Ricky Taylor and Helio Castroneves have scored victory in Sunday’s Monterey Sports Car Championship at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in a tactical play by Acura Team Penske.
The No. 7 Acura ARX-05 of Taylor assumed the lead of race from teammate Dane Cameron on the final corner prior to the white flag of the of the two hour and 40-minute race.
Cameron had as large of a 30-second lead at one point before the team told the defending DPi champion to switch to various fuel maps before being heard on the radio asking what to do amid a closing No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R of Felipe Nasr behind Taylor.
The team order relegated Cameron and pole-sitter Juan Pablo Montoya to second, putting Taylor and Castroneves into the provisional DPi points lead, two points ahead of Wayne Taylor Racing’s Renger van der Zande and Ryan Briscoe, who finished sixth on Sunday,
The No. 31 Action Express Cadillac DPi-V.R of Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani, meanwhile, completed the podium.
It came after a storming opening stint by Derani, who muscled his way to third after being shuffled down to sixth at the start.
Derani then became entangled with Ricky Taylor in the second hour, although both drivers avoided any contact unlike the controversial incident at Motul Petit Le Mans and a second coming together in Practice 2 earlier this weekend.
Van der Zande, who shot up to fifth following a late restart for a caution for debris, ultimately faded to sixth behind the pair of factory Mazda RT24-P entries, led by the No. 55 car of Harry Tincknell and Jonathan Bomarito.
Porsche Back to Winning Ways in GTLM
Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor scored their first WeatherTech Championship win of the season in GT Le Mans.
The No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR-19 of Bamber edged out the class championship-leading No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R of Antonio Garcia by 0.981 seconds following the late yellow that set up a 19-minute shootout to the finish.
Vanthoor took the lead in class following the first round of pit stops after a controlling opening stint by pole-sitter Jordan Taylor and held on from there despite late pressure from Garcia.
Tommy Milner brought the No. 4 Corvette home in third after a late-race battle with Bamber’s teammate Nick Tandy.
Milner and Oliver Gavin’s result was not enough for teammates Taylor and Garcia to lock up the class title, however, will only need to start next month’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring to be crowned champions.
The pair of Team RLL BMW M8 GTE brought up the rear of the field in fifth and sixth following a challenging race for the team.
MSR Retakes GTD Lead With Dominant Win
Mario Farnbacher and Matt McMurry have retaken the GT Daytona championship lead with top class honors.
The duo dominated the race in the No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo, which started on pole in the hands of McMurry, who led led throughout his opening stint.
Farnbacher finished 10.119-seconds ahead of the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 of Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley, with Alvaro Parente and Misha Goikhberg giving MSR and Acura a double podium finish.
The No. 14 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3, which entered the race as the points leader with Aaron Telitz, came home 11th after starting 11th in class due to a puncture in qualifying.
Neither of the Lexus entries played a factor in the race although the team won the WeatherTech Sprint Cup.
PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports wrapped up the LMP2 championship on Sunday despite the Patrick Kelly and Simon Trummer-driven Oreca 07 Gibson making multiple trips to the garage throughout the race.
It was the only LMP2 entry taking part this weekend.
RESULTS: Monterey Sports Car Championship