Pipo Derani and Felipe Nasr have closed the DPi points gap with a commanding victory in Saturday’s Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.
The Action Express Racing duo claimed their third IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship victory in the last four races, with Derani pedaling the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R to a 10.952-second win over the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac of Renger van der Zande and Kevin Magnussen in second.
With the championship-leading Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05 of Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque finishing fourth, Derani and Nasr have closed the gap from 89 to 19 points heading into November’s season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans.
Magnussen challenged Nasr for the lead early until clipping the Turn 1 barriers and sustaining bodywork damage to his Cadillac, which brought out the race’s only full-course caution for debris.
The CGR crew elected not to repair the car during its stop and driver change to van der Zande with 52 minutes remaining.
Cadillac swept the podium with the No. 5 JDC-Miller Motorsports entry of Loic Duval and Tristan Vautier coming home third, with the No. 55 Mazda RT24-P pairing of Harry Tincknell and Oliver Jarvis completing the top-five.
A late-race accident for Olivier Pla ended the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura DPi’s day after not playing a factor due to another off-sequence strategy call.
Nick Tandy and Tommy Milner picked up their second consecutive win in GT Le Mans, leading a Corvette Racing 1-2 in class.
Milner got around the class pole-sitting No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R of Jordan Taylor for the lead on Lap 36 prior to the mid-race pit stop.
Tandy held off teammate Antonio Garcia by 0.751 seconds at the line in the close-fought race.
The No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19 of Cooper MacNeil and Mathieu Jaminet finished third in class after again not factoring into the battle for the win.
Paul Miller Takes First GTD Win in 18 Months
Madison Snow converted the GT Daytona class pole into victory for he and Bryan Sellers, giving Paul Miller Racing and Lamborghini its first class win since the 2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Snow and Sellers dominated the 17-car GTD field, with the No. 1 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo finishing 11.080 seconds ahead of the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R of Laurens Vanthoor in second.
With the win, the duo have closed to 32 points of new class championship leaders Vanthoor and Zach Robichon.
The No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 of Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley, which entered the race with a 20-point lead, finished four laps behind after ABS failure triggered an accident for Foley early on.
It was compounded by a pit lane penalty for the crew working underneath the car, which resulted in a 16th place class finish.
Vanthoor took over second in the race in the closing stages from Jack Hawksworth, who faded to fourth while conserving fuel in his No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3.
The No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche of Patrick Long also capitalized on the Lexus’ late-race fade to complete the class podium alongside co-driver Trent Hindman.
RESULTS: Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach