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Westbrook Takes Ford to Strategic Victory in GTLM

Richard Westbrook, Ryan Briscoe benefit from late-race yellow to give FCGR victory in Canada…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

A perfectly timed late-race yellow has given Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe GT Le Mans class honors in Sunday’s Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

Westbrook took his No. 67 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT to its second class victory of the season and third of the year for the team, edging out the pair of Corvette C7.Rs in the hotly contested class. 

It came after a dominating run by the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR of Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet, which lost out both on traffic and a full-course caution that effectively gave Westbrook a free final pit stop.

After having stretched his fuel mileage in the final hour, Westbrook pitted from the class lead with 25 minutes to go, moments before the race’s second-to-final caution for a loose wheel from the No. 6 Team Penske Acura ARX-05. 

The team opted for right-side Michelin tires only, which got Westbrook out ahead of the field, where he held cruised to a 4.879-second victory, despite an additional late yellow.

Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen finished second in the No. 3 Corvette, courtesy of Pilet getting held up by the No. 14 3GT Racing Lexus RC F GT3 of Kyle Marcelli in the closing laps.

The No. 4 Corvette of Tommy Milner managed to sneak by the Porsche as well to give the Pratt & Miller squad a double podium finish.

Pilet and Tandy, meanwhile, were forced to settle for fourth, with its sister No. 912 car of Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor in sixth after contact with Westbrook in the second hour destroyed the right-rear of the Porsche.

Riley Team AMG Sail to Win in GTD

Jeroen Bleekemolen and Ben Keating picked up the win in GT Daytona, taking their Mercedes-AMG GT3 back to victory lane for the first time since Circuit of The Americas last year.

Bleekemolen took advantage of late-race issues for both of the Lexus entries to finish 2.919 seconds ahead of Marcelli, who lost the class lead after sliding off course on the second-to-last restart with 20 minutes to go.

The class pole-sitting No. 15 Lexus of Jack Hawksworth, which was also in the mix for the win, suffered an accident with six minutes remaining and was forced to make a late pit stop.

It promoted the No. 44 Magnus Racing Audi R8 LMS of Andy Lally and John Potter to third.

Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow came finished fourth, missing the podium for the first time this season, although have extended their championship lead over Meyer Shank Racng’s Katherine Legge, who recorded a fifth place class result in the No. 86 Acura NSX GT3 alongside Alvaro Parente.

RESULTS: Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix

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

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Chase

    July 8, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    Has S365 considered splitting the GTLM and GTD reports since Prototype gets its own report.

    • Travis McBee

      July 8, 2018 at 4:50 pm

      Made no difference when PC was around and merged their wins with the Prototype wins in the same article.

      • Rohan

        July 8, 2018 at 4:56 pm

        I think he’s saying theres enough content between the two classes now to split reports and give them more publicity

    • John Dagys

      July 8, 2018 at 5:22 pm

      No. We only split GTD when it’s a major race like Daytona when we have three reporters on site.

    • R. Lee

      July 8, 2018 at 7:04 pm

      Does anyone even care about the prototypes?

      • Old Trombone

        July 11, 2018 at 10:32 am

        Does anyone even care about report-splitting?

        Dang, us readers get to read the excellent reporting in the same article without having to click-through? Aaaahh! Brain-hurt…

  2. Gene in FL

    July 8, 2018 at 8:08 pm

    Apparently FS1 thinks that is all we want to see
    From what I could tell at the end of the race it was all about the P class.
    GTLM got minimal coverage.

  3. Overtake24

    July 8, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    The timing screen wasn’t working for Fox Sports at times during the race. The guys in the booth had mentioned it. On the final lap the timing showed the 67 dropped out of the top 3 and the 3 and 4 corvettes jumped to 1-2. But then changed back. I was so excited for a slight moment that something big happened but was disappointed:(

  4. MikeT66

    July 9, 2018 at 12:35 am

    Certainly an interesting race. At one point, after a full course yellow, the Porsches were storming away from the rest of the GTLM pack with the Corvettes struggling to match their pace. It looked like a foregone conclusion – but throw in a few extra yellows, a collision or two, and a fortuitous final pit stop of Westbrook in the #67 Ford and it all switched around. A great final fuel-conserving drive from Westbrook (he’s done this before…) and with the Corvettes doing a superb 1-2 pass over the quicker 911 (when it got caught up with a Lexus) led to a top three that I wouldn’t have guessed at the start of the race.
    Pretty sure that the final pitstop for the Ford was a change of left-side tyres, not right, though.

  5. WBrowning

    July 9, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    Looked like lefts to me. Great race with action all over the place. Looking forward to more of the same.

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