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Road America Post-Race Notebook

John Dagys’ post-race notebook from IMSA Fastlane Sportscar Weekend at Road America…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

***Wayne Taylor Racing notched its first Road America victory in Sunday’s IMSA Fastlane Sportscar Weekend, not only putting Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque back into the DPi points lead but also giving longtime WTR crew member Bill Mullen (pictured top left) his long-awaited first win at Road America after 36 years of coming to the track.

***Mullen, who joined the team in 2006 and serves as a mechanic, has been a part of all of the WTR’s wins that now include every active IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship track. Ricky Taylor said: “On top of everything, that feels the best — Bill Mullen got his win.”

***Taylor said he was “just trying to survive” while on Michelin slicks during a tricky mixed-condition race that saw the track go from damp to fully wet conditions early in the second hour. “When they asked what we wanted to do on the next stop, I said, ‘Put Filipe in. He’s been super strong all weekend.”

***Richard Westbrook built up more than a one-minute lead on the DPi competition during that period, thanks to the No. 5 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi-V.R opting for wets during the first stop. The Englishman’s impressive drive was unraveled with 1 hour and 27 minutes to go due to a caution for debris, ironically from JDC’s LMP3 entry.

***Westbrook and co-driver Tristan Vautier would go on to finish fifth. “We’re obviously disappointed with the result,” he said. “We showed again that we can fly at the front and made some great calls, particularly tire-wise, and had good pace in the wet. The car was awesome. The yellows didn’t help us. We had a nice, healthy lead and it wasn’t to be.”

***WTR’s Taylor and Albuquerque now hold a 19-point lead over the Meyer Shank Racing duo of Oliver Jarvis and Tom Blomqvist with one DPi race to go, meaning October’s season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans will likely be a winner-take-all scenario for the final DPi championship title.

***The No. 60 MSR Acura ARX-05 underwent significant setup changes while under the race’s first full-course caution, making a rear wing and ride height adjustment in an effort to improve the car’s pace after early race struggles.

***Action Express Racing had another race to forget, with a spin by Pipo Derani and unscheduled stop due to the Brazilian picking up an advertising billboard after dodging LMP3 traffic during the wave-around relegating the No. 31 Whelen Engineering-sponsored Cadillac to sixth in the race.

***Two of the three WeatherTech Championship wins from Era Motorsport have come at Road America, with Ryan Dalziel and Dwight Merriman going-back-to-back after their LMP2 victory in 2021. “I don’t know what it is here that we seem to have such a strong car last year and this year,” Dalziel told Sportscar365. “Last year it was a little bit of an easier race I would say.”

***Dalziel and Merriman have closed to within 33 points of Tower Motorsport’s John Farano with one LMP2 race to go. The Florida-based Scot made a bold move around the No. 8 Tower Oreca 07 Gibson of Louis Deletraz for the lead and eventual class win.

***CORE autosport’s Colin Braun and Jon Bennett maintain their lead in the LMP3 standings following a third place class finish on Sunday. The duo have a comfortable 83-point advantage over Riley Motorsports’ Gar Robinson, who along with co-driver Felipe Fraga, picked up their third win of the season in the race.

***Sean Creech Motorsports’ race came to an early end in the final hour when Malthe Jakobsen attempted to avoid a spinning Jarett Andretti but found his No. 36 Ligier JS P320 Nissan in the barriers. It came after the 18-year-old Dane scored pole for the race.

***New qualifying and race lap records were set in LMP3 by Jakobsen and Fraga, respectively.

***Jack Hawksworth and Ben Barnicoat’s win in GTD Pro now means that four of the five full-season manufacturers have won at least a race this year in the new-for-2022 class. Lexus joins Porsche (Pfaff Motorsports), Corvette Racing and The Heart of Racing (Aston Martin), with BMW the only manufacturer yet to break through.

***It was another challenging run for the No. 25 Team RLL BMW M4 GT3 of Connor De Phillippi and John Edwards, which finished five laps behind after sustaining floor damage as well as briefly stopping on track in the opening hour.

***Both the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 and No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R GTD were on two-stop strategies, with the No. 9 Pfaff Porsche and No. 24 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 pitting three times during the two-hour and 40-minute contest.

***A likely podium finish in GTD for WeatherTech Racing was eliminated when Mercedes-AMG factory driver Dani Juncadella ran the red light at pit exit while under the third yellow. The Spaniard, fresh off victory in the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa, was handed a 60-second stop-and-hold penalty for the infraction.

***Juncadella passed both the GTD Pro entries from Corvette and Heart of Racing during an impressive middle stint. “Going from last to first in the wet was a lot of fun,” he said. “Then in the dry the car was good. We were in the lead, and I was pretty comfortable.”

***Winward Racing took its long-awaited first GTD class win of the season with Russell Ward and Philip Ellis, which lost out on the win at Watkins Glen due to a drive time infraction and suffered a fuel pump failure on the final corner of the race at Lime Rock while leading.

***It marked the Texas-based team’s first series win since last year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona where it made its WeatherTech Championship debut. Ward told IMSA Radio’s Shea Adam during the race that they intend to continue in the series next year with its Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo.

***While yet to be announced, the second Porsche 963 customer team for the WeatherTech Championship has been confirmed internally according to Porsche Motorsport North America President and CEO Volker Holzmeyer.

***Holzmeyer told Sportscar365: It’s not Porsche’s decision to announce it; it’s up to the [team]. It’s logical that they have to have the big sponsors on the car before they announce it. That’s how it works. They have to find the right timing.”

***Road America is set to be resurfaced later this year. The four-mile circuit is scheduled to get a fresh layer of asphalt in October ahead of the 2023 season, which is likely to help with tire degradation issues that impacted races in recent years.

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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