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Continental Tire Laguna Seca Post-Race Notebook

John Dagys’ post-race notebook from America’s Tire 250 at Laguna Seca…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

***Action Express Racing recorded its first-ever retirement in the modern era of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for its No. 5 entry following the start-line accident that also collected the No. 911 Porsche and No. 67 Ford GT.

***As the car did not physically pass the start/finish line, Joao Barbosa and Filipe Albuquerque technically failed to start the race, and therefore scored zero points. It has dropped Albuquerque from second to sixth in the title race, and now at a near-insurmountable 33-point deficit to championship leaders Felipe Nasr and Eric Curran.

***With fourth consecutive podium finish, CORE autosport’s Colin Braun and Jon Bennett have moved to within four points of Nasr and Curran for the lead of the Prototype championship.

***It came after Bennett stopped on track for roughly 40 seconds, while under an early full-course caution, in order to fulfill his 30-minute minimum drive time to score points for the Truman Award. “It’s the first time it’s ever come to fruition,” race engineer Jeff Braun told Sportscar365 post-race. “But we go through those procedures in our meetings before every race and Jon ticked it off perfectly.”

***Harry Tincknell, who spun from the lead of the race with 34 minutes to go after contact with the lapped No. 52 AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca 07 Gibson of Gustavo Yacaman, said he believed Yacaman was told to let him through, but had instead held him up “quite a bit.”

***Tincknell told Sportscar365: “I’m really sorry for the Mazda guys and John [Doonan] and everyone; I know how hard they worked. I’ve felt the pains of some of the moments this year. I know for me, coming into the program this year, there’s been a lot of years before that and a lot of chances that have fallen by the wayside. I was just trying not to think about it and just push as hard as I could.”

***While charging back to a fourth place result, the sister No. 77 Mazda RT24-P of Tristan Nunez and Oliver Jarvis finished two laps behind in ninth after clutch issues for Nunez during his pit stop.

***Contact with lapped traffic also caught out Ricky Taylor in the closing moments, who was forced to retire with right-rear suspension damage after running in second at the time.

***Connor De Phillippi completed the final 1 hour and 17 minutes on a single tank of fuel to claim back-to-back class victories in GT Le Mans for he and co-driver Alexander Sims. Both the No. 25 Team RLL BMW M8 GTE and No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR remarkably completed a 54-lap stint after pitting alongside the pair of Corvette C7.Rs, which came in again for a splash 20 laps later.

***Corvette Racing, which finished third and fourth in class, were left surprised by the efficiency of the BMW and Porsche. “We thought nobody could make it to the end if it was green and [our competitors] were gambling on a yellow,” Antonio Garcia admitted.

***Garcia and co-driver Jan Magnussen, who scored their seventh consecutive podium, extended their championship lead to nine points over Ford Chip Ganassi Racing’s Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe and only need a fifth place class finish or higher at Road Atlanta to be crowned champions.

***FCGR recorded a double retirement, following right-front damage to the No. 67 Ford GT in the second hour and the start-line crash that collected Dirk Mueller. Both cars were repaired and returned to action but parked once additional points could no longer be scored.

***Mueller, who along with co-driver Joey Hand now sit 15 points behind Corvette’s Garcia and Magnussen, has admitted their championship hopes are over. “Today was really disappointing because it was completely out of our hands,” Mueller told Sportscar365.

***Katherine Legge has closed to within six points of Paul Miller Racing’s Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow thanks to her second class win of the season in GT Daytona, in the No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3.

***It marked Alvaro Parente’s first WeatherTech Championship victory, as Legge shared driving duties with Mario Farnbacher at Belle Isle in June.

***Sportscar365 understands that Daniel Morad has been tipped to join Montaplast by Land Motorsport for Petit Le Mans, alongside Christopher Mies and Sheldon van der Linde, who claimed GTD class victory in their Audi R8 LMS last year. Morad is Silver rated by the FIA.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John


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