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Mid-Ohio Post-Race Notebook

John Dagys’ post-race notebook Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

***Acura Team Penske has remained undefeated at Mid-Ohio in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship era, following Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron’s victory in Sunday’s Acura Sports Car Challenge.

***It marked Montoya’s first win in the WeatherTech Championship and first in sports car racing outright since the 2013 Rolex 24 at Daytona.

***Cameron, meanwhile, ended a 16-race winless draught in WeatherTech Championship competition dating back to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in 2017 when driving for Action Express Racing. The Mid-Ohio win, however, came on the heels of Cameron’s GT3 Pro-Am class victory in the Blancpain GT World Challenge America round at Virginia International Raceway last weekend.

***Both the No. 7 Penske Acura DPi and No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi.V-R were forced to make additional pit stops after their gamble on pitting in anticipation of a yellow failed backfired.

***The No. 57 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo of Katherine Legge ground to a halt on track with 59 minutes to go, although Legge managed to get the car re-fired to prevent a full-course caution.

***Ricky Taylor pitted from fourth for fuel with 33 minutes to go, and ultimately came home fifth, behind the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac DPi of Felipe Nasr, who was forced to serve a drive-through penalty for passing under a local yellow late in the race.

***Taylor said the right-side damage on his Acura DPi, caused by an opening lap collision between co-driver Helio Castroneves and Ryan Hunter-Reay, changed the aero balance “a lot.” The team replaced the nose during the first pit stop and driver change although additional bodywork was still missing on the sidepod from the incident.

***Wayne Taylor Racing was in “damage control” all race, according to Jordan Taylor, who along with father and team boss Wayne, expressed their frustration over the Cadillac DPi’s Balance of Performance this weekend. “Clearly, the Mazdas and the Acuras were in a different category to the Cadillacs,” Wayne said.

***The Cadillac DPi received a 10kg increase in minimum weight prior to Long Beach, with the Acura and Mazda DPis both getting weight breaks, although no changes were made in the run-up to Mid-Ohio.

***Five driver pairings are now within by eight points in the DPi championship standings, which is still led by Whelen’s Nasr and Derani, who hold a four-point advantage over the Team Penske duo of Castroneves and Ricky Taylor.

***Porsche’s Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor, who picked up back-to-back wins in GT Le Mans, have extended their championship lead to seven points over Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen, while Trent Hindman and Mario Farnbacher have assumed the lead of the GT Daytona points standings with their second place class finish on Sunday.

***Jack Hawksworth’s second career WeatherTech Championship victory came nearly five years after his first, when he took Prototype Challenge class honors with RSR Racing in his series debut at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2014.

***The GTD win marked the third for the Lexus RC F GT3 in IMSA competition, the first for AIM Vasser Sullivan and the second straight victory at Mid-Ohio for the car.

***Mario Farnbacher, who combined with Trent Hindman to lead a race-high 85 laps in GTD, said there was “nothing left” in the No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo in the end after getting passed by Hawksworth on the late-race restart. “We struggled during my stint with lots of understeer – which made it tougher being behind the other car. We should have won today,” Farnbacher said.

***Teams battled changing weather and fluctuating track temperatures all weekend. Michelin engineers reported track temperatures of 67 degrees Fahrenheit  at the start of the race. One hour later, the track temperatures were 79 degrees and soon increased to 85 degrees by mid-race.

***Kyle Kaiser has been named to Juncos Racing’s entry for the Indianapolis 500. Kaiser, who was again at the wheel of the team’s Cadillac DPi last weekend, will attempt to qualify for his second Indy 500 with the team, in the No. 32 Chevrolet-powered Dallara.

***Ben Keating said the decision to skip next month’s round in Detroit was an easy one, given the Le Mans Test Day and the race only counting for WeatherTech Sprint Cup points in GTD. “I enjoy competing for the NAEC, the whole championship and the Bob Akin Award. And I can do all of that stuff and skip Detroit, so it’s the right thing to do,” he told Sportscar365.

***Riley Motorsports and Moorespeed are so far the only full-season GTD teams that have officially elected not to race at Detroit, although Meyer Shank Racing, Park Place Motorsports and Pfaff Motorsports were all undecided prior to the start of the Mid-Ohio weekend

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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