A race-long battle between two of the DPi class’ three Japanese manufacturers led to a spirited finish that advantaged Mazda Team Joest and relegated Team Penske’s Acura to a runner-up result.
- Results: 2019 IMSA Road Race Showcase
While the race began with the two Penske-run Acura ARX-05 cars out front thanks to their front-row starting positions, the Mazda RT24-P duo stayed with the Acuras as the quartet took turns setting the race’s fastest lap.
While the No. 77 Mazda DPi started ahead of its sister car, the No. 55 quickly proved to be the faster of the two and slotted in behind the leading Acuras. Debris from a GT Daytona crash impacted the No. 7 Acura DPi, dropping it down the running order and sending it into the pits for an unscheduled stop, promoting the Mazda to second.
A pass by Harry Tincknell on Juan Pablo Montoya put the No. 55 car into the lead which was only relinquished during pit stop cycles. A subsequent second driver change for the Acura replaced Montoya with Dane Cameron who had started the race before being replaced during the first pit stop.
Cameron spent the remainder of the race chasing down Tincknell — an effort that, while exciting, was ultimately fruitless. Contact on the final lap between the two led to flying bodywork but not a position change, allowing Tincknell to cross the finish line with a 0.227-second advantage over Cameron.
The sister Mazda at the hands of Oliver Jarvis ended the race in the third position, 2.9 seconds behind Cameron. While he was unable to make it a 1-2 finish for the team, Jarvis did score the race’s fastest lap.
Felipe Nasr, Jordan Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque added three Cadillacs to the top six ahead of Ricky Taylor, the closing driver in the second-best Acura, in seventh. The pair of JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi-V.Rs finished eighth and ninth while CORE autosport was forced to retire the No. 54 Ligier Nissan DPi after GT contact sent the car off in Turn 1.
On the strength of a runner-up result, Cameron and Montoya will head the season’s penultimate round in Monterey, California with a seven-point championship lead over Nasr and Pipo Derani of the Whelen-branded Cadillac.
McMurry, Kelly Deliver for PR1
Both competitors in the two-car LMP2 class managed to remain on the same lap after nearly three hours of racing but the finish was far from close with Matt McMurry speeding to the checkers 31 seconds ahead of James French.
Sharing the PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA 07 with Patrick Kelly, McMurry held the lead despite French securing the class’ fastest lap in the identical ORECA of Performance Tech Motorsports.
Both prototype classes will sit out the next round at Virginia International Raceway, instead coming together for the next full-field IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship round Sept. 15 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca for the season’s final sprint race prior to its Oct. 12 conclusion at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.