OAK Racing takes first TUDOR Championship win at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
After losing out at Watkins Glen last month, OAK Racing broke through to score its first TUDOR United SportsCar Championship win following a dominant flag-to-flag run in Sunday’s Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix.
Olivier Pla took the No. 42 Morgan-Nissan across the line for top overall honors in the two-hour and 45-minute race, which ran caution free and saw the black and pink-liveried P2 car lead all 133 laps.
The Frenchman and co-driver Gustavo Yacaman didn’t miss a beat all day, with pole-sitter Yacaman stretching out an early lead.
Pla, who took over controls of the Onroak Automotive-designed prototype midway through the race, increased the gap as a fight for the final two podium positions developed.
From there, it was clear sailing for Pla, who cruised to a 7.886-second win over the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP of Richard Westbrook in second.
Westbrook enjoyed a spirited late-race fight with Jordan Taylor in the Prototype championship-leading No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP, which rebounded from an unscheduled stop early after brother Ricky went off course and filled the radiator with grass.
Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi came home fourth in their No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP after pitting early with a left-rear puncture.
The No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Riley-Ford of Ozz Negri and John Pew, recorded its second top-five finish of the year while the Tristan Nunez and Joel Miller-driven No. 07 SpeedSource Mazda recorded a season-best sixth in the Prototype class after a trouble-free run.
It was another race to forget for Extreme Speed Motorsports, as both of its HPD ARX-03b cars hit mechanical trouble.
The No. 1 car of Ryan Dalziel, which was fighting for the win, retired with less than one hour to go with turbo failure, while the sister entry, driven by Johannes van Overbeek, went behind the wall with alternator issues.
Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas salvaged points after Rojas nearly destroyed the No. 01 Telmex Riley-Ford on the recon lap. The car joined the race just past the one-hour mark but was retired after completing 46 laps.
Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia extended their points lead with their fourth consecutive GT Le Mans class victory in Sunday’s Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix.
Garcia took the No. 3 Corvette C7.R to the win ahead of the pole-sitting No. 93 SRT Motorsports Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R in second, which led early in the hands of Kuno Wittmer but lost ground during an off-course excursion late in the opening hour.
It put Magnussen out front and in control for the remainder of the race, despite a late charge by both of the Vipers, in what turned into another dominant performance for the Chevy squad.
Wittmer and co-driver Jonathan Bomarito came home 11 seconds behind in second after the close escape, which saw the Canadian’s Viper dive through the grass at Moss Corner to avoid the No. 56 BMW.
The No. 91 Viper of Dominik Farnbacher and Marc Goossens made a charge through the field to complete the podium in third, a reversal of the team’s finishing positions at Watkins Glen.
The top-five in GTLM was rounded out by John Edwards and Dirk Mueller in the No. 56 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE and the No. 911 Porsche North America entry driven by Nick Tandy and Richard Lietz.
GT Daytona honors went down to the wire, with Jeroen Bleekemolen making a late-race pass on the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT America of Kevin Estre for the class win.
The Dutchman, who made up more than 11 seconds in the final 30 minutes, wheeled his No. 33 Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R around Estre with less than one minute to go, benefitting from GT traffic that held up the Porsche in the closing stages.
It marked Bleekemolen and co-driver Ben Keating’s first win of the season and the first for the Riley-built, GT3-based Viper in IMSA competition.
Dane Cameron and Markus Palttala rebounded from a controversial pit-lane penalty for a wheel nut outside of its pit box for a third-place result in their Turner Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3. Palttala led early, while Cameron was also in contention for the win prior to the penalty.
The No. 81 GB Autosport Porsche of Damien Faulkner and Ben Barker recorded a season-best fourth, with Leh Keen and Cooper MacNeil’s Alex Job Racing Porsche completing the top-five in class.
Despite a 13th-place finish in class after a challenging race, AIM Autosport’s Townsend Bell and Bill Sweedler still hold onto the championship lead, but only 3 points ahead of the Magnus Racing duo of Andy Lally and John Potter.
Porsche, meanwhile, take over the lead in the manufacturer’s title race in GTD.