Robin Liddell took the wheel of Rebel Rock’s No. 71 Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R from Frank DePew and stamped his authority on the second half of the Lime Rock Park 120, claiming the GS class victory in Saturday’s IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge round
Liddell moved from 10th to fourth place before making a green-flag pit stop with 57 minutes remaining in the two-hour contest. Just three minutes later, a full-course caution waved when Eric Foss tapped Matt Plumb into a traffic-induced crash.
After the leaders completed pit stops under yellow, Liddell found himself in third place, trailing Kyle Marcelli in the No. 877 JG Wentworth Racing by PF Racing Ford Mustang GT4 and Mike Skeen in the No. 55 FCP Euro by Ricca Autosport Mercedes when racing resumed with a little more than half an hour remaining.
Liddell made quick work of Skeen, then set about cutting into a 5.4-second deficit to leader Marcelli.
Once clear of lapped traffic, Liddell closed quickly on Marcelli and the Camaro passed the Mustang exiting Big Bend with 12 minutes to go. Marcelli held tough through the subsequent Left Hander and Right Hander and regained the lead through the Uphill Bend.
Liddell repeated his pass at Big Bend the following lap, and this time, Marcelli was unable to respond. Marcelli and Billy Johnson waged an exciting scrap over the final ten minutes, but both were ultimately passed by Trent Hindman in the No. 7 Volt Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT4 he shared with Alan Brynjolfsson.
Liddell crossed the line 2.951 seconds ahead of Hindman to earn his 14th career victory in Pilot Challenge competition.
He also claimed a GS class victory at Lime Rock in 2018 when teamed with Matt Bell. The win was DePew’s fifth in Pilot Challenge.
Behind Hindman, Marcelli and co-driver Sheena Monk took third place in the No. 877 Mustang.
The second-place finish was a big boost for Brynjolfsson and Hindman in the GS point standings.
They extended their advantage over Foss to 265 points after Foss and Kenton Koch were credited with 19th place in the No. 56 Mercedes.
No. 17 Audi Takes a Beating and then Delivers One in TCR
Chris Miller and Mikey Taylor spent most of Saturday’s TCR class race getting knocked around.
But the No. 17 Unitronic-JDC MotorSports Audi RS 3 LMS took a licking and kept on ticking – all the way to victory lane.
The No. 17 Audi won by 1.148 seconds over the No. 15 Belgard & Techniseal Racing Audi shared by Preston Brown and Denis DuPont, but only after Miller and Taylor survived multiple skirmishes and several near catastrophes in the two-hour race at Lime Rock Park.
Miller was running third in class 20 minutes into the race when he was knocked off course and fell to last place in the field.
Undaunted, he stayed the course and turned the car over to Taylor a little more than 20 minutes later. A lightning-fast pit stop advanced Taylor to seventh in TCR and he charged forward from there.
Another stop just before the second and final full-course caution of the race allowed the No. 17 to cycle into second place when racing resumed with 33 minutes to go.
Taylor bumped his way past Jon Morley in the No. 61 Road Shagger Racing Audi and into the TCR lead with 25 minutes left on the clock. But the mission was far from finished as the top five TCR cars jostled for position down the stretch, often clustered within a second.
Contact between the No. 17 Audi, No. 19 van der Steur Racing Hyundai Veloster N TCR and No. 65 Murillo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT GT4 from the GS class nearly disrupted the race for all three cars but they continued.
Tyler Gonzalez regrouped in the No. 19 Hyundai to make a final charge at Taylor with 90 seconds remaining.
Gonzalez attempted an over-under pass for the lead in Turn 1, and the cars made side-to-side contact several times through Turns 2 and 3 before the No. 19 Hyundai sustained left-rear damage and limped back to the pits to finish 10th in class.
The win was the fourth for Taylor in the Pilot Challenge and third for Miller. It was their first since taking the TCR victory last October at Virginia International Raceway.
RESULTS: Lime Rock Park 120