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Continental Tire Road America Post-Race Notebook

Continental Tire Post-Race Notebook from Road America…

Photo: Porsche Cars North America

***Tequila Patron ESM broke Cadillac’s seven-race win streak with the first victory for the Nissan Onroak DPi in IMSA’s new prototype era. It marked the Scott Sharp-owned team’s first win since the Twelve Hours of Sebring last year, when it swept the “Florida 36 Hours.”

***Despite dominating the first half of the race, the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R was unable to challenge for the win, due to the series of late yellows, according to Jordan Taylor. “When the yellow came out and they were up behind us, I knew that it would be damage control,” he said. “On the restarts, with our lack of downforce, it is hard to get heat in the tires while they can just attack.”

***However, with their second place finish, the Taylor brothers have extended their points lead to 26 over Action Express Racing’s Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi, who fought back from a lap down, due to bodywork damage, to finish sixth. 

***Porsche GT Team crew members signed the hood of the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR (pictured above) and presented it to Porsche Motorsport North America President Jens Walther as a going-away gift for his final IMSA race. Dr. Daniel Armbruster takes over Walther’s position later this month.

***The No. 911 Porsche had a challenging race, ultimately retiring with gearbox issues in the final hour after contact with the No. 3 Corvette C7.R that sent Dirk Werner into the gravel in Turn 1. 

***The GT Le Mans class victory for the No. 66 Ford GT of Joey Hand and Dirk Mueller, their first since the Rolex 24 at Daytona and Ford Chip Ganassi’s first since the WEC Six Hours of Silverstone in April, marked the sixth different GTLM manufacturer to win at Road America in the last six years.

***Hand and Mueller have now moved to within 8 points of Corvette’s Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia in the title race, with Ford now into the lead of the manufacturer’s championship, one point over Chevrolet. The Corvette duo have led the points since the third round of the season at Circuit of The Americas and over the four races to follow, have only extended their margin by two points.

***It was a rough-and-tumble race for BMW Team RLL, with the No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM dropping two laps behind with a right-front suspension issue before getting back onto the lead lap and fighting for a top-five until a final-lap collision with the No. 4 Corvette C7.R of Tommy Milner. Alexander Sims crossed the line in 6th, without a front wheel.

***The No. 24 BMW of John Edwards, meanwhile, ran out of fuel at pit-in while in podium contention, which brought out the race’s second full course caution. 

***Turner Motorsport delivered a dominant run in GT Daytona, with BMW Junior Jesse Krohn claiming his first WeatherTech Championship win alongside factory driver Jens Klingmann. It marked the fourth different manufacturer to win in the last four races (Acura, Audi, Porsche) and fifth of the season. 

***Sunday’s race marked the 300th IMSA race for Mike Johnson as a driver, entrant, strategist, team manager or owner. The Stevenson Motorsports team manager has been a part of 63 class wins and 153 podium finishes through the period. Lawson Aschenbach and Andrew Davis delivered another podium result, finishing third in class. 

***Riley Team AMG elected to short-fuel the No. 33 Mercedes-AMG GT3 on their final stop. The move jumped Jeroen Bleekemolen ahead of the GTD championship-leading Scuderia Corsa into fourth, a position he held until the finish. The gamble almost came up short, however, as the Dutchman felt the car stutter in the Carousel on the last lap.

“At that point it’s all uphill so I knew we were in big trouble,” Bleekemolen said. “I was just waiting for it to die and it happened right as we crossed the start finish with the Ferrari halfway by me. We had nothing left.”

***Having been rebuilt after its accident in final practice, it was a race to forget for the No. 93 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3, which had multiple on-track incidents in the hands of Katherine Legge leading to a lengthy trip to the garage for a right-rear upright failure in the opening hour. An accident by Andy Lally in the final hour brought their race to an early end.

***Legge and Lally have slipped to fourth in the GTD title race, now 33 points behind championship leaders Alessandro Balzan and Christina Nielsen, who picked up their seventh top-five finish in nine races this season.

***Paul Miller Racing’s championship hopes, meanwhile, are effectively over, with Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow dropping to 8th in the standings and 47 points adrift, largely due to a 15-point penalty issued by IMSA due to a technical infringement found on its car after qualifying.

