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Road America Post-Race Notebook

John Dagys’ post-race notebook from Sunday’s Road Race Showcase at Road America…

Photo: Rick Dole/IMSA

***Jonathan Bomarito said Mazda Team Joest’s victory in Sunday’s Road Race Showcase at Road America feels “more special” than the first because they had to fight to win it. “Watkins we had the pace, and it was kind of ours to lose,” he said. “We just had to fight so hard [here]. It’s almost a little more of a rewarding feeling in the end.”

***Co-driver Harry Tincknell had a broken air conditioning system during his closing triple stint, which resulted in the 27-year-old Englishman visibly overheated post-race but admitting to Sportscar365 that he had felt he had the “tools” to hold off Dane Cameron despite a late charge by the DPi points leader.

***Cameron and Juan Pablo Montoya have extended their podium streak to six consecutive IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races, dating back to Long Beach in April, and now hold a seven-point lead in the DPi championship.

***Whelen Engineering Racing’s Pipo Derani, who along with co-driver Felipe Nasr, were again the highest-placed Cadillac DPi-V.R, finishing a distant fourth, despite a series of Balance of Performance adjustments heading into the weekend. “We don’t know of anything else we can do but try to diet and lose weight, and maybe send some cheeseburgers and milk shakes over to our competitors!” Derani said.

***The GT Le Mans class victory for Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe, their second in a row in WeatherTech Championship competition, marked Ford’s third straight at Road America. The No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing pairing won at the track last year while teammates Joey Hand and Dirk Mueller picked up top class honors in 2017.

***Briscoe and Westbrook are now third in the title race, 18 points behind leaders Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor, who finished third in class, and four points out of second-placed runners Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen of Corvette Racing.

***The No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R fought alternator issues in the race, requiring the replacement of two batteries during Garcia’s final stop with 32 minutes to go, dropping the duo to a fourth place finish.

***Split strategy by the Pratt & Miller-run squad, meanwhile, saw the class pole-sitting No. 4 Corvette pit for fuel with five minutes to go and fall to sixth. “We needed a yellow and we usually get them there. But we didn’t today. It was a roll of the dice that didn’t work out,” said Milner, who made his return to the wheel of the No. 4 car after a two-race absence.

***Both Milner and Garcia made their 100th starts with Corvette Racing in Sunday’s caution-free race, which race reached a new track distance record of 82 laps, or 335.984 miles. “What makes the new race distance record especially satisfying is that the top seven cars all finished on lap 83 and the top 15 cars, including the top five GTLM class cars, all broke the old record,” said Chris Baker, director of motorsports, Michelin North America.

***A total of 65 new IMSA track records in either qualifying or race conditions have been broken through the first nine race weekends of IMSA competition in either the WeatherTech Championship, Michelin Pilot Challenge or Prototype Challenge, which all run on Michelin tires.

***Trent Hindman and Mario Farnbacher’s championship lead in GT Daytona has been reduced to 26 points over Turner Motorsport’s Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley following their fifth place class finish on Sunday, in what was a fuel-saving race for the No. 86 Acura NSX GT3 Evo.

***Turner, meanwhile, claimed its fourth consecutive podium finish.

***The No. 76 Compass Racing McLaren 720S GT3 of Paul Holton and Matt Plumb was en route for a season-best fifth place class finish until being forced to pit with four minutes to go for fuel. The pairing came home 12th after a delay in getting the mid-engined car re-fired in pit lane. 

***It was a race to forget for Park Place Motorsports, with Patrick Long getting caught up in an incident involving Katherine Legge and Dennis Olsen, which ultimately led to front-end damage to the No. 73 Porsche 911 GT3 R. Long made repeated trips to the garage for repairs before fitting an entire new nose section on the car while in the pit lane. It ended up being one of two retirements in the race.

“I re-entered the track behind the Lexus, and then there was another sequence of contact between the No. 57 and the other cars in front of me,” Long said. “The common denominator today was a car who spent their day out of control. I’m glad there was a penalty issued, but that doesn’t bring our car back into the race.”

***With his and Pfaff Motorsports’ second consecutive GTD win of the season, Zach Robichon has taken over the lead of the WeatherTech Sprint Cup championship heading into the two final rounds of the season at Virginia International Raceway and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

***More than 600 guests from WeatherTech were on hand at its home race on Sunday. The Bolingbrook, Ill.-based company is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

***Starworks Motorsport is set to start with a “complete white board” on its next steps according to team principal Peter Baron, following another disappointing weekend for its Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo of Ryan Dalziel and Parker Chase, which finished 10th in class.

***Moorespeed team principal David Moore said there’s a chance the team could return to GTD class competition for Motul Petit Le Mans, although giving it low odds at this stage. “Audi is working with me to supply a car for us but Petit Le Mans is a pretty expensive race,” he told Sportscar365.

***The Texas-based team has been out of GTD action since Will Hardeman’s accident at Watkins Glen, which destroyed the team’s Audi and left Hardeman with a concussion, leading to his decision to stand down from racing for the rest of this year.

***Moore, however, said the team is expecting to shortly announce a GS class entry for the Michelin Pilot Challenge round at VIR.

***The annual Corvette Racing/Dan Binks auction at Road America raised more than $25,000 for Camp Anokijig, the youth camp located just minutes from the circuit. Items included signed driver suits, team memorabilia and “experienced” race car parts from this and previous seasons.

***The auction at the Road America Corvette Corral has raised nearly $500,000 in the last decade. Further donations and more information on the camp is available at https://www.anokijig.com.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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