No. 817,
October 7, 2015

Follow Autoextremist


The Line


OCTOBER 7, 2015

(John Thawley  ~  Motorsports Photography @  ~ 248.227.0110)
Nick Tandy (No. 911 Porsche North America 911 RSR) had a day, Saturday, winning the rain-shortened Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda overall in a GT Le Mans Porsche and putting on a driving display that will endure in series lore for many years to come. The 18th edition of the race was plagued by heavy rain, which wreaked havoc on the Road Atlanta circuit, and with its notorious red clay hills unable to soak up the water, rivers of water took over the racing surface. Chaos and wrecks ensued, and the race was called two hours short of the timed distance, although it realistically could have been called a good 90 minutes earlier. With Tandy’s win, the No. 911 Porsche North America team earned its fourth GTLM victory of the season, winning the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship team title. Tandy's co-driver Patrick Pilet also won the GTLM driver title, beating out Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner (No. 25 Team RLL BMW/IHG Rewards Club BMW Z4 GTLM) by 10 points in the standings, 315-305. Tandy did not win the driver championship alongside his teammate because of three races missed due to overseas commitments, including winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans overall in a Porsche 919 prototype. See more memorable shots from Road Atlanta by John Thawley, here.

(John Thawley  ~  Motorsports Photography @  ~ 248.227.0110)
John Edwards, Lucas Luhr and Jens Klingmann (No. 24 Team RLL BMW/IHG Rewards Club BMW Z4 GTLM) finished second overall at Road Atlanta, making it a 1-2 for GTLM machines and an impressive performance by Michelin tires as well.

(John Thawley  ~  Motorsports Photography @  ~ 248.227.0110)
The performance by the Michelin tires on the top GTLM overall finishers was simply incredible.

(John Thawley  ~  Motorsports Photography @  ~ 248.227.0110)
Christian Fittipaldi, Joao Barbosa and Sebastien Bourdais (Action Express Racing No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP) finished third overall and first in the Prototype class at Road Atlanta, clinching their second consecutive TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Bourdais drove to the lead at the three-hour, 38-minute mark of the scheduled 10-hour race. He led the following 54 laps until a red flag stopped the action at the five-hour, 21-minute mark. Barbosa took over shortly after racing resumed with three hours, 33 minutes remaining and regained the class lead in the closing minutes, but with conditions continuing to deteriorate, the race was checkered at the seven-hour, 51-minute mark.

(John Thawley  ~  Motorsports Photography @  ~ 248.227.0110)
Scott Pruett, Joey Hand and Scott Dixon (No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford EcoBoost/Riley DP) finished second in DP (fourth overall) and fourth in the championship.

(John Thawley  ~  Motorsports Photography @  ~ 248.227.0110)
Tom Kimber-Smith, Mike Guasch and Andrew Palmer (No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Cuttwood/Spyder ORECA FLM09) each took turns in the lead on the way to a dominant victory in the Prototype Challenge (PC) class. The trio led 159 of the 190 laps en route to their fourth triumph of the season. While the trio wrapped up PC honors in the Patrón Endurance Cup, they came up five points short of winning the season championship.

(John Thawley  ~  Motorsports Photography @  ~ 248.227.0110)
Jon Bennett needed to achieve the minimum driving time to give CORE autosport its second consecutive PC crown. Bennett met that goal, and then joined Colin Braun in finishing fourth in the No. 54 Core autosport Flex-Box/Composite Resources ORECA FLM09 to share the title. They were joined by Anthony Lazzaro at the finale.

(John Thawley  ~  Motorsports Photography @  ~ 248.227.0110)
Spencer Pumpelly, Patrick Lindsey and Madison Snow (No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT America) won in the GT Daytona (GTD) class at Road Atlanta. It was their second victory of the 2015 TUDOR Championship season, leading the final 17 laps of the race. Pumpelly and Lindsey finish the season fifth in the GTD standings with 266 points.

(John Thawley  ~  Motorsports Photography @  ~ 248.227.0110)
Bill Sweedler, Townsend Bell and Jeff Segal (No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Robert Graham/Royal Purple Ferrari 458 Italia) finished fourth in GTD. The finish was enough to earn Sweedler and Bell the GTD championship title, beating Christina Nielsen (No. 007 TRG Aston Martin Vantage V12) by just two points, 281-279. Nielsen finished 10th with co-drivers Kuno Wittmer and Brandon Davis.

