Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Porsche Beats BMW to Mid-Ohio Win

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Despite missing out on the GT Le Mans pole for the Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio, both Porsche 911 RSRs went to the front after the first lap with Laurens Vanthoor securing victory in the No. 912 after two hours and 40 minutes of green-flag racing.

Nick Tandy put the No. 911 Porsche into the lead at the conclusion of Lap 1 and held it for the first 41 laps. After the first round of pit stops, the pair of Porsches switched roles and the No. 912 of Vanthoor assumed the class lead, only relinquishing it during subsequent pit stop cycles.

Vanthoor eventually took the checkered flag ahead of the rest of the eight-car GTLM field with a 1.673-second advantage over Connor De Phillippi and the No. 25 BMW M8 GTE.

Alexander Sims races BMW during Mid-Ohio IMSA event
Alexander Sims and Conor De Phillippi made BMW Team RLL’s No. 25 BMW the top-finishing car at Mid-Ohio from the German marque. | Photo: Aaron Durant / The Apex

Jan Magnussen wheeled the No. 3 Corvette C7.R he shares with Antonio Garcia to a third-place finish 12.295 seconds behind the class winner. Joey Hand added a fourth manufacturer to the top four in the No. 66 Ford GT, while Richard Westbrook completed the top five in the second Chip Ganassi Racing entry.

Early front runners finished in the sixth and seventh positions. The No. 911 Porsche, which led early with Tandy at the wheel, finished in sixth at the hands of Patrick Pilet while the pole-sitting No. 24 BMW of Jesse Krohn and John Edwards finished seventh.

The No. 4 Corvette of Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner, which started last in GTLM, brought up the rear of the class at the checkered flag.

Lexus Dominates for GTD Victory

Starting from the front row of GT Daytona, both of 3GT Racing’s Lexus RC F GT3s dominated the opening 70 laps of the race, running 1-2 with the No. 15 of Jack Hawksworth ahead of Kyle Marcelli.

After the first round of pit stops, the cars switched with Dominik Baumann in the No. 14 leading David Heinemeier Hansson. Heinemeier Hansson drifted back from the leading Baumann during the middle portion of the race, with, Baumann holding an 18-second advantage over his teammate at the halfway point.

Jack Hawksworth racing Lexus at Mid-Ohio
Jack Hawksworth and David Heinemeier Hansson finished fourth after the No. 14 Lexus began the Mid-Ohio race from pole position in GTD. | Photo: Aaron Durant / The Apex

Over the final laps, Meyer Shank Racing’s No. 86 Acura NSX GT3, at the hands of Alvaro Parente, looked to challenge for the win. The non-full-season Shank entry came within 0.191 seconds of achieving a second victory for the manufacturer at Mid-Ohio after Team Penske secured the overall win with its No. 7 Acura ARX-05.

Instead, Baumann sped to the finish line to earn Lexus its first victory in GTD competition. Parente finished second for Acura while Bryan Sellers completed the top three in the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 he shares with Madison Snow.

Jack Hawksworth ended the race in the No. 15 Lexus with a fourth-place finish and Lawson Aschenbach closed out the top five in the second Acura.

The all-GT3 class will be back in action on June 2 at the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix while GTLM will wait until the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen on July 1 to return to competition.

Ben Hinc
Ben Hinchttp://www.benhinc.com
Ben Hinc, managing The Apex as executive editor, has frequented media centers at racetracks across North America since 2014. Hinc's multi-decade passion for technology has resulted in a broad skillset that keeps The Apex running fast and without error.

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