IMSA Petit Le Mans: Mazda wins race, AXR Cadillac takes title

Mazda won its final race before bowing out of the IMSA SportsCar Championship at Petit Le Mans, while Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani secured the title for Action Express Racing.

IMSA Petit Le Mans: Mazda wins race, AXR Cadillac takes title

Despite losing three laps to a misfire before half distance, Harry Tincknell, Oliver Jarvis and Jonathan Bomarito recovered strongly in the Multimatic-run Mazda to win by 3.297 seconds after 10 hours of racing, with second enough for Action Express as Nasr fended off title rival Ricky Taylor in the Wayne Taylor Racing Acura.

After taking four fresh tyres at his final stop, compared to the rears-only given to the Cadillac Nasr shared with Derani and World Endurance Championship winner Mike Conway, Tincknell made the pass for the win with 22 minutes to go when ex-Sauber Formula 1 driver Nasr was held up by GT traffic at Turn 6.

The Briton pounced up the inside at Turn 7 and boxed the Cadillac in behind another GT car, leaving Nasr to nervously watch his mirrors as Taylor closed in.

Knowing that whoever finished ahead would win the championship, the battle was high-stakes as Nasr and Taylor chased Tincknell through traffic.

Taylor, sharing with full-season co-driver Filipe Albuquerque and third driver Alexander Rossi, made a late lunge down the inside approaching the Turn 10 chicane on the final lap as Nasr moved left to block, and darted straight on over the grass and gravel. As the defending champion rejoined the track, 2018 champion Nasr regained his runner-up spot and so sealed his second title on his final race for the team, ahead of an anticipated move to join the Porsche LMDh project.

#55 Mazda Motorsports Mazda DPi: Oliver Jarvis, Jonathan Bomarito, Harry Tincknell, #44 Magnus with Archangel Acura NSX GT3, GTD: John Potter, Spencer Pumpelly, Andy Lally

#55 Mazda Motorsports Mazda DPi: Oliver Jarvis, Jonathan Bomarito, Harry Tincknell, #44 Magnus with Archangel Acura NSX GT3, GTD: John Potter, Spencer Pumpelly, Andy Lally

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

On a strong day for Action Express, the returning Endurance Cup-only Cadillac shared by Jimmie Johnson, Kamui Kobayashi and Simon Pagenaud finished fourth, while the Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac in which its new 2022 signing Earl Bamber deputised for an unwell Kevin Magnussen finished fifth with team regular Renger van der Zande and Scott Dixon.

Two-time Le Mans winner Bamber had an eventful debut, being hit by Loic Duval in the JDC Miller Cadillac which tore off part of the Ganassi car’s rear wing and fender. That required him to make two pit visits under the resulting caution.

The JDC Miller car, in which Sebastien Bourdais had led at the two hour mark, later retired with a fractured exhaust manifold, while another car that featured strongly - the Meyer Shank Racing Acura in which Dane Cameron, Juan Pablo Montoya and Helio Castroneves had led at intervals - also retired with floor damage.

In the swansong of the GTLM class before it is replaced by GTD Pro in 2022, the Proton Competition-run WeatherTech Racing Porsche team scored a 1-2 finish as Corvette's challenge faded.

#79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR - 19, GTLM: Mathieu Jaminet, Matt Campbell, Cooper MacNeil

#79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR - 19, GTLM: Mathieu Jaminet, Matt Campbell, Cooper MacNeil

Photo by: Richard Dole / Motorsport Images

The GTLM title-winning #3 Corvette of Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia with the former at the wheel was embroiled in a multi-car GT pileup at mid-distance, which left the #4 entry of Nick Tandy, Tommy Milner and Alexander Sims as its only contender.

BMW's contingent had also been halved when Connor De Philippi crashed the #25 Team RLL BMW.

