Le Mans IMSA podium finishers come home

June 28, 2019

Le Mans IMSA podium finishers come home

June 28, 2019

Six drivers that race full-time in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship made the podium at the 24 Hours of Le Mans a couple weeks ago racing with Michelin.

Michelin celebrates them here at the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, the next round of the IMSA schedule at Watkins Glen International.

Patrick Lindsey inherited the GTE-Am class race win in a Project 1 Porsche. This came after Keating Motorsports’ Ford GT was disqualified for breach of fuel tank capacity regulations.

Lindsey did reach out to Keating to offer his thoughts and commiserations on the loss of the win. But he also highlighted the Project 1 team’s conservative race that put them in podium and championship position in the first place.

“It’s starting to sink in,” Lindsey said. “We’re a big moving circus and to get the hellos and congratulations for achieving something is special. It’s the recognition by your peers, and that’s fantastic.

“It was a tough conversation to reach out but I figured he’d appreciate that. I’ve had a club championship taken away before. It’s important what our peers have to say about it. I knew it would mean a lot to him, so I was sure to reach out.”

MacNeil and Vilander. Photo: Michelin North America

The Keating disqualification also promoted WeatherTech Racing’s Cooper MacNeil and Toni Vilander to third place in class.

“Yeah it’s not the way we want to get on the podium, and I feel terrible for the Riley guys,” MacNeil said. “They drove a perfect race and deserved to win the race. But we also drove really well and deserved to be on the podium as well.

“I’m happy to be on my second Le Mans podium – although we didn’t spray any champagne. Supposedly I have a trophy showing up at some point.

“But it’s a big testament to Ferrari and Scuderia Corsa how strong they are at Le Mans. They were perfect the entire 24 hours. Didn’t have a single mechanical issue. We got caught out by safety cars – three or four came out that put us a lap down and kind of killed us. But we stuck with it, and tried to run clean, consistent laps. We wanted to see where we ended up. We crossed the line in fourth and were third on Monday.”

Porsche finished third in GTE-Pro on the road and stuck there. Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet and Earl Bamber shared the No. 93 Porsche 911 RSR.

Bamber rejoined the usual No. 911 pairing in IMSA for a second consecutive Le Mans. This meant he and his usual co-driver, Laurens Vanthoor, were in separate cars.

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