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Prototype (P)

Prototype Challenge(PC)

GT Le Mans (GTLM

GT Daytona (GTD)

IMSA Point Standings
After Austin
Prototype Drivers
Pos Drivers Total
1 Jordan Taylor 226
1 Ricky Taylor 226
2 Christian Fittipaldi 207
2 Joao Barbosa 207
3 Misha Goikhberg 200
3 Stephen Simpson 200
4 Dane Cameron 199
4 Eric Curran 199
5 Ryan Dalziel 183
5 Scott Sharp 183
6 Tristan Nunez 181
6 Jonathan Bomarito 181
7 Tom Long 168
7 Joel Miller 168
8 Johannes Van Overbeek 162
9 Renger Van Der Zande 148
9 Marc Goossens 148
10 Ed Brown 117

1 Patricio O'ward 216
1 James French 216
2 Don Yount 182
3 Buddy Rice 120
4 Kyle Masson 108
5 Gustavo Yacaman 89
6 Nicholas Boulle 68
7 Garett Grist 62
8 Ryan Lewis 62
9 Sean Rayhall 60
10 Daniel Burkett 60

1 Jan Magnussen 182
1 Antonio Garcia 182
2 Alexander Sims 179
2 Bill Auberlen 179
3 Joey Hand 172
3 Dirk Mueller 172
4 Richard Westbrook 169
4 Ryan Briscoe 169
5 Dirk Werner 159
5 Patrick Pilet 159
6 Oliver Gavin 151
6 Tommy Milner 151
7 John Edwards 151
7 Martin Tomczyk 151
8 Laurens Vanthoor 151
9 Giancarlo Fisichella 104
9 Toni Vilander 104
10 Kevin Estre 78

1 Christina Nielsen 203
1 Alessandro Balzan 203
2 Jeroen Bleekemolen 195
2 Ben Keating 195
3 Andy Lally 179
3 Katherine Legge 179
4 Jens Klingmann 168
5 Lawson Aschenbach 166
5 Andrew Davis 166
6 Madison Snow 165
6 Bryan Sellers 165
7 Daniel Morad 162
8 Oswaldo Negri Jr. 152
8 Jeff Segal 152
9 Patrick Lindsey 150
10 Cooper Macneil 147

Prototype Teams
Rank Teams Total
1 #10 Konica Minolta Cadillac 226
2 #5 Mustang Sampling Racing 207
3 #85 Jdc-Miller Motorsports 200
4 #31 Whelen Engineering 199
5 #2 Tequila Patron Esm 183

1 #38 Performance Tech 216
2 #26 Bar1 Motorsports 185
3 #20 Bar1 Motorsports 182
4 #8 Starworks Motorsports 58
5 #88 Starworks Motorsport 28

1 #3 Corvette Racing 182
2 #25 BMW Team Rll 179
3 #66 Ford Chip Ganassi 172
4 #67 Ford Chip Ganassi 169
5 #911 Porsche Gt Team 159
6 #4 Corvette Racing 151
7 #24 BMW Team Rll 151
8 #912 Porsche Gt Team 151
9 #62 Risi Competizione 104
10 #68 Ford Chip Ganassi Uk 50

1 #63 Scuderia Corsa 203
2 #33 Riley Motorsports - AMG 195
3 #93 M. Shank W/ Curb-Aga 179
4 #96 Turner Motorsport 168
5 #57 Stevenson Motorsports 166
America's Tire 250 Rearview Mirror

Five Takeaways
Monday, September 25, 2017


Renger van der Zande stole a page from Zanardi’s playbook
Renger van der Zande stole a page from Zanardi’s playbook
Sunday’s AMERICA’S TIRE 250 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca was, in many ways, an “Instant Classic” for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The headline race for the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix weekend featured a thrilling, late-race pass for the overall victory in Mazda Raceway’s iconic Corkscrew turn; a last-to-first, “spin and win” victory in GT Le Mans (GTLM) and an emotional victory celebration in GT Daytona (GTD).

Here are “five takeaways” coming out of the penultimate round of the 2017 WeatherTech Championship:

  1. “The Pass” Revisited

One of the most famous moments in Mazda Raceway history occurred in the Corkscrew on the final lap of the 1996 IndyCar race when rookie Alex Zanardi dove to the inside of race leader Bryan Herta as the pair made the left turn at the top of the left-right-left complex of turns at the top of the Corkscrew’s 10-story drop. Zanardi briefly skipped across the racetrack and off the course in front of a stunned Herta before coming back on course and continuing on his way to an improbable victory. It has become known as “The Pass” in Mazda Raceway lore.

Renger van der Zande stole a page from Zanardi’s playbook on Sunday, except he never left the racing surface. With three minutes left in the two-hour, 40-minute race, van der Zande got a great run coming up the hill to the Corkscrew in the No. 90 VISIT FLORIDA Racing Ligier LM P2 car, enabling him to pull alongside leader Dane Cameron in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R as the pair braked for the left hander.

The two cars made slight side-to-side contact as they made the turn, but van der Zande was perfectly positioned on the inside to take the lead and go on to win two laps later.

“What a move!” exclaimed van der Zande’s No. 90 co-driver, Marc Goossens. “That’s what it takes to win and Renger just did it. It was a great job!”

  1. Taylors Preserve Championship Lead with Podium Run

No. 10 Taylor Cadillac
No. 10 Taylor Cadillac
Ricky Taylor’s TOTAL Pole Award-winning performance on Saturday in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R was impressive, as he outqualified his next-closest competitor, Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi by more than eight-tenths of a second.

