Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook have taken a strategic GT Le Mans class win for Ford Chip Ganassi Racing in Sunday’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, the third in a row for the No. 67 Ford GT.
Despite a 15kg weight increase and a reduction in turbo boost pressure, the Ford GT once again drove to the front of the field, aided by good strategic calls.
Starting third on the grid, the No. 67 Ford GT immediately lost a position to the No. 25 BMW Team RLL M6 GTLM and dropped back to sixth with a slow first pit stop.
Unlike the rest of the GTLM field, the No. 67 crew elected for a three-stop strategy, giving the car better speed in the middle part of the race between both full-course cautions.
Taking only fuel in its third and final stop, Briscoe rejoined the track with a 11-second lead over the No. 4 Corvette C7.R of Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin.
Despite being on newer tires, Milner wasn’t able to close down the gap considerably and crossed the line with a 1.452 second gap on the class-winning Ford, as the safety car made a late appearance with the Magnus Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 crashing out at Turn 1.
While the No. 3 Corvette of Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen led the race early on, it was the sister No. 4 car of Oliver Gavin that quickly made up for its lower grid position, taking track position over the No. 3 car by pitting one lap earlier in the second round of stops.
Gavin and Milner see their championship lead shrink to only five points over Westbrook and Briscoe.
The BMW M6 GTLM was the fastest car on track today, but Team RLL could only manage fourth with the No. 25 car of Dirk Werner and Bill Auberlen, while the No. 100 entry lost ground with power steering failure.
Porsche tried the same three-stop strategy as the winning Ford for the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR of Earl Bamber and Fred Makowiecki, and while the car was initially on course to a podium finish, its lack of outright speed meant in dropped back to sixth in the final half hour.
Jens Klingmann and Bret Curtis gave Turner Motorsport its first GT Daytona class win with the new BMW M6 GT3, the latter taking over the lead 30 minutes from the end with a daring move.
Battling for the de facto lead with Jeroen Bleekemolen’s Riley Motorsports Viper GT3-R and the Dream Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 of Fabio Babini that still had to make it’s final stop, Klingmann passed both cars at once.
Bleekemolen’s Viper sustained damage to the radiator in the maneuver, running into the back of Babini under braking.
Robin Liddell and Andrew Davis finished second with the No. 6 Stevenson Motorsports Audi, as the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini of Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow completed the class podium in third.
The class pole-sitting No. 23 The Heart of Racing/Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R led the first part of the race, but eventually dropped back after losing a wheel when running in third.
RESULTS: Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix