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Risi Takes Long-Awaited GTLM Win; Corvette Crowned Champions

No. 4 Corvette secures GTLM title as Risi wins Petit Le Mans…

Photo: Brian Cleary/

Photo: Brian Cleary/

Risi Competizione won the GT Le Mans class at Petit Le Mans, while Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner were crowned class champions with a third-place finish.

Giancarlo Fisichella, Toni Vilander and James Calado took the No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTE to a long overdo and dominant class win, the team’s first victory in more than two years.

The move for the win took place with 30 minutes to go, as the No. 66 Ford GT pitted from the class lead, unable to do an extended stint to finish the race.

The Risi car was in the lead for much of the ten hours, and rarely dropped out of the top-three.

A third-place finish was more than enough to secure the championship for Gavin and Milner, who were joined by Marcel Fassler for the endurance races this season.

The No. 4 Corvette C7.R won four times during the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, including the team’s historic 100th victory at Lime Rock Park in July.

Chevrolet also locked up the GTLM Manufacturers’ Championship by starting Saturday’s race.

Gavin and Milner ended the season with a 17-point lead over Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe, who lost out on their title hopes following a broken waste gate pipe in the third hour, followed by multiple stops to fix a loose door.

As a result, Westbrook, Briscoe and Scott Dixon finished seventh in class, while the No. 3 Corvette of Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen and Mike Rockenfeller was fourth, rebounding from a throttle issue that sent them behind the wall early.

Porsche North America and BMW Team RLL both had damage on each of their cars due to various incidents.

Nick Tandy collided with Johnny Mowlem’s Prototype Challenge car to take the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR out of the running, while the No. 912 car picked up damage from contact with Magnus Racing’s Andy Lally.

The No. 100 BMW M6 GTLM collided with the No. 67 Ford early in the race, damaging both cars. An alternator failure was found to be the main problem in the BMW, while the Ford required a floor change.

Meanwhile, a steering rack failure hampered the No. 25 BMW’s chances.

There were frightening scenes in the pit lane with a fuel fire for the No. 68 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari, but the flames were extinguished quickly and the car went straight back out on track.

Christina Nielsen and Alessandro Balzan secured the GT Daytona title after only three hours in when Nielsen completing her minimum drive-time, but the Scuderia Corsa crew, joined by Jeff Segal for the endurance races, was unable to take the win.

Riley Motorsports took top honors in GTD, with Jeroen Bleekemolen, Ben Keating and Marc Miller in the No. 33 Dodge Viper GT3-R on its final series appearance.

Magnus Racing’s Andy Lally passed Bleekemolen for the class lead on the second-to-final lap, but the car’s result was disallowed, as Bronze-rated John Potter didn’t complete his minimum drive time.

Per IMSA rules, each Bronze or Silver-rated GTD driver, paired with their full-season co-driver, must complete the minimum three-hour drive time in the race.

With the Magnus Audi R8 LMS moved to the back of the GTD field, Park Place Motorsports finished second in its Porsche 911 GT3 R, with the championship-winning Scuderia Corsa car in third.

RESULTS: Petit Le Mans

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.


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