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Laguna Seca Post-Race Notebook

Check out John Dagys’ post-race news, notes and stats from IMSA round at Laguna…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

***Porsche claimed its record-extending 600th (Porsche Penske Motorsport) and 601st (AO Racing) IMSA victories in Sunday’s Motul Course de Monterey presented by Hyundai N. The German manufacturer’s first IMSA win came in the first IMSA sports car race ever held, at Virginia International Raceway in 1971, won by Brumos Racing’s Hurley Haywood and Peter Gregg in a GTU class Porsche 914/6.

***The double triumph came on a weekend that not only saw Team Penske claim its 100th pole position, in the FIA World Endurance Championship round at Spa and Laguna win, but also with the German manufacturer scoring overall honors in the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps with customer Hertz Team JOTA along with Manthey Racing’s 1-2 finish in the LMGT3 class and AO Racing’s triumph in GTD Pro at Laguna.

***Porsche also came out victorious in the second ABB FIA Formula E World Championship race of the weekend in Berlin with Antonio Felix Da Costa.

***Porsche Motorsport boss Thomas Laudenbach said: “What an incredible weekend for Porsche. My heartfelt thanks to everyone in the works and customer teams at the racetracks and at the Weissach R&D Center for making these incredible successes possible. The results of the last two days make me extremely proud.”

***Roger Penske flew from Saturday’s WEC race in Belgium directly to Monterey to witness his team’s landmark achievements on both sides of the pond. “Many people know that we’re winners,” said Penske. “We’ve underlined this several times with Porsche Penske Motorsport. Now we’re setting our sights on Le Mans.”

***Nick Tandy and Mathieu Jaminet earned their first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship victory of the season and became the fourth different winning GTP team in as many races so far this year. It marked the duo’s first win since Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year.

***The Englishman credited the Porsche 963’s newly-achieved ability to excel on double-stinted tires as a key to victory on Sunday. The car previously struggled on worn tires throughout its first seasons of WeatherTech Championship and WEC competition.

***Tandy said: “The way the car has been developed by the crew and engineers in Mooresville and Weissach is a big step forward. Last year we were on the high side of tire degradation. Here it looks like we’re very good on looking after the tire. It’s another really positive step forward for the program.”

***No. 7 Penske co-drivers Felipe Nasr and Dane Cameron, who finished third on Sunday, maintain their lead in the GTP standings, although it has been reduced to 50 points over the Action Express Racing duo of Pipo Derani and Jack Aitken, who finished runner-up in the race.

***Aitken said: “Unfortunately, traffic was just wild today. Some of the GTDs were fighting me like they were fighting for the overall win and I’m not really sure why. It was a great, fun race and I enjoyed the battle. It’s a shame that we didn’t come out on top, but it was good for the championship.”

***The No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac dropped back to a fifth place finish after, like the race-winning No. 6 Porsche, took fuel-only on its final stop. The No. 31 Cadillac, meanwhile, took fresh right-side Michelin tires on its final stop and appeared to fare better on its tires.

***Renger van der Zande admitted that the same strategy that helped net them victory at Long Beach ultimately didn’t pay off in Sunday’s two-hour and 40-minute contest at the recently resurfaced circuit. “You don’t make those decisions to go backward; you make those decisions to go forward. That’s racing,” he said.

***The No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Acura ARX-06 was given a mechanical black flag 30 minutes into the race for failure to adhere to tire operational requirements, forcing Ricky Taylor to pit for fresh Michelins earlier than expected and putting them one lap down until the race’s only full-course caution, where Filipe Albuquerque got back onto the lead lap en route to a sixth place result.

***The team’s sister No. 40 Acura, which finished fourth in the hands of Jordan Taylor and Louis Deletraz, meanwhile, received a warning for failure to adhere to controlled powertrain parameters, also in the opening hour.

***With their breakthrough GTD Pro win, AO Racing’s Laurin Heinrich and Seb Priaulx now hold a 56-point lead over the Vasser Sullivan duo of Jack Hawksworth and Ben Barnicoat in the drivers’ championship heading into next month’s Detroit Grand Prix.

***The No. 3 Corvette Racing by Pratt Miller Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R finished fifth in GTD Pro after getting caught out by the yellow and was forced to pit under the full-course caution while running second to pole-sitter Nicky Catsburg in the early stages.

***Antonio Garcia said: “I came out of Turn 9 and saw the yellow coming. And that was our race. It looked really good before that. It wouldn’t have been a nice battle with the 77, the 9 and the 4. I’m sure we would have cycled to the front after that.”

***Winward Racing’s Philip Ellis and Russell Ward have extended their margin in the GTD standings to 213 points with their third win in four races this season in their No. 57 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo.

***It came after late-race contact between the No. 40 WTRAndretti Acura of Jordan Taylor and Robby Foley’s then class-leading No. 557 Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT3 that resulted in Foley taking a trip through the gravel and losing the lead to Ellis.

***The GTD class pole-sitting No. 45 WTRAndretti Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 of Danny Formal and Kyle Marcelli scored a season-best fifth place result in a two-driver change strategy that saw Silver-rated Formal return to the cockpit for the closing stint. Formal controlled the opening stages of the race.

***IMSA President John Doonan announced that last weekend’s race was the largest-attended IMSA event at Laguna Seca since the first year of the WeatherTech Championship in 2014. Attendance numbers were not released by the circuit or Monterey county.

***Next up for the WeatherTech Championship is the 100-minute street race in Detroit, for GTP and GTD Pro class competitors, on June 1.

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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