GT Daytona win parity present heading to VIR

August 14, 2018

GT Daytona win parity present heading to VIR

August 14, 2018

As part of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s GT class-only affairs, the GT Daytona class gets a chance to shine.

This weekend’s Michelin GT Challenge at VIRginia International Raceway is no exception.

The GTD class this year has offered up a wealth of parity among its winners. In the first eight races, there have been six different manufacturers to win from seven teams.

The Grasser GRT Team delivered Lamborghini its first ever 24-hour race win at the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Lamborghini promptly completed a “36 Hours of Florida” sweep two months later. Full-season entrants Paul Miller Racing captured the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

Since that run though, it’s been six different manufacturers that have won in the last six races.

Lexus broke through for its first GTD win with the RC F GT3 at Mid-Ohio. Acura scored a 1-2 finish on the streets of Detroit with Meyer Shank Racing.

Then Turner Motorsport dropped in a surprise victory with a true pro/am lineup in Watkins Glen, in its BMW. Markus Palttala, Dillon Machavern and Don Yount shared the BMW M6 GT3.

Mercedes-AMG joined the parity party with a win by the longtime pair of Jeroen Bleekemolen and Ben Keating at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

The Miller Lamborghini team scored an emotional comeback win on home turf at Lime Rock Park.

Lime Rock is not far from Miller’s New Jersey base, and home to its 12 automotive dealerships.

Finally after a year of frustration, Wright Motorsports Porsche broke through at Road America.

Champion drivers Patrick Long and Christina Nielsen, who each won titles in 2017 (Long in another series, Nielsen in GTD) got on the board as teammates.

Miller’s team, with the ever consistent Bryan Sellers and perpetually improving Madison Snow, leads the GTD class points standings with 250 points (photo below courtesy Paul Miller Racing).

The pairing has seven podiums in eight races, and a season-worst result of fourth place.

“Days like today where you don’t have the quickest car but you have a great team is where the results come from,” said Sellers, a GTLM class veteran with Derrick Walker’s Falken Porsche team, after a runner-up result at Road America.

“I’m really happy with this, and now we’ll go on to the next one.”

Katherine Legge stands second in points, 18 behind, after a solid season in her No. 86 Meyer Shank Acura. She has six top-five finishes in eight races and resumes co-driving with Mario Farnbacher this weekend. Alvaro Parente has been in for most races but occasionally has had conflicts.

Lamborghini holds a near unassailable 24-point lead in the GTD manufacturer’s standings with three races to go.

Of the eight manufacturers entered in those standings, only Ferrari and Audi are yet to win this year.

But there’s still a good chance they could win, too.

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