Live blog: Follow updates from the TUDOR United SportsCar finale

BY foxsports • October 4, 2014

Hour 9 Update: Wayne Taylor Racing Back Out Front

Jordan Taylor has retaken the lead of the Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda with one hour to go.

Taylor passed the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP of Christian Fittipaldo for the lead with one hour and 28 minutes to go and has bridged out a 10-second gap.

Both cars are expected to still make two more stops, including a splash.

The No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Riley-Ford of Scott Dixon runs in third, followed by the DeltaWing in fourth.

Sean Rayhall holds control of the Prototype Challenge class, with the 8Star Motorsports driver 22 seconds ahead of Renger van der Zande's No. 8 Starworks Motorsports Oreca FLM09 in second.

Porsche appears to be in control of GT Le Mans, with Bryan Seller's Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR ahead of the Michael Christensen-driven factory No. 912 entry in second.

Christopher Hasse, meanwhile, is out front in GT Daytona, in what's been a fierce fight for top class honors. 

Hour 8 Update: Pumpelly OK After Heavy Crash

One of the toughest days in Flying Lizard Motorsports’ history as an organization came to a similarly frustrating ending when Spencer Pumpelly’s left rear tire went down in the eighth hour to cause the 12th yellow flag of this year’s Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda.

Pumpelly lost the rear on corner exit and hit the tire barrier at the corner in his No. 45 Audi R8 LMS. He got out of the car and was OK, but the damage was serious to both the car and the tire barrier.

It capped off a day that involved a penalty issued following contact between the No. 45 and No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Racing Corvette DP early in the race, Pumpelly’s left-side door coming loose, a second instance of contact between the No. 90 and No. 45 at Turn 10 where a penalty was issued and later rescinded following the No. 90′s wave-by attempt, an engine sensor issue and a flat left rear tire for Nelson Canache.

The Venezuelan was able to limp the car back to the pits on that occasion. A flat for the sister No. 35 entry also occurred during the race.

The Lizard’s accident was one of two major dust-ups in the eighth hour. The other came following the restart from the 11th full-course caution.

Contact between the No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3, driven by Markus Palttala, pitched the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Riley-Ford of Memo Rojas into a spin and facing the wrong direction at Turn 10.

That also collected Michael Valiante in the aforementioned No. 90, which has had a fraught race, while Patrick Pilet in the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR took evasive action to the grass to avoid any contact.

No caution flew on that occasion.

At the eight-hour mark, and after completing 311 laps, Christian Fittipaldi led overall in the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP by 8.4 seconds over Ricky Taylor. That helped the No. 5 to secure more points in the quest for the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup titles.

Other class leaders, and top TPNAEC points scorers in the second segment of the race, were Tom Kimber-Smith for 8Star Motorsports (PC), Wolf Henzler for Team Falken Tire (GTLM) and Christopher Haase for Paul Miller Racing (GTD).

Henzler led the fellow Porsche of Patrick Long, the No. 912 factory entry. Henzler’s lead was enough, unofficially, to clinch the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup Manufacturer’s championship.

The recent yellows have brought the PMR Audi R8 LMS, which had been on a different strategy, closer to the leaders in class.

Of the overall title contenders, the No. 91 Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R currently sits third in GTLM and would put Kuno Wittmer in the GTLM title seat, while the No. 93 Viper and No. 3 Corvette sit sixth and eighth.

In GTD, Turner’s BMW still runs second, while the No. 22 Alex Job Racing Porsche and No. 555 AIM Autosport Ferrari are stuck in seventh and eighth. It would put Dane Cameron in pole position for the GTD driver’s title.

Hour 7 Update: No. 5 Action Express DP Takes Control

At the seven-hour mark of this year’s Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda, the Corvette DP lead battle has continued up front although now the No. 5 Action Express entry has gotten clear of the No. 10 Wayne Taylor car.

However at the 7:07 mark of the race, the 11th full-course caution has come out with the sole remaining Mazda SKYACTIV-D, the No. 70, stopping on track exiting Turn 7.

