Helio Castroneves and Ricky Taylor have claimed Acura Team Penske’s first long-distance endurance win in Saturday’s six-hour contest at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.
Castroneves held off a hard-charging Harry Tincknell for the No. 7 Acura ARX-05 DPi’s second consecutive IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship win.
The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner overcame two pit lane penalties in the opening hour to finish 1.050 seconds ahead of the No. 55 Mazda RT24-P of Tincknell and co-drivers Jonathan Bomarito and Ryan Hunter-Reay.
It came after a late-race restart for an accident involving the No. 6 Acura DPi of Juan Pablo Montoya and Toni Vilander’s No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 that set up a two-lap shootout.
Castroneves and Taylor became the first repeat DPi winners of the season.
An Acura 1-2 was in the cards until the final 90 minutes when Montoya first lost the lead to Taylor and was then passed by Tincknell for second.
The Colombian dropped to fourth after contact was made between his Acura and the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R of Ryan Briscoe at pit-entry, resulting in damage to both cars.
Briscoe was handed a drive-through for incident responsibility.
The accident initially handed third to the No. 5 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac of Tristan Vautier, who lost the podium position to a hard-charging Felipe Nasr with a pass made just prior to the final yellow.
It came after a drive-through penalty for Pipo Derani, who made contact with the No. 44 GRT Magnus Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo with less than two hours to go.
The penalty for Briscoe dropped the No. 10 WTR Cadillac to a fifth place result, while the No. 77 Mazda finished down the running order after a brake issue took it out of the lead with 90 minutes to go.
De Phillippi, Spengler Break Through in GTLM
BMW Team RLL picked up its second win of the season and the first for the No. 25 BMW M8 GTE pairing of Connor De Phillippi and Bruno Spengler.
De Philippi emerged in the class lead following the final round of pit stops after a controlling run by the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR-19 of Nick Tandy.
It marked Spengler’s first WeatherTech Championship class victory.
The No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R of Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin finished second in class, ahead of the No. 24 BMW of Jesse Krohn and John Edwards, who completed the podium in third.
Defending class champions Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor had a race to forget, with brake issues dropping the No. 912 Porsche out of contention just past halfway.
The No. 911 Porsche of Nick Tandy and Fred Makowiecki came home fourth after losing out in the final hour, with a late-race pit stop relegating the No. 3 Corvette to fifth in class.
First Double Acura Win; Farnbacher Holds On
Meyer Shank Racing came out on top in GT Daytona, thanks to a controlling closing double stint by Mario Farnbacher.
The German took the No. 86 Acura NSX GT3 Evo to top class honors over the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo of Bryan Sellers.
Sellers’ co-driver, Madison Snow, lost the class lead during the second-to-last round of pit stops after dominating the majority of the race.
Farnbacher and co-driver Matt McMurry have taken over the sole lead of the GTD points standings after a right-front tire issue sent the No. 14 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 of Jack Hawksworth to the garage.
They shared top class honors with Shinya Michimi.
Saturday’s enduro marked the first time Acura won in both DPi and GTD classes in the same race.
The No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R of Patrick Long, Ryan Hardwick and Jan Heylen, meanwhile, completed the class podium in third.
LMP2 class honors went to the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca 07 Gibson of Simon Trummer, Patrick Kelly and Scott Huffaker.
It came after the only other car in the class, the No. 18 Era Motorsport Oreca, was taken out at the start following a multi-car accident triggered by a spin by Dane Cameron.
RESULTS: TireRack.com Grand Prix