Corvette Racing celebrated GT class victory in Saturday’s American Le Mans Series race at the Circuit of The Americas, with a stellar drive by Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia being rewarded with their third class win of the season as well as regaining the championship lead.
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Garcia edged out a hard-charging SRT Viper GTS-R of Jonathan Bomarito to take a narrow 0.854 second victory. It the closest finish of the five classes in the two-hour and 45-minute race, which ran without a full-course caution.
“There was a point with 30 minutes to go and I had Dirk right on my bumper. I thought it was going to be a really long race,” Garcia said. “There was no traffic at that point. As soon as there was some traffic, I knew that was my only opportunity. I was really aggressive and could make time on him, enough to be safe for the Viper. At the end, it’s the second victory in a row, which is very unusual for us.”
The No. 93 SRT Motorsports entry of Bomarito and Kuno Wittmer recorded a season-high second place result, followed by the pair of BMW Z4 GTEs from BMW Team RLL. Championship contender Dirk Mueller slipped to third in the closing stages but held onto a podium position for he and co-driver John Edwards.
The GT points race took a dramatic shift when championship leader Tommy Milner ground to a halt on-track with suspected gearbox failure in the opening hour. Milner and co-driver Oliver Gavin held a two-point lead over Corvette Racing teammates Magnussen and Garcia heading into Saturday’s round.
In GTC, TRG broke through to claim its first class win of the season following a late-race duel between the No. 66 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car of Damien Faulkner and Sean Edwards NGT entry.
The two cars collided while battling for the lead, resulting in a slow puncture for Edwards and clear sailing for Faulkner, who took top class honors for he and Ben Keating.
The No. 30 NGT entry of Edwards limped home to second, ahead of Andy Lally and Patrick Dempsey in the Dempsey Racing machine in third. The top-six in class finished on the lead lap.