***The No. 80 Lone Star Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Mike Skeen and Dan Knox failed to start the race after persistent cooling issues that plagued the team over the weekend. After missing qualifying, a fix for warmup saw the car continue to lose coolant, resulting in a decision to park the car. The team plans to return for the next two races at VIR and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Continental Tire Challenge:

***With their third place finish at Road America, RS1 drivers Dillon Machavern and Dylan Murcott have provisionally taken the GS points lead for the first time this season, leapfrogging Bodymotion Racing’s Trent Hindman and Cameron Cassels and C360R’s Paul Holton and Matt Plumb. Hindman and Cassels had led the points ever since the third round of the season at Circuit of The Americas in May. They now trail Machavern and Murcott by 4 points with three rounds remaining.

***The No. 21 Muehlner Motorsports Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport lost a second place finish after being handed a drive-through penalty, converted into a 39-second time penalty, for allegedly passing under yellow. It dropped series debutants Gabriele Piana and Moritz Kranz to 9th in the provisional results.

***Team boss Bernhard Muehlner claims the race control video shows Piana overtaking the No. 54 JDC-Miller Motorsports BMW 228i ten seconds before the caution was called. “We did the race with good drivers to show how competitive Muehlner Motorsports America and our Porsche Cayman GT4 really is and at the end of the day, IMSA has stolen our result,” Muehlner told Sportscar365.

***Despite damaged sustained in Alan Brynjolfsson’s heavy crash on Lap 1, the No. 7 VOLT Racing Ford Mustang will be ready for the next round at Virginia International Raceway. The team’s plans to test prior to the race are also expected to be unaffected.

***After completing her stint behind the wheel of the No. 44 CRG-I Do Borrow Nissan Altima, Sarah Cattaneo had a surprise waiting for her in pit lane: her boyfriend Dustin down on one knee with a marriage proposal. Cattaneo said yes.

***The red flag came just in time for the ST class-winning No. 25 Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5, which was running on fumes when the race was halted. Stevan McAleer, who never got a chance to drive when the race was called early because of rain, said the car would not have been able to do another lap on the remaining fuel had the race restarted.

***The No. 27 Freedom Autosport Mazda of Tom Long and Britt Casey Jr. took second, marking the second-straight 1-2 finish for the team after Lime Rock Park last month.

***The top four finishing cars in ST did not make pit stops in the shortened race, causing questions and controversy post-race. It’s understood force majeure came into effect. All of the driver pairings have provisionally scored points. Click here for the points standings. 

***ST points leaders Jeff Mosing and Eric Foss found themselves back on the podium after a one-race hiatus at Lime Rock, making it the sixth of seven races this season they have finished in the top-three.

***Devin Jones missed Saturday’s race at Road America to make his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut at Watkins Glen. Jones finished 26th after starting 38th.

Ryan Myrehn contributed to this report

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. the boot

    August 7, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Speaking of Continental any reason given for the number of flat tires in GTD? Seems to be a reoccurring issue in the class. Esp at Daytona, WGI and Road America.

    • NASCAR/DPs Suck

      August 7, 2017 at 12:43 pm

      Good question, I was about to ask the same exact thing. Problem with the curbs or a load issue?

      • Jake

        August 7, 2017 at 2:36 pm

        I made the comment on twitter a few races ago, and Continental replied and said that the data they get from all the failures points to the teams running against the recommended pressures. Tire manufacturers are really in a no win situation. In a BOP environment, teams are pushing for every advantage they can find, and generally that falls on the tires. All they can do is recommend to the teams what to run, they can’t enforce that the teams actually listen to them.

      • Max

        August 7, 2017 at 5:25 pm

        Along with what the others said, I would think IMSA racing’s style of driving on, over, and beyond the curbing can’t help, especially if they’re running under the recommended pressure.

    • pierre

      August 7, 2017 at 2:26 pm

      teams are always pushing the issue with tire pressures and even going against what continental is advising. tough to say if manufacturer defect or team not being with the proper operating limits of tire pressures. i doubt either of them will point a finger unless continental was being hammered on to blame.

  2. thomas

    August 8, 2017 at 11:12 am

    Congratulations to Sarah Cataneo and her fiancée!

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