When the green flag dropped in Sunday’s race, he once again managed to pull out to a healthy lead early on before the field got jumbled up during a midrace pit-stop sequence. Following that sequence, Ricky’s younger brother and co-driver Jordan Taylor found himself back in fourth place and the team adopted a conservative approach to preserve the team’s substantial lead in the WeatherTech Championship Prototype standings with only the 10-hour Motul Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta on Oct. 7 remaining.

“We obviously had a fast car, with Ricky getting pole and leading that whole first stint,” said Jordan Taylor, who brought the car home in third place. “But as the race progressed, with how the green was going and how the tires were dropping off through the stints, guys were taking risks with strategy to kind of play our hand. They were forcing us to pit when we didn’t really want to.

“They could take those risks with where they are in the championship, so every time they’d pit, we’d kind of have to spot it and pit off sequence for us. That’s what caught us out with the (No.) 31 to begin with. Once we lost the lead of the race, we didn’t want to take too much risk to get it back. It kind of turned it into a points race, and to come back with a podium finish, we’ve got to be happy with that at this point of the season.”

The Taylor brothers now lead No. 31 co-drivers Cameron and Eric Curran by 29 points, 288-259, and will clinch the season title by fulfilling their base drive-time requirements and earning points at the Motul Petit Le Mans.

  1. Doing What They Had To Do, Part 2

#3 Corvette
No. 3 Corvette
The Taylors weren’t the only pair of teammates that were points racing on Sunday at Mazda Raceway. In GTLM, No. 3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R co-drivers Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia came into the weekend with a 16-point lead in the season standings.

The team elected to forego altering its setup for Saturday’s qualifying session, instead focusing on a stronger car for the race itself. As a result, Magnussen started the race from seventh on the class grid but managed to move forward as the car’s race setup came in.

The team’s big break came when it pitted before the lone full-course caution period just past the halfway point in the race. That put Garcia second for the restart, but he quickly surrendered that position to eventual race winner John Edwards in the No. 24 BMW M6 GTLM, as the team opted to focus on keeping its championship rivals behind them rather than challenging for the victory.

Magnussen and Garcia ended up fourth, stretching their lead to 19 points, 302-283, over No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT co-drivers Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe. Like the Taylors, they only need to meet base drive-time requirements and score points to take the championship.

“We had a good plan for the race that was painful to execute, but it worked,” Magnussen said. “The painful part was in the beginning watching everyone drive away. Then things would turn around at the end of the stint where we would catch everything back and be in the mix. That’s great strategy that got us ahead of both Fords and the No. 25 BMW. It’s a great way to go to Petit Le Mans, where we can work on securing the manufacturer’s championship.”

  1. Speaking of Manufacturers…

The AMERICA’S TIRE 250 offered several interesting post-race manufacturer nuggets. For starters, the victory for the No. 90 Ligier was the first in WeatherTech Championship competition for a new Gibson-powered global LM P2 race car, snapping a streak of consecutive victories for Daytona Prototype international (DPi) cars at eight.

The results in GTLM featured one of each of the class’ five manufacturers in the top five with BMW winning, followed by Ferrari, Porsche, Chevrolet and Ford.

Ferrari also became the seventh different manufacturer to win in the GTD class. In total, 11 of the 14 automotive manufacturers that have competed in the 2017 WeatherTech Championship now have won at least one race this season.

Cadillac has a commanding lead in the Prototype manufacturer standings, 312-285, over Nissan, and will clinch the championship by scoring at Motul Petit Le Mans. In GTLM, Chevrolet leads Ford by four points, 316-312, and needs to be the second-highest finishing GTLM manufacturer or better in the season finale to take the title.

With its GTD victory on Sunday, Ferrari went from a one-point deficit in the class manufacturer standings to a nine-point lead, 327-318, over Mercedes-AMG.

  1. Ferrari’s Big Weekend

No. 63 Ferrari
No. 63 Ferrari
The Prancing Horse’s gallop into the win column at Mazda Raceway with Alessandro Balzan and Christina Nielsen in the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa 488 GT3 capped an outstanding weekend for the manufacturer and was an appropriate way to honor the manufacturer’s long history on the Monterey Peninsula.

Nearly 60 years ago to the day, Pete Lovely won the first race to be held at the iconic California road course driving a Ferrari 500TR. For Balzan and the Beverly Hills, California-based Scuderia Corsa team, the victory came five years after their professional debut together at the circuit.

“I really wanted it,” Balzan said. “What special and better place to do it than Laguna Seca, where I had my United States debut five years ago?”

For Balzan and Nielsen, the victory represented their seventh podium result in 11 races this season, and gave them strong, 26-point lead over No. 33 Mercedes-AMG GT3 driver Jeroen Bleekemolen heading to Motul Petit Le Mans. They will need to make minimum drive-time at Road Atlanta to wrap up their second consecutive GTD championship together and the team’s fourth IMSA title.

Toni Vilander nearly gave Ferrari a GTLM victory as well. After qualifying on the pole Saturday, Vilander and co-driver Giancarlo Fisichella kept the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE in contention for the victory throughout the race. Coming off the final turn, Vilander got into a drag race with Edwards’ BMW and came up just 0.152 seconds short.

I gave everything I had,” Vilander said after the race. “I didn't want to push him out in the last corner. It would have been nice, but that's it. I just drove as fast as I could. The car was good in the corners and in the exit of the corners and a little bit less in the top speed. Today we were P2 and we'll take it."

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