Penske Victorious at Laguna Seca in 200th Sports Car Start

It took Team Penske just 200 sports car racing starts to capture 90 wins.

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Dane Cameron took advantage of an opportunity to sneak by the pole-sitting Acura ARX-05 roughly one-third into the Monterey SportsCar Championship at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and it was the only move he needed to make to capture the 90th victory of Team Penske’s illustrious 200-race sports car history.

Just over half an hour into the two-hour, 40-minute contest, Cameron replaced Juan Pablo Montoya in the No. 6 Acura DPi and rejoined the racetrack still running second behind Ricky Taylor, who led the opening stint from the pole position in the No. 7 Acura.

With both Acura-powered prototypes on fresh tires, Taylor lost the lead when GT traffic slowed his exit of Turn 5 and Cameron zipped by. The championship-leading Acura of Cameron and Montoya didn’t relinquish the lead through to the conclusion of the final sprint race of the year, which ran without the interruption of full-course cautions.

Winning their third race of the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season and first since Roger Penske’s home event in Detroit, the drivers of the No. 6 Acura extended their DPi points lead over the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R from seven to 12 points entering the Motul Petit Le Mans season finale.

Moments after replacing Taylor in the No. 7 Acura during the car’s second pit lane visit, Helio Castroneves ran off track after contact with an LMP2 car at Turn 4, contributing to the car’s 9.784-second deficit to the victorious No. 6 at the checkered flag.

Pipo Derani had an off-track excursion of his own late in the race at Turn 6 but hung on to finish third in the No. 31 Cadillac DPi, limiting the ground he and Felipe Nasr lost in the championship points to Cameron and Montoya.

A 3-4 result for the Action Express Cadillacs was broken up by a late pass on Joao Barbosa and the No. 5 machine by Renger van der Zande in Wayne Taylor Racing’s similar Cadillac. Van der Zande and Barbosa completed the top five, finishing eight-tenths of a second up the road from Oliver Jarvis in the sixth-placed No. 77 Mazda RT24-P.

The other Mazda Team Joest car finished 31st and last overall due to clutch issues that kept Jonathan Bomarito from peeling out of the No. 55 car’s pit box with the checkers and a top-five finish approaching.

PR1 Mathiasen Continues Dominant Season

Dalton Kellett and Matthew McMurry came out on top at Laguna Seca in PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports’ ORECA 07, winning the team’s fifth race of the season.

Dating back to the Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio in April, all five of the team’s wins have come in succession. McMurry will head to Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta with an eight-point lead over Performance Tech Motorsports pilot Cameron Cassels in the LMP2 driver standings.

Preparations for the 10-hour season finale in Georgia will begin Thursday, Oct. 10. The race is scheduled to run from 12:05–10:05 p.m. EDT on Saturday, Oct. 12.

Aaron Durant
Aaron Duranthttp://aarondurant.com
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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