Into the closing stages, the all-factory lineup of Kevin Estre, Michael Christensen and Fred Makowiecki - which had recovered from a left-rear puncture with Makowiecki at the wheel - had emerged in the lead ahead of Tandy and the full-season WeatherTech Porsche Mathieu Jaminet shared with Matt Campbell and Silver driver Cooper MacNeil.

Jaminet had fallen away from Tandy’s tail in the penultimate stint, leaving Augusto Farfus’ BMW M8 as his primary chaser, but Jaminet reclaimed third following the final round of pitstops.

The Frenchman then inherited second when, with 10 minutes to go, Tandy had contact with the leading Mazda which broke the car’s right-front suspension. Estre then eased off the gas to allow the full-season sister entry to take a third win of the year.

Meanwhile, Pfaff Motorsport Porsche drivers Laurens Vanthoor and Zacharie Robichon clinched the GTD title by finishing second, together with Lars Kern, with victory not enough for Heart of Racing Aston Martin drivers Ross Gunn and Roman de Angelis to overhaul them.

The GTD field was hugely depleted by the pileup that included Taylor's GTE Corvette, with six cars eliminated four hours into the race.

Gunn, who shared with de Angelis and James, had the measure of Vanthoor in the closing stages and won by a comfortable 7.857 seconds, with Zach Veach, Frankie Montecalvo and Robert Megennis third in the sole remaining Vasser Sullivan Racing Lexus.

Behind the Alegra Motorsports Mercedes in fourth, Trent Hindman, Patrick Long and Jan Heylen's Wright Motorsports Porsche took fifth in the final professional outing of long-time Porsche factory ace Long's career.

#52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07: Ben Keating, Mikkel Jensen, Scott Huffaker

#52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07: Ben Keating, Mikkel Jensen, Scott Huffaker

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

In LMP2, the championship-winning PR1 Mathiasen Motorsport ORECA looked on course for victory as 2022 Peugeot Le Mans Hypercar signing Mikkel Jensen put in a brilliant couple of stints aboard the car he shared with Ben Keating and Scott Huffaker. But in the final 10 minutes, he was hunted down by Gabriel Aubry's Tower Motorsport example, the Frenchman moving past to claim victory in the car he shared with John Farrano and James French.

Felipe Fraga, together with Gar Robinson and Scott Andrews, secured LMP3 class honours for the Riley Motorsports Ligier ahead of the identical Jr III Racing machine driven by Spencer Pigot, Garett Grist and Art Balogh.

