Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Hawksworth, Heistand Grow Sprint Cup Lead With Detroit Victory


A successful visit to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course at the beginning of May was followed up by another WeatherTech Sprint Cup victory for AIM Vasser Sullivan’s No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 to make it consecutive wins for Jack Hawksworth and Richard Heistand.

Zacharie Robichon maintained the GTD lead after starting from the class pole in Park Place Motorsports’ Porsche 911 GT3 R but he and Patrick Long settled for second after a series of full-course caution periods disrupted strategies and after Robichon was passed by the Lexus at the end of the Raceway at Belle Isle Park’s long backstretch.

Taking the checkered flag just over eight-tenths of a second after Hawksworth, Long kept Hawksworth’s AVS stablemate at bay during the final caution period, which set up a 20-minute sprint to the end.

Hawksworth and qualifying driver Heistand remain the Sprint Cup points lead entering the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen later this month on the strength of another competitive outing for the new IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship entrant which brings together AIM Autosport plus Jimmy Vasser and James Sullivan.

Andy Lally and Bryan Sellers introduced two Lamborghini Huracan GT3s to the top five, placing fourth and fifth for Magnus Racing and Paul Miller Racing as they finished 4.047 and 6.833 seconds after the victorious Lexus, respectively.

The unrelenting yellows kept on-track battles tight, including the battle for fourth in GTD which ended in a clash between Bill Auberlen in Turner Motorsport’s BMW M6 GT3 and Katherine Legge in the No. 57 Acura NSX GT3 from Meyer Shank Racing. Auberlen spun Legge at Turn 5 but avoided a penalty.

Legge dropped down the running order but ultimately finished ahead of Auberlen as the BMW slowed on track and sunk to a 10th-place result in class. Legge came home ninth, three laps ahead of the car that earned the class pole but was stripped of it after technical inspection.

Cooper MacNeil took the green flag in Scuderia Corsa’s Ferrari 488 GT3 but is scored in the 23rd and final position overall after crashing in Turn 1 due to contact with the Paul Miller Lamborghini. Mario Farnbacher crashed later on in the No. 86 Acura and finished 11th out of 12 in GTD, 36 laps down.

The third Michelin Endurance Cup race of 2019 is next for the WeatherTech Championship as the premier North American sports car racing championship advances to its six-hour race at Watkins Glen International, scheduled for the weekend of June 27–30.

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


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With four classes, oft-debated regulations and races lasting as long as 24 hours, there's always more to be written about the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

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