(Photos courtesy of Global RallyCross Championship)
Tanner Foust (No. 34 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross VW Beetle) gave his Andretti Rallycross team its third consecutive race victory, while Scott Speed (No. 41 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross VW Beetle) grabbed the points lead despite heavy last-lap contact that ripped-off his left front wheel in Saturday’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Barbados final. After a penalty to Patrik Sandell (No. 18 Bryan Herta Rallysport Ford Fiesta ST), defending Supercar champion Joni Wiman (No. 31 Red Bull Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST) completed the podium. The main event started with Foust jumping out to the lead in the first corner, passing his teammate Speed as Sandell claimed third. As the field battled heavily behind them, Sandell worked to make up ground before ducking into the Kobalt Tools Joker Lap on the final lap. Coming out, his car slammed into Speed’s, launching the Beetle into the air and taking the left front wheel off. Sandell crossed the line second while Speed limped across third, but the Swede was penalized and dropped to 10th place for the move. “He apologized a bunch—obviously he lost control of his car, and we were there to stop him,” Speed said. “Fortunately we were able to get it back to the line. It turned out pretty good for us in points, at least!” The disqualification helped Speed jump out to a 33-point lead in the Supercar standings over Ken Block (No. 43 Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta ST), with Sebastian Eriksson (No. 93 Red Bull Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST) 35 points behind in third and Foust 44 points back in fourth. Eight drivers remain eligible for the Supercar championship as Red Bull GRC heads into the final two races.

(FIA World Rallycross Championship)
Timmy Hansen (No. 21 Peugeot Hansen Peugeot 208 WRX) won the Intercity World RX of Turkey, continuing his good run in the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy.  It is the seventh consecutive event that Team Peugeot-Hansen has finished on the podium. Andreas Bakkerud (No. 13 Ford Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST Supercar) finished second, and Johan Kristoffersson (No. 3 Volkswagen Team Sweden VW Polo R WRX) came in third.

(Photo by Gregg Ellman/HHP for GM/Chevrolet Racing)
Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS) flat dominated the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on Sunday, leading 355 of the 400 laps. Harvick had no choice but to go out and win the race if he wanted to stay in contention for the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship, and that's exactly what he did - in ominous fashion, no less. Kyle Busch (No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry) was second and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Nationwide Plenti Chevrolet SS) finished third. The Contender 12 round of the Chase begins next weekend at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. Get more NASCAR info here.


Excerpted from the Press Release (with PMD comments):

IMSA has released engine and bodywork guidelines for the new Prototypes competing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship beginning in 2017. The new IMSA class will be known as Daytona Prototype international or, DPi. (Apparently the capital "I" for "international" must be reserved for the FIA. And they just couldn't leave "Daytona" out of the name, could they?)

The new chassis will be built by the four constructors approved and announced earlier this summer: Dallara, Onroak Automotive, ORECA and Riley/Multimatic.  DPi and the new LM P2 cars coming online in 2017 will be eligible to compete in the top Prototype class for overall race wins. IMSA’s DPi philosophy allows for cars to be powered by a wide range of engines from the world’s leading automobile manufacturers, including those used in existing FIA GT3 race car applications. The cars also will feature manufacturer-specific bodywork and styling cues. (We'll see about that.)

In contrast, the LM P2 cars which will run a standard “spec” engine supplied by Gibson Technology.

DPi and LM P2 cars will be homologated for a minimum of four years, from 2017 through 2020 "to enable participants to leverage their investments, thus providing increased stability for all involved," says IMSA.  To achieve performance parity in the top Prototype class, IMSA will utilize a Balance of Performance (BoP) methodology for both the DPi and LM P2 specifications. (Would we expect anything else?)

IMSA also announced that closed-cockpit LM P2 cars built between 2014 and 2016 will be grandfathered in to compete in the WeatherTech Championship during the 2017 season, but open-cockpit LM P2 cars and the current Daytona Prototypes will no longer be permitted in IMSA competition after the 2016 season.