Tequila Patron ESM claimed its second victory of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, following a wild and incident-filled America’s Tire 250 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
Pipo Derani took the No. 22 Nissan Onroak DPi to a 10.900-second win, in a commanding late-race run for the Brazilian.
It came after another heartbreak for Mazda Team Joest, which held the lead with Harry Tincknell until contact with the No. 52 AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca 07 Gibson of Gustavo Yacaman with 34 minutes to go led to a spin.
Tincknell, in the No. 55 Mazda RT24-P finished fourth, after passing championship leader Felipe Nasr for position in the final ten minutes.
Derani led home the No. 54 CORE autosport Oreca 07 Gibson of Colin Braun, who took second in the closing moments after contact led to right-rear suspension damage to the No. 7 Team Penske Acura ARX-05 of Ricky Taylor.
The No. 6 Penske Acura DPi of Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron completed the podium as a result.
Up front, it marked Derani and co-driver Johannes van Overbeek’s first win since the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in March and came after an early race spin due to contact with Nasr.
Braun and co-driver Jon Bennett, which started from the rear of the Prototype field, have closed to within four points of Action Express Racing’s Nasr and Eric Curran in the championship heading into next month’s season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans.
The No. 5 Action Express Cadillac DPi, which entered the weekend second in the title race with Filipe Albuquerque, failed to score any points following a massive start-line crash.
Co-driver Joao Barbosa spun after contact with the No. 99 JDC-Miller Motorsports Oreca of Misha Goikhberg and was collected by both the No. 67 Ford GT of Dirk Mueller and Nick Tandy’s No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR.
As Barbosa’s car did not pass the start line, it did not score any points.
It was one of four retirements in the Prototype class, in a race that featured four full course cautions.
Suspected gearbox issues forcing the pole-sitting No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi out on Lap 18, with the No. 2 ESM Nissan DPi retiring after suspension-related damage and Ricky Taylor’s Acura DPi also not getting to the finish.
It promoted the No. 99 JDC-Miller Oreca to a sixth place finish, ahead of the sister 85 entry in seventh and AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports’ Oreca, on debut, finishing eighth.
RESULTS: America’s Tire 250