Action Express Racing has claimed back-to-back wins, but this time with the No. 31 Corvette DP of Dane Cameron coming out on top in Sunday’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Cameron edged out the sister No. 5 entry of Joao Barbosa for he and Eric Curran’s first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship victory of the season.
The race ended under a full-course caution for an accident by the No. 44 Magnus Racing Audi R8 LMS of Andy Lally with less than two minutes remaining, but did not impact the finishing order.
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The win for the No. 31 car came following an impressive three-wide pass on Cameron’s out lap on his second-to-final pit stop to get around both the No. 5 Action Express Corvette DP of Joao Barbosa and No. 10 Corvette DP of Jordan Taylor for second on the track.
Cameron then took over the lead from the No. 90 Visit Florida Racing Corvette DP of Ryan Dalziel, through GT Le Mans class traffic, with 56 minutes remaining, and never looked back from there.
Jordan Taylor was third, with Dalziel fading to fourth in his final stint but still helping give Corvette its first 1-2-3-4 sweep since the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2014.
While the No. 70 Mazda of Tom Long and Joel Miller completed the top-five, it was another heartbreaking race for the SpeedSource-run team, which saw its pole-sitting No. 55 car retire halfway through the two-hour and 40-minute race.
Tristan Nunez led the opening stages in commanding fashion, but lost time in the first pit stop due to a front air jack failure. Jonathan Bomarito brought the Mazda to a halt on track with 1 hour and 25 minutes remaining, with a drive issue at the rear of the car.
Cameron and Curran, who claimed their first win since Road America 2015, have now closed to within four points of Prototype championship leaders Barbosa and Fitipaldi.
Prototype Challenge saw CORE autosport return to victory lane for the first time since the Twelve Hours of Sebring in March, with Colin Braun and Jon Bennett taking top class honors.
Braun edged out the No. 8 Starworks Motorsport Oreca FLM09 of Renger van der Zande by 10.482 seconds, under yellow, having taken the lead from the No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports entry, which was on an alternative race strategy, with 20 minutes to go.
The No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports entry of Tom Kimber-Smith and Robert Alon completed the podium in third, with Kyle Marcelli fourth for Performance Tech.
The CORE entry started from the rear of the field after the team elected to start Bennett, following Braun’s class pole-winning lap on Saturday.
Misha Goikhberg completed the top-five in class, which saw the JDC-Miller entry out front for most of co-driver Stephen Simpson’s two-hour and 20-minute ironman stint until the final stop for the driver change.
Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook have taken a strategic GT Le Mans class win for Ford Chip Ganassi Racing, the third in a row for the No. 67 Ford GT.
Despite a 15kg weight increase and a reduction in turbo boost pressure, the Ford GT once again drove to the front of the field, aided by good strategic calls.
Starting third on the grid, the No. 67 Ford GT immediately lost a position to the No. 25 BMW Team RLL M6 GTLM and dropped back to sixth with a slow first pit stop.
Unlike the rest of the GTLM field, the No. 67 crew elected for a three-stop strategy, giving the car better speed in the middle part of the race between both full-course cautions.
Taking only fuel in its third and final stop, Briscoe rejoined the track with a 11-second lead over the No. 4 Corvette C7.R of Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin.
Despite being on newer tires, Milner wasn’t able to close down the gap considerably and crossed the line with a 1.452 second gap on the class-winning Ford, as the safety car made a late appearance with the Magnus Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 crashing out at Turn 1.
While the No. 3 Corvette of Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen led the race early on, it was the sister No. 4 car of Oliver Gavin that quickly made up for its lower grid position, taking track position over the No. 3 car by pitting one lap earlier in the second round of stops.
Gavin and Milner see their championship lead shrink to only five points over Westbrook and Briscoe.
The BMW M6 GTLM was the fastest car on track today, but Team RLL could only manage fourth with the No. 25 car of Dirk Werner and Bill Auberlen, while the No. 100 entry lost ground with power steering issues.
Porsche tried the same three-stop strategy as the winning Ford for the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR of Earl Bamber and Fred Makowiecki, and while the car was initially on course to a podium finish, its lack of outright speed meant in dropped back to sixth in the final half hour.
Bret Curtis and Jens Klingmann gave Turner Motorsport its first GT Daytona class win with the new BMW M6 GT3, the latter taking over the lead 30 minutes from the end with a daring move.
Battling for the de facto lead with Jeroen Bleekemolen’s Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper GT3-R and the Dream Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 of Fabio Babini that still had to make it’s final stop, Klingmann passed both cars at once.
Bleekemolen’s Viper sustained damage to the radiator in the maneuver, running into the back of the Dream Racing Lamborghini under braking.
Robin Liddell and Andrew Davis finished second with the No. 6 Stevenson Motorsports Audi, as the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini of Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow completed the class podium in third.
The class-pole-sitting No. 23 The Heart of Racing/Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R led the first part of the race, but eventually dropped back after losing a wheel when running in third.