Ford Goes Back to Back with Road America Win

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In the final year of the factory Ford GT program in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s GT Le Mans class, the No. 67 car has won two races in a row thanks to spirited drives by Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe at Road America.

Expanding on the success found last time out during the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park where Ford placed first and third, the Chip Ganassi Racing-prepared cars finished first and second at Road America with a healthy 2.9-second interval between the No. 66 Ford of Joey Hand and the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR of Earl Bamber that completed the class podium.

Both Ford GTs benefitted from a two-stop strategy which was employed by the top three finishers. The remainder of the class ended the race having visited Road America’s fittingly long pit lane three times.

Speed kept the pair of Fords ahead of the No. 912 Porsche. The top car from the Porsche GT Team employed a similar strategy but failed to show the outright pace of the American supercars around the 4-mile circuit.

The best of the three-stoppers was the No. 3 Corvette C7.R of Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen which finished in the fourth position ahead of the No. 25 BMW M8 GTE which was qualified to the pole position but was moved to the back of the GTLM starting grid for a ride height infraction.

Tommy Milner and Nick Tandy completed the top seven but were one lap down to Westbrook at the checkered flag. The No. 24 BMW finished five laps down after slowing on track and requiring a mid-race brake change in the pits.

Pfaff Wins Second Straight

With a different co-driver than his previous win in Connecticut, Zacharie Robichon visited victory lane for the second consecutive race, promoting his name to the GT Daytona Sprint Cup Championship lead.

In the hypercompetitive all-GT3 class, it came down to two cars for the victory with Robichon’s co-driver Matt Campbell battling with Bryan Sellers in Paul Miller Racing’s Lamborghini Huracan GT3. While the two were close on track, the lead changed through a pit exchange with Campbell coming out ahead and leading by one second with 45 minutes to go.

The final results show the No. 9 Porsche 911 GT3 R of Robichon and Campbell as the only GTD car that completed 75 laps, putting the rest of the class at least one lap down.

Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R wins at Road America
The Pfaff Motorsports Porsche hurls down Road America’s long backstretch midway through the 2019 IMSA Road Race Showcase. | Photo: Aaron Durant / The Apex

Sellers held onto the second position and was 20.3 seconds ahead of Turner Motorsport driver Bill Auberlen at the race’s conclusion. Jack Hawksworth and Mario Farnbacher added Lexus and Acura to the top five, making it five different manufacturers in the group.

Contact between the No. 57 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 and the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche put the Porsche out of the race and relegated the CAT-branded Acura to a finish of 13th in class. The pole-winning No. 33 Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 slotted in between the two in the 14th position after suffering damage that caused a cut tire early in the race.

Both GT classes will head to Virginia International Raceway Aug. 25 for the Michelin GT Challenge — a two-hour, 40-minute contest just like Road America’s but without prototypes sharing the track.

Ben Hinc
Ben Hinchttp://www.benhinc.com
Ben's executive editor title is purposefully broad to encompass the bottomless list of roles he fills for The Apex, which includes webmaster, graphic designer, quality consultant and writer. Ben's technical background and progressive media distribution approach set The Apex apart technologically and philosophically.

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