Joao Barbosa and Max Angelelli enjoyed a great scrap in the sixth hour, barely separated by a few tenths, and Barbosa emerged ahead by a bigger gap by the end of the seventh hour as Angelelli handed the No. 10 back to Ricky Taylor.

The No. 01 Riley-Ford and the DeltaWing continue in third and fourth, respectively. Both cars have had a brief taste of the lead.

PC saw Sean Rayhall turn in a sublime stint, running anywhere from two to three seconds quicker than the rest of the field, to claw back a huge deficit and eventually move into the lead after getting around Frankie Montecalvo.

On the most recent pit stop exchange, Rayhall and Montecalvo swapped to Tom Kimber-Smith and Gunnar Jeannette, respectively, and Jeannette re-assumed the lead. Kimber-Smith got it back just before the seven-hour mark after a pair of slow laps cost Jeannette eight-plus seconds.

PC’s big moment in this sequence was when prior leader Rusty Mitchell, in the lone remaining RSR Racing entry, spun on exit to Turn 5. He then resumed after a spin back onto the track and nearly collected Andy Lally in the Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT America.

In GT Le Mans, Earl Bamber assumed the lead for the first time in his factory and class debut in the No. 912 Porsche, although on a different strategy to his top rivals, the No. 4 Corvette C7.R and No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR, respectively.

At the seven-hour mark, Marco Holzer led in the Falken Porsche although he was due to pit shortly thereafter. Bamber was in prime pouncing position.

The No. 91 Viper was also in striking range with the No. 93 Viper and No. 3 Corvette further back in class.

Meanwhile Jan Magnussen offered his view on what happened in the third hour pit contact that took the No. 3 Corvette out of contention.

“Leaving the pits, a bunch of us came out at the exact time so we were going down to the exit at the same time,” Magnussen said. “Kyle (Millay, No. 3 engineer) was telling me over the radio that the pit lane was red so I knew I had to start to slow down.

“I couldn’t see the Ferrari in front of me because the Porsche was covering him. And then I was going to slow at the same rate as him, and he seemed to be slowing down a little and I just followed him.

“Apparently he was still doing his belts so he just rammed the Ferrari and stopped right in front of me and kind of jumped sideways. If he had stopped there, it would have been fine and I would have slipped by. But he bounced out to the side in front of me and I collected him in his rear corner and did a lot of damage to the front of our car. It’s so tough.”

GT Daytona has seen the lead battle stabilize between Mario Farnbacher in the No. 23 Team Seattle-AJR Porsche 911 GT America, Christoffer Nygaard in the No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3 and Madison Snow in the No. 58 Snow Racing/Dempsey Racing Porsche 911 GT America.

Quietly playing its way into contention is the No. 007 TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage, courtesy of good stints from its trio of James Davison, Christina Nielsen and David Block.

The No. 22 AJR and No. 555 AIM cars sat seventh and ninth at the seven-hour mark.

Further NAEC points will be handed out at the eight-hour mark.

Hour 5 Update: Wayne Taylor Racing Leads At Halfway

Max Angelelli leads the field in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing entry during the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.

Wayne Taylor Racing continues to lead the Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda as the race reaches the halfway mark, while under the 9th full course caution of the incident-filled race.

Max Angelelli leads a Corvette DP 1-2, with champions elect Action Express Racing running second with Sebastien Bourdais at the wheel of the No. 5 entry.

The team's No. 9 Corvette DP retired in the fifth hour after contact with the No. 33 Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R of Ben Keating, who continued but brought out the eighth full-course yellow after stopping on track.

Two other Prototype class contenders have fallen by the wayside, with the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP of Richard Westbrook getting hit by Andrew Palmer's No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Audi R8 LMS while under yellow.

It resulted in Westbrook's Corvette DP going behind the wall and losing six laps for repairs to the left-front suspension. Palmer, meanwhile, was handed a drive-through penalty for avoidable contact.

There was further drama on the restart, as Andy Meyrick and Gustavo Yacman made contact in Turn 1, sending the OAK Racing Ligier JS P2 Honda hard into the barriers and bringing out another yellow.

Yacaman climbed from the car uninjured but it ended the French squad's charge through the field after losing three laps early due to a loose turbo clamp.

