Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor gave Porsche its fifth straight IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans class victory in Sunday’s race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
The No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR took the lead during the first of two green flag pit-stop rounds and rode out a pair of late full course caution periods to take the class win.
Vanthoor progressed from fifth to third in the opening stint, overtaking the No. 25 BMW M8 GTE of Tom Blomqvist and the No. 67 Ford GT of Ryan Briscoe.
The Belgian then swapped out for Bamber on lap 35, while Pilet in the sister Porsche and race leader Jesse Krohn in the No. 24 BMW continued for another 11 laps.
Longer fill times for these two cars, combined with quick lap times from Bamber, promoted the No. 912 to the lead at the start of the second stint, with the two RLL-run BMWs of John Edwards and Connor de Phillippi running second and third.
With traffic coming into play, the New Zealander opened up a nine-second advantage but this was reeled back in twice in the final hour because of Full Course Yellow interventions.
The second of these turned into a red flag after Victor Franzoni’s Juncos Racing Cadillac DPi car became wedged under the tire barriers following an accident at Turn 2.
With the gap down to zero, Bamber successfully managed both restarts to keep Edwards’s No. 24 BMW at bay and take the checkered flag by 1.208 seconds.
Behind, the Porsche-BMW battle for the final podium spot came to a head with 35 minutes to go when de Phillippi provisionally got past Nick Tandy with a forceful move on the pit straight.
However, the positions swapped back again just before the first FCY was called 10 minutes later, and Tandy was able to pull away in the final burst of green flag running to secure the position.
The result means that Bamber and Vanthoor leapfrog Tandy and Pilet at the top of the GTLM points standings with five races still to run.
Ford Chip Ganassi Racing’s pair of Ford GTs finished fifth and sixth, with Richard Westbrook nearly squeezing the No. 67 car past De Phillippi to snatch fourth place right at the end.
The No. 66 Ford of Dirk Mueller and Joey Hand came through 10 seconds off the winner, while the pair of Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs propped up the class after a difficult afternoon.
The No. 3 Corvette saw its four-race podium streak come to an end, while Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia lost ground on the points-leading Porsches by finishing seventh.
Turner BMW Controls GTD Contest
The Turner Motorsports BMW M6 GT3 won for the first time this season through a dominant performance by Robby Foley and Bill Auberlen.
After scoring its first podium of the year with second place last time out at Watkins Glen, the Turner squad went one result better at CTMP, building on Foley’s pole from Saturday.
The BMW’s closest challenge came in the opening 15 minutes when Trent Hindman planted the No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo down Foley’s inside at Canada Corner to no avail.
Foley went on to build up a healthy lead going into the pit stops, and this only expanded when Auberlen got behind the wheel.
The Turner car was around 20 seconds ahead of Hindman’s co-driver Mario Farnbacher when the first FCY period occurred, while after the restart Auberlen drew out a two-second gap that held until the finish.
Farnbacher held off Townsend Bell in the No. 12 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 at the end, while Patrick Long crossed the line fourth in the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
The No. 14 Lexus that featured near the front early on was forced to retire after contact with the Pfaff Motorsports Porsche.
Scott Hargrove, who was fourth before the pit stops, ran wide on his out-lap at Canada Corner before turning in on Jack Hawksworth in the Lexus, which pitted with steering damage.
RESULTS: Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix