The No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Konica-Minola Cadillac DPi started the last lap in second.PHOTO BY MOTORSPORT IMAGES-LAT

Corvette wins second straight GTLM driver’s title; Lamborghini wins GTD Championship


ABC’s “Wide World of Sports” made the phrase, “The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat” part of our lexicon, and while there are plenty of examples of that each motorsports season, seldom have we seen it displayed more clearly than on the final lap of Saturday’s 10-hour Petit Le Mans, the season-ender for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

The No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi from the Action Express stable took the white flag in the lead, with the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Konica-Minola Cadillac DPi in second. But as the No. 5 car neared the checkered flag, it ran out of fuel, giving the win to the No. 10 of Jordan Taylor, Renger van der Zande and guest driver Ryan Hunter-Reay, one of several IndyCar stars making an appearance at Road Atlanta.

Filipe Albuquerque, who shared the No. 5 with Christian Fittipaldi and Tristan Vautier, coasted home in fourth.

In the best showing for the Mazda DPis since the manufacturer began racing Prototypes in 2014, the No. 77 of Oliver Jarvis, Tristan Nunez and Lucas Di Grassi finished second, 5.3 seconds behind the No. 10. Third was the No. 55 Mazda of Spencer Pigot, Jonathan Bomarito and Marino Franchitti. The Mazda have yet to win a Prototype race, but will likely be contenders in 2019, as the program is fully funded for at least another season.

This was the first win for the No. 10 Cadillac in an excruciating 15 races, and the first for van der Zande, who took over full-time driving duties with Jordan Taylor after Jordan’s brother, Ricky, moved to the No. 7 Acura Team Penske DPi to co-drive with Hélio Castroneves.

Despite the disappointment of the No. 5 team, Action Express took home a consolation prize: The team car, the No. 31 Whelan Cadillac DPi, won the Prototype driver’s championship, with regular Felipe Nasr and Eric Curran, helped out at Road Atlanta by Gabby Chaves. The No. 31 finished eighth, one place behind its competition for the title, the No. 54 CORE Autosport Oreca LMP2, but that was enough to win the season title. This was the last race that the LMP2 Prototypes will run directly against the DPi Prototypes, and the cars will be divided into two classes in 2019.

In GT Le Mans, the No. 911 Porsche of Patrick Pilet, Nick Tandy and Fred Makowiecki took the win, but both Ford and Chevrolet had something to celebrate: the No. 3 Corvette C7.R of Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia, with help at this race from Marcel Fassler, finished ninth in class, but that was good enough to give Magnussen and Garcia their second straight drivers’ championship, despite a crash with less than three hours left that cost them three laps to repair.

The No. 4 team car of Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Fassler finished the race in second, with the No. 24 BMW M8 GTE of Jesse Krohn, John Edwards and Chaz Mosert in third.

And Ford took the GTLM manufacturer’s championship just by having the Nos. 66 and 67 Ford GTs start the race. The No. 67 finished fifth, the No. 66 was seventh.

In GT Daytona, the win went to the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 driven by Daniel Serra, Gunnar Jeanette and Cooper MacNeil, son of the founder of series sponsor WeatherTech. Second was the No. 86 Acura NSX GT3 of Katharine Legge, Alvaro Parente and Trent Hindman, followed by the No. 48 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of Bryan Sellers, Madison Snow and Corey Lewis. That was good enough for Sellers and Snow to clinch the championship.

Technically, there’s one more race on the IMSA calendar for 2018 – the inaugural non-points Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore at Sebring International Raceway in Florida Nov. 9-11, featuring GT-type cars.

