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Laguna Seca Post-Race Notebook

John Dagys’ post-race notebook from WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca…

Photo: Rick Dole/IMSA

***Acura Team Penske’s dominating effort in Sunday’s Monterey Sports Car Championship powered by McLaren continued the team’s streak of success, with Dane Cameron and Juan Pablo Montoya recording their seventh consecutive podium finish in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition.

***Cameron credited improvements in the Acura ARX-05’s electronics for helping make gains this weekend at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

***Montoya and Cameron broke Mazda Team Joest’s three-race win streak, with the Japanese manufacturer struggling on Sunday. The No. 55 Mazda RT24-P of Harry Tincknell and Jonathan Bomarito was the race’s only retirement after clutch issues developed on Tuncknell’s final stop, while the No. 77 Mazda DPi finished sixth.

***Despite Cadillac’s first podium finish since Detroit, Wayne Taylor believes the Balance of Performance is still “way out of line” for the Dallara-built DPis. “There were two things we asked for, one was weight and one was restrictor,” Taylor said. “They gave us weight but not the same size restrictor. To the Team Penske guys, congratulations to all of them. But it’s still like we’re racing in a different race.”

***Acura, Mazda and Cadillac now all have three wins apiece heading into Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, with Nissan, potentially in its final DPi outing, still seeking a win this season.

***Only one Acura needs to start the Motul Petit Le Mans in order to win the DPi manufacturers’ championship, while Cameron and Montoya will win the drivers’ title with an eighth place finish or higher.

***A total of 11 DPis are expected for the season finale, with Juncos Racing returning to action. A deal to field Toyota LMP1 factory driver Jose Maria Lopez as the team’s third driver is understood to have fallen through.

***Pipo Derani felt his battle with Renger van der Zande for third in the closing stages of the race was “not very nice” with the two Cadillac DPi-V.Rs making contact. “It was not very nice to see the guy in front seeing you right beside and try to push you into the wall,” Derani told Sportscar365. “I had to really drive into him not to hit the wall in the left.”

***GT Le Mans class winner Joey Hand said Ford Chip Ganassi Racing’s mid-race decision to switch from a three-stop strategy to two stops was archetypal of the team’s approach to sports car races. “Ever since 2011 when I first joined this team, they’ve always been about adapting,” he said. “This is what these guys are about, and that’s what they did today.”

***Hand’s co-driver Dirk Mueller, meanwhile, explained how took extra care at the start of the race to avoid a repeat of the accident that ended the No. 66 Ford’s day at Laguna Seca last year. “I had that start from last year in my mind. Before I came here, I watched it all over again and tried not to make the same choice.”

***Corvette Racing, which was on a three-stop strategy, nearly pulled off its first class win in more than 500 days. Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia had to settle for a third place class result, despite having fresher Michelin tires in the end.

***Porsche had its worst result of the season in GTLM, with the pair of factory 911 RSRs finishing seventh and eighth in class. “This simply wasn’t our race,” said Patrick Pilet. “We already noticed in practice that it’d be difficult for us in terms of tire durability. Still, we tried our best in the race.”

***It marked the first time this season that a Porsche was not on the GTLM podium, although Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor hold a comfortable 15-point lead to the nearest competitor in Corvette Racing’s Magnussen and Garcia in the drivers’ championship.

***Paul Miller Racing’s victory has put Lamborghini back into the lead of the GT Daytona manufacturers’ championship, one point ahead of Acura, in what’s the closest title race heading into next month’s ten-hour season finale.

***The No. 12 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 finished the race without a hood, following an early race incident that damaged the front of the car. Frankie Montecalvo and Townsend Bell finished 11th in class.

***As is the case with GTD points leaders Trent Hindman and Mario Farnbacher, PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports’ Matt McMurry will need to only start Petit Le Mans in order to be crowned LMP2 class champion.

***Cameron Cassels, meanwhile, has already locked up the Jim Trueman Award, which will give the Performance Tech Motorsports driver an automatic invite to next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans for use in LMP2.

***AIM Vasser Sullivan’s Richard Heistand, meanwhile, holds a slim four-point lead over John Potter in the Bob Akin Award, which also awards a Le Mans invite, with Ben Keating only 12 points back in third.

Daniel Lloyd contributed to this report

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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