

23

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Ian James
Roman De Angelis
Darren Turner

Canada
Canada
United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Aston Martin Vantage GT3

297

30

GTD

74

United States
United States

Gar Robinson
Lawson Aschenbach
Ben Keating

United States
United States
United States
United States

Mercedes-AMG GT3

268

31

GTD

30

United States
United States

Rob Ferriol
Markus Winkelhock
Andrew Davis

Germany
Germany
United States
United States

Audi R8 LMS GT3

258

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