Ford's new GT car claims first win in Laguna IMSA SportsCar race

Ford's new GT car took the first class win of its debut season with Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe in Sunday's IMSA SportsCar Championship round at Laguna Seca

Ford's new GT car claims first win in Laguna IMSA SportsCar race

The Chip Ganassi Racing team's decision to save fuel after a delay at the car's first pitstop paid off handsomely as Westbrook was elevated to the GTLM class lead when the rest of the frontrunners made late stops.

He took the flag sixth overall and 12 seconds clear of the Alessandro Pier Guidi/Daniel Serra Scuderia Corsa Ferrari in GTLM.

Laguna was only the Ford GT's fifth race, and up to then fourth places in class in the previous IMSA round in Long Beach and in the World Endurance Championship opener at Silverstone were its best results.

The Ganassi-run programme is fielding two cars in both the WEC and IMSA series this season.

The overall IMSA race win at Laguna went to Ligier-Honda crew John Pew and Oswaldo Negri Jr, as Michael Shank Racing ended a victory drought stretching back to the 2012 Daytona 24 Hours.

Mazda had dominated practice and qualifying with its rapidly improving Lola-based Prototype.

But the Tom Long/Joel Miller entry retired with a loss of power while Tristan Nunez spun the pole-winning car he shared with Jonathan Bomarito as he chased Negri for the lead, consigning them to fourth.

Though Action Express duo Dane Cameron and Eric Curran lost out to SDR's Marc Goossens and Ryan Dalziel - up from the back of the field - in a tight battle for second, they moved into the championship lead following a collision between fellow title contenders Christian Fittipaldi and Ricky Taylor.

Reigning champions Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa lost four laps in the incident, but Taylor and brother Jordan salvaged eighth overall and sixth in the P class.

RESULTS - 80 LAPS:

Pos Class Driver Team Car Gap
1 P J.Pew, O.Negri Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Ligier/HPD 2h00m11.145s
2 P M.Goossens, R.Dalziel Visit Florida Racing Corvette/Chevrolet 30.099s
3 P D.Cameron, E.Curran Action Express Racing Corvette/Chevrolet 30.954s
4 P T.Nunez, J.Bomarito Mazda Motorsports Lola/Mazda 1m03.035s
5 P K.Legge, S.Rayhall Panoz DeltaWing Racing DeltaWing/Elan 1m08.594s
6 GTLM R.Briscoe, R.Westbrook Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford 1 Lap
7 GTLM A.P.Guidi, D.Serra Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 1 Lap
8 P R.Taylor, J.Taylor Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette/Chevrolet 2 Laps
9 GTLM E.Bamber, F.Makowiecki Porsche North America Porsche 2 Laps
10 GTLM A.Garcia, J.Magnussen Corvette Racing Chevrolet 2 Laps
11 GTLM G.Fisichella, T.Vilander Risi Competizione Ferrari 2 Laps
12 GTLM J.Hand, D.Muller Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford 2 Laps
13 GTLM O.Gavin, T.Milner Corvette Racing Chevrolet 2 Laps
14 GTLM P.Pilet, N.Tandy Porsche North America Porsche 2 Laps
15 GTLM B.Auberlen, D.Werner BMW Team RLL BMW 2 Laps
16 GTLM J.M.Edwards, L.Luhr BMW Team RLL BMW 2 Laps
17 P J.Barbosa, C.Fittipaldi Action Express Racing Corvette/Chevrolet 4 Laps
18 P T.Long, J.Miller Mazda Motorsports Lola/Mazda Not running

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