IMSA Sportscar Petit Le Mans results - 410 laps

Cla Driver Chassis Gap
1 United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis
United Kingdom Harry Tincknell
United States Jonathan Bomarito
Mazda DPi  
2 Brazil Felipe Nasr
United Kingdom Mike Conway
Brazil Pipo Derani
Cadillac DPi 3.297
3 United States Ricky Taylor
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
United States Alexander Rossi
Acura DPi 3.702
4 United States Jimmie Johnson
Japan Kamui Kobayashi
France Simon Pagenaud
Cadillac DPi 30.681
5 Netherlands Renger van der Zande
Denmark Kevin Magnussen
New Zealand Scott Dixon
Cadillac DPi 1 Lap
6 Canada John Farano
France Gabriel Aubry
United States James French
ORECA LMP2 07 3 Laps
7 United States Ben Keating
Denmark Mikkel Jensen
United States Scott Huffaker
ORECA LMP2 07 3 Laps
8 United States Thomas Steven
United States Tristan Nunez
United States Thomas Merrill
ORECA LMP2 07 4 Laps
9 United States Jim McGuire
United Kingdom Wayne Boyd
United Kingdom Guy Smith
ORECA LMP2 07 5 Laps
10 United States Dane Cameron
Brazil Helio Castroneves
Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya
Acura DPi 11 Laps
11 United States Gar Robinson
Brazil Felipe Fraga
Australia Scott Andrews
Ligier JS P320 19 Laps
12 United States Ari Balogh
Canada Garett Grist
United States Spencer Pigot
Ligier JS P320 20 Laps
13 United States Cooper MacNeil
France Mathieu Jaminet
Australia Matt Campbell
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 20 Laps
14 France Kevin Estre
Denmark Michael Christensen
France Frédéric Makowiecki
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 20 Laps
15 United States John Edwards
Finland Jesse Krohn
Brazil Augusto Farfus
BMW M8 GTE 21 Laps
16 United States Jim Cox
United States Dylan Murry
Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen
Ligier JS P320 23 Laps
  United States Tommy Milner
United Kingdom Nick Tandy
United Kingdom Alexander Sims
Corvette C8.R 29 Laps
18 Todd Archer
Canada James Vance
United States Max Hanratty
Duqueine D08 29 Laps
19 Canada Roman De Angelis
United Kingdom Ross Gunn
United Kingdom Ian James
Aston Martin Vantage GT3 32 Laps
20 Canada Zacharie Robichon
Belgium Laurens Vanthoor
Germany Lars Kern
Porsche 911 GT3 R 32 Laps
21 United States Frankie Montecalvo
United States Zach Veach
United States Robert Megennis
Lexus RC F GT3 33 Laps
22 Canada Daniel Morad
United States Michael de Quesada
Spain Daniel Juncadella
Mercedes-AMG GT3 33 Laps
23 United States Trent Hindman
United States Patrick Long
Belgium Jan Heylen
Porsche 911 GT3 R 34 Laps
24 United States John Potter
United States Andy Lally
United States Spencer Pumpelly
Acura NSX GT3 34 Laps
25 United States Bryan Sellers
United States Madison Snow
United States Corey Lewis
Lamborghini Huracan GT3 45 Laps
26 United States Rob Ferriol
United Kingdom Katherine Legge
United States Andrew Davis
Porsche 911 GT3 R 51 Laps
27 Peru Rodrigo Pflucker
United States Mark Kvamme
Stefan Rzadzinski
Duqueine D08 54 Laps
  France Tristan Vautier
France Loic Duval
France Sébastien Bourdais
Cadillac DPi 69 Laps
29 Germany Niklas Krütten
United Kingdom Tom Gamble
Andrew Meyrick
Ligier JS P320 102 Laps
30 United States Don Yount
United States Jaden Conwright
Benja Hites
Audi R8 LMS GT3 124 Laps
  United States Jon Bennett
United States George Kurtz
United States Colin Braun
Ligier JS P320 125 Laps
  United States Connor de Phillippi
Austria Philipp Eng
Canada Bruno Spengler
BMW M8 GTE 129 Laps
  United Kingdom Matthew Bell
United States Naveen Rao
Josh Skelton
Duqueine D08 166 Laps
  Dan Goldburg
Sweden Rasmus Lindh
Malthe Jakobsen
Ligier JS P320 202 Laps
  United States Jarett Andretti
Josh Burdon
United States Oliver Askew
Ligier JS P320 257 Laps
  Spain Antonio Garcia
United States Jordan Taylor
Netherlands Nick Catsburg
Corvette C8.R 260 Laps
  United States Bill Auberlen
United States Robby Foley
Australia Aidan Read
BMW M6 GT3 260 Laps
  United States Russell Ward
Switzerland Philip Ellis
Germany Maro Engel
Mercedes-AMG GT3 263 Laps
  United States Brendan Iribe
Switzerland Frederik Schandorff
United Kingdom Ben Barnicoat
McLaren 720S GT3 264 Laps
  Canada Mikhail Goikhberg
France Franck Perera
Italy Michele Beretta
Lamborghini Huracan GT3 264 Laps
  United States Mike Skeen
United States Guy Cosmo
United Kingdom Stevan McAleer
Mercedes-AMG GT3 264 Laps
  United States Aaron Telitz
United Kingdom Jack Hawksworth
United States Kyle Kirkwood
Lexus RC F GT3 264 Laps
  United States Dwight Merriman
United Kingdom Kyle Tilley
United Kingdom Ryan Dalziel
ORECA LMP2 07 389 Laps
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