The No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca FLM09 of Frankie Montecalco leads Prototype Challenge, while the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR of Michael Christensen is out front in GT Le Mans. 

There were problems for Dominik Farnbacher's No. 93 SRT Motorsports Viper SRT GTS-R during a routine stop, with fluid leaking from the rear of the car. It has since dropped to seventh.

Dane Cameron, meanwhile, leads the way in GT Daytona aboard his Turner Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3 with five hours still to go.

Hour 4 Update: Watch Race Live On FOX Sports 2

Jordan Taylor continues up front in the Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP as the 17th Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda clicks over the four-hour mark.

Other class leaders included Gunnar Jeannette (PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports), Patrick Long (Porsche North America) and Bill Sweedler (AIM Autosport) in PC, GTLM and GTD, respectively.

Those four teams will get the first Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup points awarded for this race.

The caution-filled third hour featured another one in the fourth, with the seventh of the race caused for the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports Oreca FLM09 PC car stopped off line exiting Turn 7.

There was one bit of contact that didn’t trigger a full-course yellow. The No. 9 Action Express Racing Corvette DP contacted the No. 33 Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R at Turn 10, which spun the Viper around. Both cars resumed and the Action Express car went behind the wall for repairs.

Riley’s Viper wasn’t alone with issues. An off and on by Ryan Hunter-Reay in the No. 91 SRT Motorsports Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R, in one of the GTLM title contending entries, triggered an unscheduled pit stop. That off/on occurred just before the latest PC yellow.

Ho-Pin Tung was able to bring himself back to the lead lap in the No. 42 OAK Racing Ligier JS P2 Honda, thanks in part to all the yellows in the third hour and subsequent wave-bys.

But he got ahead of then-overall leader Gabby Chaves in the DeltaWing following the most recent restart, and was able to streak away from there. Chaves lost the lead following his fourth pit stop on Lap 142 (leaders pitted on Lap 127), and handed over the car to Andy Meyrick.

There was a good scrap for the GTD lead between Ben Barker and Madison Snow in a pair of Porsche 911 GT Americas. Barker (GB Autosport) and Snow (Snow Racing/Dempsey Racing) seek to deliver either squad their first win of the year.

Barker pitted just before the four-hour mark, at three hours and 59 minutes, which handled the lead – and points – to Sweedler and AIM.

Hour 3 Update: GTLM Pileup And Cautions Highlight Third Hour

The No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing entry of Ricky Taylor and Jordan Taylor led at the two-hour mark.

Jordan Taylor continues to lead the Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda following an incident-filled and championship-impacting third hour at Road Atlanta.

A pileup on pit lane between the three leading GTLM cars resulted in damage to the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari, No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR and the title-contending No. 4 Corvette C7.R.

Pierre Kaffer slowed at the exit of pit lane due to a red light and was clobbered by Patrick Pilet's Porsche, which was hit by the Jan Magnussen-driven Corvette.

Kaffer went behind the wall with right-rear suspension damage and steering issues before being retired, while Magnusen lost four laps due to repairs and now runs ninth in class.

The No. 911 Porsche of Pilet came away with the least amount of damage, making two stops while under yellow and remaining on the tail end of the lead lap.

Porsche's sister No. 912 entry of Patrick Long now leads GT, ahead of the No. 91 SRT Motorsports Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R of Ryan Hunter-Reay, in second, which has championship leader Kuno Wittmer in the driver lineup.

Bruno Junqueira (RSR Racing) and Madison Snow (Snow Racing) continue to lead the Prototype Challenge and GT Daytona classes, respectively.

The third hour ended while under the sixth full-course caution of the race.

Separate incidents for Spencer Pumpelly (No. 45 Flying Lizard Audi) and Marc Drumwright (No. 87 BAR1 Oreca) brought out the fourth yellow, which led to the GTLM pit lane drama, while the 5th yellow was for Joey Hand's No. 55 BMW Z4 GTE, which lost drive and stopped on track.

The most recent yellow was for the other BAR1 car of Tom Papadopoulos that went into the barriers in Turn 3.

