A late-race miscue from Jan Magnussen has handed Ford Chip Ganassi Racing victory in Saturday’s Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park.
Joey Hand took the No. 66 Ford GT to a 11.431-second win over the No. 3 Corvette C7.R of Magnussen, who faded in the closing stages of the two-hour and 40-minute GT-only race following a dominant start.
The Dane saw his ten-plus second lead evaporate in the final half an hour, with an off-course excursion in Turn 7 ultimately giving the lead to the Ford with 13 minutes to go.
It marked the second GT Le Mans victory of the season for Hand and co-driver Dirk Mueller and third consecutive for the the team following their teammates Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe’s class win at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
They also take over the championship lead as a result, one point over Corvette’s Magnussen and Antonio Garcia, with the No. 67 Ford duo of Westbrook and Briscoe now in third, although only two points from the lead.
The No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR of Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor completed the podium in third on Saturday following an issue with the right-front wheel gun on the car’s final stop with 55 minutes to go.
Bamber had pitted from the class lead but rejoined in third.
Westbrook and Briscoe finished sixth following a fierce fight with the No. 911 Porsche of Nick Tandy, who completed the top-five.
Both of the Team RLL BMW M8 GTEs again struggled for pace, with the No. 25 entry finishing two laps behind in seventh and the No. 24 car retiring after several unscheduled stops to fix dislodged bodywork.
RESULTS: Northeast Grand Prix