***Sunday’s victory for Jon Bennett and Colin Braun broke a 728-day winless streak for the pairing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, whose last win came at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Prototype Challenge competition in 2016. Ironically, it was also a race that saw Braun score pole but Bennett start from the rear of the field.
***The win has put Bennett within two points of leader Mikhail Goikhberg in the battle for the Jim Trueman Award, for best non-professional driver in the Prototype class. The award, which gives out an auto-invite to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in LMP2, has been one of the team’s primary objectives this year.
***Amid some initial confusion during the yellow, Jordan Taylor has accepted Braun’s pass for the lead that came just seconds prior to the throwing of the caution. “As soon as the 54 car came through the field, there was no stopping them,” Taylor admitted. “All things considered, a second-place finish is good for the championship. I think it should’ve been a win, but that part of it was out of our control.”
***Action Express Racing’s Felipe Nasr and Eric Curran have retaken the Prototype championship lead and now sit one point ahead of teammate Filipe Albuquerque, with Taylor and Renger van der Zande third and only 10 points behind.
***A wheel bearing failure was the cause of Harry Tincknell’s race-ending accident that saw the Englishman spin off into the gravel trap at Moss Corner to bring out the sixth and final full-course caution. While the car returned to the pits, it was soon retired.
***Tincknell’s co-driver, Jonathan Bomarito, ran as high as third in the opening stages, in a return to form for Mazda Team Joest following a difficult outing at Watkins Glen.
***Tequila Patron ESM faced yet another engine-related failure when Ryan Dalziel pitted the No. 22 Nissan Onroak DPi near the end of the opening hour. An issue with the turbo ultimately ended the team’s race with its solo entry, following a double retirement at Watkins Glen, also due to engine failures.
***Porsche IMSA Program Manager Steffen Hollwarth believes they lost out on a likely class victory due the numerous cautions that skewed refueling times and strategies for GT Le Mans competitors. “Our rivals took a high risk strategy in the pits and didn’t fully refuel their vehicles so that they could make up positions,” he said. “We knew that under normal circumstances we would have had the shortest pit time at the last stop. Unfortunately our rivals were then luckier than us during the subsequent safety car phases.”
***While the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR of Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber finished fourth in class, the No. 912 entry was sixth after a puncture triggered by contact with the eventual class-winning No. 67 Ford GT of Richard Westbrook in the second hour.
***The No. 24 Team RLL BMW M8 GTE, which led early in GTLM after electing to go on a split fuel strategy to its sister car, retired after contact with the No. 911 Porsche in the second hour that resulted in significant right-rear damage.
***The Watkins Glen GT Daytona class-winning Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 also dropped out after contact with another car.
***Wright Motorsports’ challenging season continued, with separate accidents for both of its Porsche 911 GT3 Rs bringing out the first two cautions. Making matters worse, the second yellow, was triggered after contact between the two sister cars, when Michael Schein ran into the back of the No. 58 Porsche of Christina Nielsen.
***Nielsen and co-driver Patrick Long were on film car duty in the race, for the Patrick Dempsey-produced “The Art of Racing in the Rain” movie that was being shot during the weekend. The Porsche factory driver traded his regular helmet design for one of lead character Denny Swift, for filming purposes.
***Despite not finishing on the podium for the first time this season, Paul Miller Racing’s Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow have extended their GTD championship lead to three points over Katherine Legge entering the GT-only Lime Rock round later this month.
Continental Tire Challenge:
***Race winner Kyle Marcelli explained that he was supposed to make an extra pit stop for fuel and that a radio miscommunication made him miss pit entry during the race’s only Full Course Caution period. He ran out of gas on the cool-down lap.
“I just went to the fuel used page on the dash and called in the number every lap,” he explained. “We were basically using the gearbox to slow the car down. It paid off, we ended up saving about two and a half laps of fuel and I was able to win.”
***Marcelli and Nate Stacy head to Lime Rock with a six-point lead over BimmerWorld’s James Clay and Tyler Cooke. Dillon Machavern and Spencer Pumpelly led the standings before CTMP but dropped back to third with a 17th place finish in their RS1 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR.
***TCR winners Britt Casey Jr. and Tom Long and ST winners Devin Jones and Nick Galante each have a three-point lead in their respective classes.
Jake Kilshaw contributed to this report