Starworks Motorsport continued its hot streak in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition, with Renger van der Zande and Alex Popow claiming overall victory in Saturday’s Northeast Grand Prix.
Van der Zande pedaled the No. 8 Oreca FLM09 to its third Prototype Challenge class victory in the last four races, following a dominant effort in the second half of the PC, GT Le Mans and GT Daytona-only race at Lime Rock Park.
The Dutchman took over the lead in the final round of pit stops, while under the race’s fourth full-course caution with 1 hour and 4 minutes remaining, and held off a challenge from the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports entry of Tom Kimber-Smith.
Kimber-Smith, who clawed back a nearly 10-second deficit in the final 30 minutes, lost ground late after getting held up by the No. 20 BAR1 Motorsports car of Johnny Mowlem, and came to within 0.815 seconds of van der Zande at the checkered flag.
Van der Zande and Popow extend their lead in the class championship over PR1/Mathiasen’s Kimber-Smith and Robert Alon, who led the early stages of the race.
Kyle Marcelli finished third, after getting around Mowlem for the final podium position in his No. 38 Performance Tech entry he shared with James French.
The win for the Peter Baron-led squad came after a collision on the opening lap between Popow and the No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports car of Mikhail Goikhberg, who dropped out of contention after contact with a GTD car later in the opening hour.
Mowlem, meanwhile, faded to fourth in the end, after co-driver Matt McMurry ran a solid second in his 90-minute stint.
Trouble struck CORE autosport yet again, with pole-sitter Colin Braun retiring in the second hour after multiple incidents and damage sustained to the No. 54 car, which started from the rear of the PC field after electing to again put Jon Bennett in for the opening stint.
RESULTS: Northeast Grand Prix