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WeatherTech Championship

Corvette Racing Overcomes Practice Fire for GTLM Win

Corvette Racing is back in victory lane at COTA…

Photo: Brian Cleary/bcpix.com

Photo: Brian Cleary/bcpix.com

A practice fire, a sixth-place starting spot, and a late race restart couldn’t prevent the No. 3 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R of Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia from earning its second IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans class win of the season at Circuit of The Americas.

The Corvette survived the Lap 1 melee that affected five of the nine GTLM cars in the field, and withheld a charge from Alexander Sims in the BMW Team RLL BMW M6 GTLM when the race went back to green with under five minutes to go, to get back to victory lane.

Sims and co-driver Bill Auberlen started third in the No. 24 entry and led early on but was sidelined by a pit lane penalty with just under 90 minutes to go.

The comeback bid came up 2.498 seconds short, but is easily the best result of the season for the BMW squad.

The first lap contretemps was triggered when the No. 67 Ford GT tagged the No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTE of Giancarlo Fisichella, ending the day for the hometown Risi Competizione squad on the first lap for the second straight event.

Also involved were the No. 4 Corvette and the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR.

The pole-sitting No. 24 BMW suffered a similar fate as its sister car, suffering from a costly penalty for driving through the red light at the end of pit lane. Drivers John Edwards and Martin Tomczyk settled for third.

The double podium for BMW and generally strong pace should provide some solace to BMW after a trying start to the season.

Jeroen Bleekemolen and Ben Keating continued their dominance in GT Daytona, adding a win at COTA to their earlier triumph at Sebring in the No. 33 Riley Team AMG Mercedes-AMG GT3.

Alessandro Balzan and Christina Nielsen teamed to take home second for Scuderia Corsa, with the Tristan Vautier/Kenny Habul-driven SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes completing the podium.

Newcomer Mathieu Jaminet impressed in his series debut, claiming pole and setting the fastest race lap for Alegra Motorsports in the No. 28 Porsche 911 GT3 R.

Ultimately Jaminet and co-driver Daniel Morad settled for seventh in class.

Tape delayed coverage of the race will air at 7 p.m. ET on FS1.

Up next for the WeatherTech championship is a trip to Detroit for the Chevrolet Belle Isle Detroit Grand Prix for the all but the GTLM teams which head into their Le Mans break.

RESULTS: Advance Auto Parts Sportscar Showdown

Ryan Myrehn is an Indianapolis-based broadcaster and reporter. In addition to his work covering primarily domestic sports car racing for Sportscar365, he is a pit reporter for SRO America's TV coverage as well as for IndyCar Radio. Myrehn, a graduate of DePauw University, is also the host of Sportscar365's “Double Stint” Podcast.

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