Petit Le Mans: ESM Nissan wins dramatic race, Taylors crowned

Brendon Hartley, Ryan Dalziel and Scott Sharp won a dramatic 2017 Petit Le Mans, as Jordan and Ricky Taylor clinched the IMSA SportsCar Championship title despite retiring

Petit Le Mans: ESM Nissan wins dramatic race, Taylors crowned

Sharp was punted into the gravel trap at Turn 10 by Chris Miller towards the end of the fourth hour, but Porsche LMP1 star Hartley anchored a remarkable recovery for Extreme Speed Motorsports.

The #2 Nissan's cause was aided by its sister car and an Action Express Racing Cadillac serving penalties in the final half hour of the race.

Pipo Derani's #22 ESM Nissan had already lost time when Bruno Senna spun while being pressured by Helio Castroneves, who was trying to recover ground Penske ceded early on because of an errant backmarker.

Dirani was then blamed for sending Ryan Briscoe's Ford GT off course while holding the lead in the final stint and received a drive-through penalty.

Meanwhile, Filipe Albuquerque in the #5 Action Express Cadillac was issued a stop-and-hold penalty for ushering team-mate Dane Cameron off the track during the final restart.

He then had to serve another drive-through penalty for responding too late to the one before.

Derani and Albuquerque were left to finish fourth and fifth respectively, behind Cameron, Eric Curran and Mike Conway in the #31 Action Express Cadillac and the Team Penske ORECA.

Cameron and Curran were the closest challengers to the Wayne Taylor Racing-run Taylor brothers, who clinched the crown simply by starting a race in which their #10 Cadillac retired with engine failure soon after Ryan Hunter-Reay took over in the third hour.

Castroneves qualified on pole for Penske's toe-in-the-water race in the LMP2 car, and was running second in the opening hour when Matteo Cressoni hit the wet grass in his Scuderia Corsa Ferrari and lost control, sending himself and Castroneves into the gravel trap at the end of the back straight.

Penske's recovery was interrupted by a clash with Jack Hawksworth's GTD Lexus with around 90 minutes to go, but Juan Pablo Montoya charged hard to steal a podium finish amid the late drama.

The championship-winning Taylor brothers' first retirement of the season was one of several in this race, as Action Express also lost a Cadillac from the lead battle before mid-distance.

Action Express's #31 car dropped down the order when Mike Conway picked up a large piece of debris, while the Visit Florida Racing Riley pitted and quit in the closing stages when Renger van der Zande noticed its engine was about to expire.

Among the other non-finishers was Rebellion, after Nick Heidfeld had a big shunt with the leading Prototype Challenge car of Kyle Masson and Performance Tech Motorsports exiting Turn 1.

The PC title-winning car's woe handed BAR1 Motorsports a one-two led by Garett Grist, John Falb and Tomy Drissi.

BMW wins race, Corvette takes title

In the GT Le Mans category there was a thrilling battle to the flag between Alexander Sims' BMW and Antonio Garcia's #3 Corvette, in which Sims took the honours on the M6 GTLM's farewell appearance.

Sims, driving with Bill Auberlen and Kuno Wittmer, defeated Garcia in the 28-minute sprint after the final caution.

Garcia and Jan Magnussen - helped by Mike Rockenfeller on the day at Road Atlanta - took the season's drivers' title and Corvette won the teams' crown.

Toni Vilander finished 16 seconds behind in third to make it three manufacturers in the top three positions.

Tommy Milner was fourth in the #4 Corvette, which had an eventful race featuring an early spin thanks to a punt from Richard Westbrook's #67 Ford and a late off-track moment, just ahead of the two works Porsche 911 RSRs.

The #67 Ford was not part of the fight following Briscoe's clash with Derani, while Risi Competizione dropped out of the running after Giancarlo Fisichella got a pitlane speeding penalty.

In GT Daytona, Connor de Phillippi, Christopher Mies and Sheldon van der Linde put Nurburgring 24 Hours winnners Land Motorsport in charge in the final three hours.

They finished 15 seconds ahead of the Alegra Porsche of Daniel Morad, Michael Christensen and Michael Quesada, while Jorg Bergmeister, Patrick Lindsey and Matt McMurry made it two Porsches in the top three.

