Thursday, March 21, 2019

First Championships Decided During Petit


Of the several championships within the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship that were to be decided during the season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans, five were determined after the green flag waved but before the appearance of the checkers.

By leading at the conclusion of the race’s fourth hour, the No. 31 Cadillac DPi-V.R from Action Express Racing secured the team’s fifth consecutive Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup.

Earning the maximum of five points at that interval raised the car’s season-long total to 36 points. Its closest competition, the No. 7 Acura ARX-05, can add 10 points at most to its total of 28 — too few to trump the amount the No. 31 Cadillac DPi will have racked up even if it earns the minimum of two points at the two remaining points-paying intervals.

Action Express earned top Patron Endurance Cup honors in the premier class each of the last four seasons with its No. 5 car, driven by Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa.

In GT Le Mans, Ford claimed the manufacturer’s titles in both the overall WeatherTech Championship and Patron Endurance Cup simply by starting the race. Additionally, Ford’s partner Chip Ganassi Racing will take home top endurance honors with one of its Ford GTs.

Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT darts down Road Atlanta straight
Working the middle of the 2018 Motul Petit Le Mans, the No. 66 Ford GT is in position to win the Patron Endurance Cup. | Photo: Jake Galstad / IMSA

The No. 66 Ford of Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller and endurance driver Sebastien Bourdais led after four hours to earn maximum points and will win the title if it runs third or better after eight hours or if the No. 67 is anywhere except the lead.

Similar to Ford, Cadillac earned the Prototype manufacturer’s championship by taking the green flag, though that award in the Patron Endurance Cup is still to be played for between Cadillac and Acura. Cadillac leads by three points.

The main driver’s titles are still undecided in all three classes and no WeatherTech Championship or Patron Endurance Cup awards were decided in GT Daytona when the day’s first points were awarded at the conclusion of Hour 4.

Aaron Durant
Aaron Durant
As editor-in-chief, Aaron brings a developing design and editorial vision to The Apex every day and co-hosts The Braking Point podcast every week. An avid reader, he enjoys aligning his relentless care for quality with an interest in counterintuitive approaches.

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