Bourdais, who laid on one other clinic in qualifying, drove an exemplary opening stint earlier than van der Zande introduced the automobile dwelling for its second successive win on the difficult 2.35-mile momentary circuit – the Dutchman having paired with Kevin Magnussen final 12 months. However this was no stroll within the park.
The Dallara-based Cadillacs had been barely favoured over the extra nimble Acuras going into the weekend, regardless of the Caddys being saddled with an additional 15 kgs of ballast underneath IMSA’s Stability of Efficiency laws.
The highest three automobiles – one Cadillac and two Acuras – had been separated by a scant 0.127s in qualifying, whereas after a wide ranging 73 laps of green-flag racing the highest 4 – three Cadillacs and one Acura – had been blanketed by simply 1.663s. This was a cracker.
Bourdais seemed to have tousled his possibilities of the pole when he slapped the wall arduous on the exit of Flip 8, however extremely the automobile sustained no critical injury and he was capable of dip absolutely half a second beneath Juan Pablo Montoya’s monitor file to secure his fourth pole of the season.
Not like at Lengthy Seaside, the place an early mistake triggered him to wage a sensational comeback, Bourdais was flawless as he eked out a margin of simply over two seconds on Tom Blomqvist’s Meyer Shank Acura by the point they each headed for the pit lane after 36 laps, precisely midway via the 100-minute race. Alex Lynn, within the second Ganassi Cadillac, was an extra 18 seconds adrift when he pitted on the identical lap handy over to Earl Bamber.
Ricky Taylor had stayed with the 2 leaders earlier than abandoning the Wayne Taylor Racing Acura’s fuel-saving ways after 28 laps and committing as an alternative to a two-stop technique for himself and Filipe Albuquerque. Critically, the Motion Specific Cadillac staff had made the identical determination a lot earlier, with staff newcomer Olivier Pla (in for Tristan Nunez) finishing solely 10 laps earlier than being relieved by Pipo Derani.
The Brazilian set a blistering tempo and really led for 3 laps earlier than making his personal last cease on the earliest potential alternative – with 40 laps within the books and 44 minutes remaining. Derani rejoined in fifth, 34 seconds behind van der Zande, however continued to set an astonishing tempo – together with a brand new lap file solely 0.059s slower than Bourdais’ pole – as he shortly diminished the deficit. With 20 minutes remaining, the highest 4 had been collectively.
Bourdais and van der Zande took their second road monitor win of the 12 months after conquering Lengthy Seaside
Picture by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images
Van der Zande managed his tempo completely to safe the victory, whereas Oliver Jarvis (in for Blomqvist) tracked his each transfer. Mere yards behind, Derani muscled his well past Bamber for third at Flip 1 on lap 60, just for Bamber to repay the favour at Flip 3 with three laps remaining. Sadly, Derani’s arduous work got here to nought when his automobile later failed to fulfill the minimal weight requirement.
Taylor/Albuquerque had been promoted to 3rd, however nonetheless narrowly ceded the championship factors result in Blomqvist/Jarvis with solely 4 races remaining.
The GTD contest was virtually as arduous fought with Foyt IndyCar driver Kyle Kirkwood and Ben Barnicoat scoring the VasserSullivan Lexus staff’s first victory of the season by 2.2s over the Coronary heart of Racing Aston Martin of Roman De Angelis/Ross Gunn.
De Angelis acquired the soar on polesitter Kirkwood initially and pitted one lap earlier than the Lexus – however Kirkwood’s sturdy in-lap in clear air meant Barnicoat emerged forward of Gunn by three seconds, a lead he maintained to the end.
Behind, Paul Miller Racing’s BMW M4 GT3 accomplished the rostrum in third with Madison Snow and Bryan Sellers.