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WeatherTech Championship

Action Express Wins Petit Le Mans; Cameron, JPM Claim Title

Pipo Derani, Felipe Nasr, Eric Curran win as Acura Team Penske crowned champions…

Photo: IMSA

A late-race brake issue for the No. 5 Cadillac DPi-V.R Filipe Albuquerque has handed victory to Whelen Engineering Racing’s Pipo Derani in Saturday’s record-setting Motul Petit Le Mans.

Acura Team Penske and drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron, meanwhile, claimed the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship DPi team and drivers’ titles with a fourth place finish for the No. 6 Acura ARX-05.

Derani took his No. 31 Cadillac DPi to a 0.996-second victory over Jordan Taylor, in his final race for his family’s Wayne Taylor Racing operation, for a Cadillac 1-2 finish.

The ten-hour enduro at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, which ran largely green, was shaken up with a yellow with 40 minutes to go that saw all DPi contenders come down pit road for final scheduled service.

A fuel-only stop for Albuquerque put the No. 5 car in the lead but a shattered left-front brake disc sent the Portuguese driver off track in Turn 10a and back into the pits with 25 minutes left on the clock.

Derani shared top honors with Felipe Nasr and Eric Curran in the Action Express Racing-run entry, which achieved a new distance record of 1,181.1 miles, after dominating much of the race.

It marked the trio’s second major endurance race win of the year after taking top honors at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in March that saw the trio wrap up the Michelin Endurance Cup title.

The win, however, was not enough to overtake Cameron and Montoya in the DPi championship.

Ricky Taylor brought the No. 7 Team Penske Acura DPi in third, having passed the struggling No. 77 Team Joest Mazda RT24-P of Oliver Jarvis on the final restart.

Jarvis faded to sixth at the end with fuel injector issues, the same problems that resulted in retirement in the fourth hour for the sister No. 55 Mazda DPi.

The No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi of Stephen Simpson completed the top-five.

The No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac finished sixth after repairs were made to the brakes, ahead of the No. 54 CORE autosport Nissan DPi, brought to the checkered flag by team owner Jon Bennett, in his final race.

The sister JDC-Miller Cadillac was ninth, meanwhile.

Juncos Racing, in its first race since Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, fought power steering issues, among other gremlins, with its Cadillac DPi, which finished nearly 50 laps down.

LMP2 honors went down a race of attrition, quite literally, with neither of the two cars making it past the halfway point.

A crash by Cameron Cassels, who was collected by Castroneves, knocked out the class pole-sitting No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports Oreca in the second hour, while the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports entry retired in the fifth hour with suspension failure.

It marked the first time in modern IMSA history that a class didn’t have a finisher.

RESULTS: Motul Petit Le Mans

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

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