Hour 2 Update: Taylor Maintains Control At Petit Le Mans

A Taylor still leads following the two-hour mark at Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda, with Jordan Taylor now in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP after taking over from brother Ricky.

Other class leaders at the two-hour mark include Colin Braun (Prototype Challenge), Antonio Garcia (GT Le Mans), and Townsend Bell (GT Daytona).

The Prototype field more or less ran line astern in the second hour with the No. 10 car up front. The only real drama came on the second pit stop sequence with a number of Daytona Prototype-spec cars stacked up at pit out, but none incurring any major damage.

Alex Brundle continued to set fast lap times in the No. 42 OAK Racing Ligier JS P2 Honda, including a weekend-best 1:13.958 on Lap 59, as he fought back from the mechanical issue that cost them three laps at the end of the first hour.

Of note, Christian Fittipaldi secured his half of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Prototype Driver’s Championship by completing 45 minutes after taking over from teammate Joao Barbosa in the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP on the team’s first pit stop.

In PC, Braun, in the CORE autosport entry, got around Chris Cumming of RSR Racing after the restart with an hour and 52 minutes complete.

The best battle in the second hour came in GTLM, with the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR (Wolf Henzler), factory No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR (Jorg Bergmeister) and championship-contending No. 3 Corvette C7.R (Garcia) all in a dogfight for second.

The No. 91 SRT Motorsport Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R (Marc Goossens) led before falling back on the pit stop cycle. Corvette’s pit work got the No. 3 out in first, with Bergmeister up to second in the Porsche.

Meanwhile in GTD, the No. 555 AIM Autosport Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 (Townsend Bell) and No. 33 Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R (Ben Keating) ascended to 1-2 as they’d only made one pit stop after two hours (both on Lap 39). The majority of the GTD field has made two (second for most occurring on Lap 66).

The third full course caution of the race flew when the No. 31 Marsh Racing Corvette DP stopped on course at the exit of the esses with an hour and 36 minutes complete. The car was able to resume after a 15-minute yellow.

Hour 1 Update: Taylor Takes Control

Joao Barbosa leads the TUDOR United SportsCar field to green at Road Atlanta on Oct. 4, 2014.

We're under the second full course caution of the race as the 17th Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda crosses over the one-hour mark of the 10-hour enduro.

Leaders are Ricky Taylor (Prototype, overall), Duncan Ende (Prototype Challenge), Nick Tandy (GT Le Mans) and Jan Heylen (GT Daytona).

Taylor assumed the overall lead 58 minutes into the race once Katherine Legge pitted the race-leading DeltaWing coupe.

The DeltaWing was able to run longer on the first stint and held the lead just prior to this caution, caused when the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT America got stuck in the gravel at the outside of Turn 10.

In the first hour, three championships have been unofficially clinched. By starting, the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP has taken the Prototype Team's championship and Joao Barbosa, who completed his 45 minutes of minimum drive time, the Driver's championship. Teammate and polesitter Christian Fittipaldi is in now to do his 45 minutes.

Additionally, AIM Autosport has secured the GT Daytona Team's Championship in the four-race Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup; Townsend Bell, Bill Sweedler and Conrad Grunewald drive the No. 555 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 this race.

As for the rest of the first hour, the first caution flew after 13 minutes when Eric Lux spun exiting Turn 7 in the No. 25 8Star Motorsports Oreca FLM09. He recovered but it cost the team several laps, as they seek their third straight class win.

Both the No. 56 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE (false start) and No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3 (passed before a restart) were issued drive through penalties. The RLL lost a lap while the Turner car, crucially, didn't.

Pit stops began on Lap 32 with Ricky Taylor, the leader, pitting the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP at 45 minutes into the race. The sister Corvette DPs from Action Express Racing were in a lap later, followed by the rest of the Prototype class cars.

Problems struck the No. 42 OAK Racing Ligier JS P2 Honda just before the one-hour mark. Alex Brundle made it from 47th on the overall grid up to sixth, but on his first pit stop the team took the engine cover off the car. Brundle resumed but lost three laps, effectively halting his charge.

Ende, the PC leader, and the majority of the GT field pitted at the one-hour mark. The race was due to go back to green shortly after that.

 


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