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Friday, December 8, 2023

MSR wins, Cadillac scoops title after Acura conflict

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Meyer Shank Racing’s Tom Blomqvist, Colin Braun and Helio Castroneves gained the race at Street Atlanta, within the staff’s last GTP occasion with Acura, as Action Express Racing’s Cadillac V-Sequence.R of Derani and Alexander Sims scooped the GTP championship, aided by Jack Aitken.

Ten hours earlier, Acura’s Louis Deletraz led the 54-car subject to the inexperienced across the undulating 2.54-mile highway course in Georgia, however Sebastien Bourdais took little time in taking the lead, sweeping his Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac across the exterior of the Wayne Taylor Racing ARX-06 at Flip 1.

After a sequence of yellow flags, the primary coming in simply the third minute, a massively important second occurred in Hour 2, when a multi-car crash on the strategy to the downhill Flip 10 chicane noticed Porsche’s title contender Nick Tandy taken out following a conflict between the #20 Excessive Class Racing LMP2 automobile of Dennis Andersen and the #023 Triarsi Ferrari GTD of Charles Scardina, a shunt that additionally concerned the #70 Inception McLaren GTD entry of Brendan Iribe.

The #6 automobile returned to the race many laps down, however Laurens Vanthoor suffered one other crash on the Esses in hour seven, which broken the automobile much more.

That narrowed the sphere of title contenders, and the pendulum swung in direction of Acura when Albuquerque handed Aitken with two hours remaining to grab the factors lead, just for Aitken to seize it again simply quarter-hour later when Albuquerque tripped over an LMP2 automobile.

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The really controversial second got here with simply over an hour to go, as Albuquerque obtained a run on Derani in direction of Flip 1 and made his transfer across the exterior, however he discovered Derani in no temper to provide him any house, and Albuquerque obtained shoved onto the exit kerb and plunged head-on at excessive pace into the tyrewall.

Albuquerque was in audible ache by way of the onboard digital camera and he needed to be helped to the AMR Security Crew’s automobile to be taken to the medical heart after which on to hospital. He later posted on social media that he had left the hospital with no accidents. 

The crash brought on the race’s 11th warning, and Race Management reviewed the collision however took no motion regardless of Albuquerque having his nostril in entrance from Derani’s onboard.

#31 Motion Categorical Racing, Cadillac VSeries.R, GTP: Pipo Derani, Alexander Sims, Jack Aitken, podium

Photograph by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

The opposite MSR Acura was delayed initially of the third hour, when Blomqvist was proper on Deletraz’s tail within the lead battle however was despatched into the pits for suspension repairs after being hit by the #1 BMW GTD automobile on the exit of the chicane.

However Braun grabbed the lead from Renger van der Zande (who shared the CGR Caddy with Bourdais and Scott Dixon) straight after the penultimate restart.

Van der Zande had stayed out through the yellow for the Albuquerque crash with 40mins to go, and though he dropped again by 3s to save lots of gasoline, he closed proper up earlier than the ultimate sequence of yellows that successfully ended the race prematurely.

The ten-hour race got here all the way down to a 5m30s restart, with Braun main van der Zande, Harry Tincknell (Proton Porsche) and Matt Campbell within the works Penske-run 963, however Jan Heylen’s GTD class Porsche erupted in flames after a multi-car collision earlier than the inexperienced flag to successfully finish the race and season.

Derani completed sixth to assert the title however solely after a lightweight contact late on with the opposite title contender, the #25 BMW of Connor De Phillippi, Nick Yelloly and Sheldon van der Linde. That they had earlier clashed hours earlier when van der Linde hit Sims as they each ran a purple gentle on the finish of the pitlane.

Jenson Button completed fifth on his IMSA debut with JDC Miller MotorSport’s Porsche 963, together with Mike Rockenfeller and Tijmen van der Helm.

In LMP2, TDS Racing’s Steven Thomas led Ben Keating initially however PR1 Mathiasen ace Keating obtained forward and stayed there, regardless of a fast spin in direction of the tip of the opening hour.

Alex Quinn took over the #52 PR1 automobile from Keating and the automobile held the lead for almost all of the race. However Quinn suffered a spin at Flip 10 after a conflict over the lead with the #18 Era Motorsport machine of Christian Rasmussen inside the ultimate two hours, and solely simply managed to extricate himself from the gravel.

Race winner #60:Meyer Shank Racing W/Curb-Agajanian, Acura ARX-06, GTP: Colin Braun, Tom Blomqvist, Helio Castroneves

Race winner #60:Meyer Shank Racing W/Curb-Agajanian, Acura ARX-06, GTP: Colin Braun, Tom Blomqvist, Helio Castroneves

Photograph by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

Rasmussen and Ben Hanley (Crowdstrike by APR) fought out the category win between them, with Hanley crucially getting forward after the penultimate yellow. Rasmussen crashed out within the Esses with simply 13 minutes remaining, handing second to the TDS automobile of Giedo van der Garde, John Falb and Josh Pierson.

Hanley gained by lower than a second, partnered by George Kurtz and Nolan Siegel.

The #11 TDS automobile misplaced its title hopes when Mikkel Jensen shunted the automobile into the tires on the backside of the Esses simply earlier than sundown.

Within the minnow LMP3 prototype class, Glenn van Barlo led for Andretti Autosport from the beginning however Cameron Shields quickly took up the working for Efficiency Tech Motorsports.

There was even motion earlier than the inexperienced flag on this class, when Indy NXT racer Rasmus Lindh crashed the frontrunning #85 Duqueine LMP3 automobile seconds after leaving the dummy grid, considerably damaging its rear finish.

The #74 Riley crew of Gar Robinson and Felipe Fraga had been confirmed as champions within the closing phases, however Fraga had misplaced high spot to Garett Grist within the #30 Jr III automobile when he was assaulted by Matt Bell’s AWA automobile at Flip 10, sending him into the pits.

Grist, and team-mates Bijoy Garg and Dakota Dickerson, gained the category by 1.4s from Bell.

Ian James led the cost in GTD initially in his Coronary heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage however shortly got here below assault from Jack Hawksworth within the Lexus, which was topped as class champion because it took the beginning.

#79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes AMG GT3: Daniel Juncadella, Jules Gounon, Maro Engel

#79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes AMG GT3: Daniel Juncadella, Jules Gounon, Maro Engel

Photograph by: Artwork Fleischmann

Simply earlier than half distance, nonetheless, the Lexus was taken out when Ben Barnicoat went off and smashed the nostril of the automobile throughout the damp infield within the Esses. Bizarrely, each GTD champions wouldn’t see the end, because the pro-am #1 Paul Miller Racing BMW additionally retired.

GTD Professional got here all the way down to a shootout between Dani Juncadella (WeatherTech Mercedes) and Kevin Estre (Pfaff Motorsports Porsche), with Juncadella hanging on by means of the disrupted end.

In pro-am model of GTD, the #78 Forte Racing Lamborghini Huracan of Misha Goikhberg, Loris Spinelli and Patrick Liddy took victory over the #96 Turner Motorsport BMW.

IMSA Petit Le Mans race outcomes

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