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WeatherTech Championship

WTR, Performance Tech, Porsche Maintain TPNAEC Lead After Sebring

Three of four class leaders maintain positions after Sebring…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

While the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship still has 10 of its 12 races to come on the 2017 schedule, the halfway point has already been reached in the battle for the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup following last Saturday’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

POINTS: Patron Endurance Cup (after Sebring)

With back-to-back victories in the Rolex 24 and Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R team and drivers Jordan and Ricky Taylor appropriately find themselves atop the Patrón Endurance Cup standings with a total of 32 points.

In addition to winning both races, the team has earned the maximum five points in five of the seven points-paying segments thus far.

The No. 10 car holds a three-point advantage over the No. 5 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R team of Christian Fittipaldi, Joao Barbosa and Filipe Albuquerque.

Fittipaldi, Barbosa and the No. 5 team are three-time defending Patrón Endurance Cup champions, having won the title each year since its inception in 2014.

In the battle for Patrón Endurance Cup manufacturer honors, Cadillac leads with a perfect 35 points, followed by Nissan with 23 points and Mazda with 20.

In the GT Le Mans class, the No. 911 Porsche GT Team of Patrick Pilet, Dirk Werner and Frederic Makowiecki kept their brand-new Porsche 911 RSR atop the standings for the second consecutive race. While the No. 911 team didn’t win either race, it has earned maximum points in three of seven segments and four points in two others.

It’s a narrow, one-point lead, however, as the No. 911 team currently has 27 points, with the No. 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT trio of Dirk Mueller, Joey Hand and Sebastien Bourdais sitting on 26 markers after Sebring.

The No. 66 team won the GTLM class in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona. Ford also leads the Patrón Endurance Cup manufacturer standings by two over Porsche.

Three of the four teams leading the standings after Daytona continued to lead following Sebring.

This includes the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports Oreca FLM09 squad of James French, Pato O’Ward and Kyle Masson in the Prototype Challenge class. In fact, the No. 38 team has accomplished something that no team has done in Patrón Endurance Cup history: it has a perfect record of leading every segment through the first three races of the season.

Performance Tech leads the No. 26 BAR1 Motorsports team by a healthy, 12-point margin over the No. 26 BAR1 Motorsports team. 

The lone newcomer to the top of the Patrón Endurance Cup standings comes from the GT Daytona class.

Following its class victory at Sebring, the No. 33 Riley Motorsports-Team AMG Mercedes-AMG GT3 team of Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Mario Farnbacher now lead the class with 25 points.

The No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 shared by Christina Nielsen, Alessandro Balzan and Matteo Cressoni is second with 22 points, while the No. 86 Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Acura NSX GT3 shared by Ozz Negri, Jeff Segal and Tom Dyer is third with 20 points after leading the standings following the Rolex 24.

Mercedes-AMG also leads the GTD manufacturer standings by six, 29-23, over Audi, which won last year’s title.

Patron Endurance Cup points are awarded at strategic intervals for each race, with five points going to each class leader at those intervals, followed by four points for second place, three for third, and two points for all others from fourth place onward.

Next up for the Patrón Endurance Cup will be the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen on July 2. The next race for the WeatherTech Championship, the BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach – featuring the P, GTLM and GTD classes – is scheduled for Saturday, April 8 and will be televised live on FOX at 4 p.m. ET.

The latest sports car racing news from trusted series, manufacturer and team sources based around the world.

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