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IMSA: Mosport – Action Express 1-2, Ford GT tops in class

Chrisitan Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa (#5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP) came into the race with a 7 point lead in the championship over both teammate Dane Cameron and Eric Curran (#31 Action Express) and Ricky and Jordan Taylor (#10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP). The #55 Mazda Prototype, however, started on pole driven by Tristan Nunez, with the #10 lined up second, the #70 Mazda (Tom Long) third, and the #5 fourth

Antonio Garcia (#3 Corvette Racing C7.R) took the GT Le Mans pole, less than 0.04 sec in front of Dirk Mueller (#66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing GT). Richard Westbrook (#67 Ford GT) started third and Lucas Luhr (#100 BMW Team RLL M6) fourth.

Ricky Taylor took the lead at the start with Fittipaldi moving up to third. Five minutes into the 2 hr 40 min race Garcia led Mueller in GTLM, Bill Auberlen having moved up to third in the #25 BMW. Nunez passed Taylor in lapped traffic at the 2:26 mark. Within 3 min he’d built a 3-sec lead.

Nunez built his lead to 12.570 sec with 2:14 left on the clock, Fittipaldi still running third. At 1:56 the lead exceeded 23 sec. Nunez pitted the next time around, as did Fittipaldi and Curran. Jonathan Bomarito, Barbosa, and Cameron took over respectively. An air-jack problem in the #55 pits extended their stop by roughly 20 sec and had all three cars leaving the pits at the same time. The two Action Express machines sandwiched Bomarito immediately after exit and he fell to third, Cameron taking the lead. Taylor came in the following lap, Jordan getting behind the wheel. The #10 fell to third after its stop.

Once the full pit cycles were completed, Cameron led Barbosa and Ryan Dalziel (#90 VisitFlorida Racing Corvette DP). In GTLM Jan Magnussen (#3 Corvette) led Dirk Werner (#25 BMW) and Joey Hand (#66 Ford GT). Magnussen’s lead was 2.3 sec with 1:27 left.

The #55 Mazda stopped on track a few moments later, bringing out a full-course caution. The #90 moved to the lead in the subsequent pit stops, taking just two tires instead of four, with Cameron second and Barbosa third. Green-flag action resumed at 1:14. Taylor took third from Barbosa in opening lap GT traffic.

One of the GT Daytona competitors lost its left front tire, bringing out the race’s second caution. Restart came at 1:01. Hand made his final pit stop with 57 min left. The #4 Corvette (Tommy Milner) also stopped, taking third on pit lane. Magnussen pitted from the lead the next lap, Garcia getting back in the car. Werner followed the next time around.

Cameron passed Dalziel in traffic for the overall lead. Dalziel made his final stop with 47 min to go. The #67 Ford GT (Ryan Briscoe) and #912 Porsche (Frederic Makowiecki) were running an alternate pit cycle stood 1-2 on track. Milner passed Werner to take third, first among those running that pit strategy.

The #31 pitted with 45 min remaining, taking left side tire only.  The #10 and #5 came in the next lap. Cameron, Taylor, Barbosa ran 1-3 after the stops. Taylor took rear tires only in GTLM. Briscoe and Makowiecki both pitted but had enough track position to retain first and second, Briscoe taking fuel only. Milner ran third.

Milner passed Makowiecki for second with 23 min to go. Cameron’s lead on Taylor was 7.4 sec. Garcia took third from the Porsche 6 min later. Barbosa was challenging Taylor for second overall with 6 min left, completing the pass before the lap was complete. A full-course caution came out with 1 min 30 sec on the clock, freezing the field through the finish.

Cameron, Barbosa, and Taylor were the Top 3 overall. Colin Braun (#54 CORE autosport) won Prototype Challenge. Briscoe, Milner, and Garcia finished 1-3 in GTLM. Jens Klingmann (#96 Turner Motorsports BMW M6) took first in GT Daytona.

 

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