Race result

Pos Class Driver Team Car Gap
1 P S.Sharp, R.Dalziel, B.Hartley Tequila Patron ESM Nissan 10h00m22.867s
2 P D.Cameron, E.Curran, M.Conway Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac 7.633s
3 P J.P.Montoya, H.Castroneves, S.Pagenaud Team Penske ORECA/Gibson 8.058s
4 P J.van Overbeek, P.Derani, B.Senna Tequila Patron ESM Nissan 19.285s
5 P J.Barbosa, C.Fittipaldi, F.Albuquerque Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac 1 Lap
6 P C.Miller, S.Simpson, M.Goikhberg JDC-Miller Motorsports ORECA/Gibson 3 Laps
7 GTLM B.Auberlen, A.Sims, K.Wittmer BMW Team RLL BMW 10 Laps
8 GTLM J.Magnussen, M.Rockenfeller, A.Garcia Corvette Racing Chevrolet 10 Laps
9 GTLM G.Fisichella, T.Vilander, A.P.Guidi Risi Competizione Ferrari 10 Laps
10 GTLM O.Gavin, T.Milner, M.Fassler Corvette Racing Chevrolet 10 Laps
11 GTLM G.Bruni, L.Vanthoor, E.Bamber Porsche GT Team Porsche 10 Laps
12 GTLM P.Pilet, D.Werner, N.Tandy Porsche GT Team Porsche 10 Laps
13 GTLM D.Muller, J.Hand, S.Bourdais Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford 10 Laps
14 GTLM R.Briscoe, R.Westbrook, S.Dixon Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford 12 Laps
15 PC G.Grist, T.Drissi, J.Falb BAR1 Motorsports ORECA/Chevrolet 18 Laps
16 GTD C.De Phillippi, S.van der Linde, C.Mies Montaplast by Land-Motorsport Audi 20 Laps
17 GTD D.Morad, M.Christensen, M.De Quesada Alegra Motorsports Porsche 20 Laps
18 GTD P.Lindsey, J.Bergmeister, M.McMurry Park Place Motorsports Porsche 20 Laps
19 GTD B.Keating, J.Bleekemolen, M.Farnbacher Riley Motorsports - Team AMG Mercedes 21 Laps
20 P M.Goossens, R.van der Zande, J.Bomarito Visit Florida Racing Riley/Gibson Not running
21 GTD J.Bennett, C.Braun, N.Jonsson CORE Autosport Porsche 22 Laps
22 GTD B.Sweedler, T.Bell, F.Montecalvo Alex Job Racing Audi 22 Laps
23 PC D.Yount, B.Rice, D.Burkett BAR1 Motorsports ORECA/Chevrolet 26 Laps
24 GTD B.Sellers, M.Snow, T.Hindman Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini 27 Laps
25 PC J.French, P.O'Ward, K.Masson Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA/Chevrolet 35 Laps
26 GTD J.Hawksworth, S.Pruett, A.Cindric 3GT Racing Lexus 38 Laps
27 GTD C.Nielsen, A.Balzan, M.Cressoni Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 53 Laps
28 GTLM J.M.Edwards, M.Tomczyk, N.Catsburg BMW Team RLL BMW Not running
29 GTD S.Karam, R.Alon, I.James 3GT Racing Lexus Not running
30 GTD J.Mul, B.Sandberg, C.Lewis Change Racing Lamborghini Not running
31 GTD J.Segal, O.Negri, T.Dyer Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Acura Not running
32 GTD L.Aschenbach, A.Davis, M.Bell Stevenson Motorsports Audi Not running
33 GTD A.Lally, K.Legge, M.Wilkins Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Acura Not running
34 GTD J.Marks, J.Klingmann, J.Krohn Turner Motorsport BMW Not running
35 GTD T.Vautier, K.Habul, D.von Moltke SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes Not running
36 P M.Beche, N.Heidfeld, G.Menezes Rebellion Racing ORECA/Gibson Not running
37 P R.Taylor, J.Taylor, R.H.-Reay Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R Cadillac Not running
38 P J.Gutierrez, O.Pla, J.Canal PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Ligier/Gibson Not running
39 GTD C.MacNeil, G.Jeannette, P.Long Riley Motorsports - WeatherTech Racing Porsche Not running

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