Photo: Yesid Pamplona
Gustavo Yacaman (OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan) started on pole, with Canadian Kuno Wittmer (#93 SRT Motorsports Viper GTS-R) on top of GT Le Mans. These cars retained the lead through the first 15 min (of 2:45), with Jan Magnussen (#3 Corvette Racing C7.R) running second in GT and his teammate Tommy Milner third in the #4.
At the 2:06 mark Yacaman continued to lead, followed by Michael Valiente (#90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP) and Scott Sharp (Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD ARX-03b), the ex-ALMS teams seeming to enjoy and advantage on the track their series raced for years. Milner made light contact with the tire wall after getting punted by Bill Sweedler in the #555 AIM Autosport GT Daytona Ferrari 458 Italia.
Yacaman came in from the lead for his first pit stop at 1:58 and remained in the car. Sharp also came in, Ryan Dalziel taking over behind the wheel while Valiante, having pitted earlier, ran second behind Yacaman.
Sweedler was issued a stop-and-hold plus 45 sec for his contact with Milner. Wittmer left the track from the lead and had to pit, leaving Magnussen in the class lead, followed by Dominik Farnbarcher in the sister #91 Viper and Andy Priaulx in the #55 BMW Team RLL Z4 GTE. Magnussen pitted and was replaced by Antonio Garcia in the #3 Corvette.
Just over 1 hr in Yacaman led Valiante and Ricky Taylor (Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP), Sharp’s car having slipped to P4 with the driver change. Dalziel ran P3 with 1:35 left following a pit stop by the Taylor machine. Garcia led the Vipers of Jonathan Bomarito (#93, P2) and Marc Goosens (#91, P3) in GTLM.
Yacaman remained in the lead at the halfway mark. Valiante pitted from second with 1:13 to go, handing the 6 Hours at Watkins Glen winner over to Richard Westbrook; Yacaman following suit with Oliver Pla taking over. Westbrook started to fade with Dalziel taking third behind Jordan Taylor.
With 1 hr left Garcia continued to lead Bomarito and Goosens in the GTLM. Both Garcia and #93 Bomarito pitted with 56 min left. At the same time, the #1 piloted by Dalziel retired in pit lane, putting both Extreme Speed cars out of the contest and leaving the prototype running order as Pla, Taylor, and Westbrook. Pla led Taylor by 11.629 sec.
Taylor pitted with just over 46 min left, slipping to fourth behind Westbrook and Joao Barbosa (#5 Action Express Corvette DP). Westbrook and Pla came in a few minutes later. The #5 came in a 41 min to go. Pla, Taylor, and Westbrook remained the running order once the cycle was complete; Pla’s lead standing at 22.608 sec. Garcia led Bomarito by 4.906 sec in GTLM, with Goosens still in third in the caution-free race.
Westbrook was pressing Taylor for second with 31 min remaining, making contact with a GTD along the way and suffering some damage but remaining on track. He eventually took P2, but remained 21.499 sec out of the lead. With 15 min to go Westbrook had cut Pla’s lead to 13.498 sec. Garcia led Bomarito by 1.653.
The #90 closed to within 8.380 sec with 6 min left, but couldn’t get any closer with the #42 taking the win. Jordan Taylor finished third in the #10 Wayne Taylor car. Garcia topped Bomarito and Goosens in GTLM. Jeroen Bleekemolen (SRT Viper) beat Kevin Estre (Porsche 911 GT America in GTD.
The win was a first for a former ALMS P2 car in the Tudor series. Corvette’s GTLM victory was it fourth straight. Ricky and Jordan Taylor took a 5 point lead in the series championship over Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi, with Yacaman moving to third, 10 points back.