Pos. Class Driver Chassis Laps Gap  
1 P
 Jordan Taylor
Cadillac DPi 443
 Ryan Hunter-Reay
 Renger van der Zande
2 P
 Lucas di Grassi
Mazda DPi 443 5.306
 Oliver Jarvis
 Tristan Nunez
3 P
 Spencer Pigot
Mazda DPi 443 7.605
 Jonathan Bomarito
 Marino Franchitti
4 P
 Christian Fittipaldi
Cadillac DPi 443 9.458
 Filipe Albuquerque
 Tristan Vautier
5 P
 Helio Castroneves
Acura DPi 443 30.45
 Graham Rahal
 Ricky Taylor
6 P
 Timo Bernhard
Nissan DPi 443 45.065
 Pipo Derani
 Johannes van Overbeek
7 P
 Romain Dumas
ORECA LMP2 443 56.543
 Jon Bennett
 Colin Braun
8 P
 Eric Curran
Cadillac DPi 442 1 Lap
 Gabby Chaves
 Felipe Nasr
9 P
 Simon Trummer
ORECA LMP2 441 2 Laps
 Robert Alon
 Devlin DeFrancesco
10 P
 Mikhail Goikhberg
ORECA LMP2 435 8 Laps
 Chris Miller
 Stephen Simpson
11 P
 Scott Sharp
Nissan DPi 433 10 Laps
 Ryan Dalziel
 Norman Nato
 Nick Tandy
Porsche 911 RSR 419 24 Laps
 Patrick Pilet
 Frédéric Makowiecki
 Marcel Fassler
Corvette C7.R 419 24 Laps
 Oliver Gavin
 Tommy Milner
 John Edwards
BMW M8 GTE 419 24 Laps
 Jesse Krohn
 Chaz Mostert
 Bill Auberlen
BMW M8 GTE 419 24 Laps
 Connor de Phillippi
 Alexander Sims
 Ryan Briscoe
Ford GT 419 24 Laps
 Scott Dixon
 Richard Westbrook
 Earl Bamber
Porsche 911 RSR 419 24 Laps
 Laurens Vanthoor
 Mathieu Jaminet
 Sébastien Bourdais
Ford GT 418 25 Laps
 Joey Hand
 Dirk Muller
 Jan Magnussen
Corvette C7.R 417 26 Laps
 Marcel Fassler
 Antonio Garcia
 Toni Vilander
Ferrari 488 GTE 416 27 Laps
 Andrea Bertolini
 Miguel Molina
21 GTD
 Daniel Serra
Ferrari 488 GT3 407 36 Laps
 Cooper MacNeil
 Gunnar Jeannette
22 GTD
 Alvaro Parente
Acura NSX GT3 407 36 Laps
 Katherine Legge
 Trent Hindman
23 GTD
 Corey Lewis
Lamborghini Huracan GT3 406 37 Laps
 Bryan Sellers
 Madison Snow
24 GTD
 Patrick Long
Porsche 911 GT3 R 406 37 Laps
 Christina Nielsen
 Robert Renauer
25 GTD
 Matteo Cressoni
Ferrari 488 GT3 406 37 Laps
 Townsend Bell
 Frankie Montecalvo
26 GTD
 Daniel Morad
Audi R8 LMS GT3 406 37 Laps
 Christopher Mies
 Sheldon Van Der Linde
27 GTD
 Maximilian Buhk
Mercedes-AMG GT3 406 37 Laps
JC Perez
Felipe Fraga
28 GTD
 Jeroen Bleekemolen
Mercedes-AMG GT3 405 38 Laps
 Ben Keating
 Luca Stolz
29 GTD
 Andy Lally
Audi R8 LMS GT3 405 38 Laps
 Andrew Davis
 John Potter
30 GTD
 David Heinemeier Hansson
Lexus RC F GT3 399 44 Laps
 Jack Hawksworth
 Sean Rayhall
31 P
 Jose Gutierrez
ORECA LMP2 367 76 Laps
 Sebastian Saavedra
 Will Owen
32 P
 Juan Pablo Montoya
Acura DPi 310 133 Laps
 Simon Pagenaud
 Dane Cameron
33 GTD
 Kyle Marcelli
Lexus RC F GT3 226 217 Laps
 Dominik Baumann
 Philipp Frommenwiler
34 P
 James French
ORECA LMP2 204 239 Laps
 Nicholas Boulle
Kyle Masson
35 GTD
 Justin Marks
Acura NSX GT3 186 257 Laps
 Lawson Aschenbach
 Mario Farnbacher
36 GTD
 Wolf Henzler
Porsche 911 GT3 R 122 321 Laps
 Tim Pappas
 Spencer Pumpelly
37 GTD
 Don Yount
BMW M6 GT3 68 375  Laps
 Markus Palttala
 Dillon Machavern