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Continental Tire VIR Post-Race Notebook

Sportscar365’s Continental Tire Post-Race Notebook from IMSA race at Virginia International Raceway…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

***While it was the first win for the BMW M8 GTE in global competition, first-year BMW factory driver Connor De Phillippi celebrated his second win with the German manufacturer, with the Californian having taken top honors in a VLN race earlier this year in one of ROWE Racing’s BMW M6 GT3 cars.

***BMW’s win came in the 12th race for the new-for-2018 GTE contender, which made its competition debut in January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona and has been competing in a parallel FIA World Endurance Championship program with Team MTEK.

***Clutch issues for the GT Le Mans class championship-leading No. 67 Ford GT of Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe ended in retirement after a dominant race-leading opening stint for the Englishman. Briscoe categorized the result as “terrible” particularly considering their pace. “After leading the race and looking strong and being really happy with the car all weekend, there’s just a lot of points thrown away right there,” he said.

***The team got the car back on track to overtake the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR, which retired with engine failure early in the second hour, to score seventh place points. 

***Corvette Racing’s Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia now hold a a four-point lead over Westbrook and Briscoe heading into the final two rounds of the season. Garcia, who had been nursing a knee injury during the weekend, completed a 55-minute opening stint in the No. 3 Corvette C7.R.

***While Corvette Racing also takes over the lead of the GTLM teams’ championship, Ford has remained atop the manufacturers’ title race, although at a now slightly reduced 12-point gap to Chevrolet.

***Paul Miller Racing’s Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow have seen their points lead in GT Daytona reduced to 13 points over Katherine Legge, who challenged for the class win but wound up third after getting passed by the No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R of Patrick Long on the final lap.

***Meyer Shank Racing’s sister No. 93 Acura NSX GT3 assumed the class lead in the final hour after being on an alternate strategy due to an issue which forced Justin Marks to pit on Lap 3. A call to take left-side only Continental tires on Lap 57 saw Lawson Aschenbach lead for 13 laps before fading to 9th.

“We fought super hard,” team co-owner Michael Shank said. “We weren’t really crazy about our car throughout the weekend but Katherine just drove her butt off at the end there and I’m just so proud of her for getting that done.”

***Dominik Baumann (pictured above) picked up his and Kyle Marcelli’s second class win of the season, in another dramatic finish for the Austrian, who fended off Legge and Long on the final lap.

***Words were had between Jeroen Bleekemolen and Andy Lally post-race following Lally’s contact that spun the class-leading No. 33 Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 from the lead with 30 minutes to go. Lally was forced to serve a drive-through penalty for incident responsibility.

“People need to realize that, in the basics, this a non-contact sport,” Bleekemolen said. “I understand sometimes we touch. I touch competitors sometimes, but you need to try to avoid hitting people. These cars are too expensive just to just run into each other, even if it is just a little tap or hit. I hope the whole mentality changes a bit.”

***Patrick Lindsey, who claimed his first career WEC podium finish on Sunday at Silverstone, confirmed to Sportscar365 he and Joerg Bergmeister will take part in next month’s round at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Park Place Motorsports’ Porsche 911 GT3 R, as an additional race added to its schedule.

***The team’s lineup for Motul Petit Le Mans has yet to be announced. However, it won’t feature either Lindsey or Bergmeister, who will be on WEC duty at Fuji Speedway that weekend.

***Lamborghini Head of Motorsport Giorgio Sanna has hinted towards a possible single-make series for its new Urus SUV in the future, admitting the Italian manufacturer has “a lot of ideas” they’re exploring.

“Our CEO, Mr. Domenicali, has already said that could be some opportunities for the Urus,” Sanna told Sportscar365. “It’s something we’re evaluating but not in a rush. We always love to do things that are revolutionary and the Urus is that opportunity.”

***Sanna said should they decide on a racing application for the Urus, it would be connected to its growing customer racing platform for gentlemen drivers.

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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