Michelin Meets the Challenges during IMSA’s Canadian Stop

July 7, 2019

Michelin Meets the Challenges during IMSA’s Canadian Stop

July 7, 2019

Michelin celebrates Canada; Canadians celebrate with podiums

BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada (July 7, 2019) –  IMSA’s annual trip north of the border to the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park saw all three of Michelin’s IMSA race series in action for an exciting and hard fought three days of racing.

The hilly 2.459-mile, 10-turn circuit is very fast, with a flow and character not found in more modern circuits, and features some of the most difficult corners in North American racing. 

“This is a tough, old race track. With record speeds, track temperatures approaching 120 degrees and parts of the track starting to fray, it kept everyone on their toes,” said Chris Baker, director of motorsport, Michelin North America.

“This was a fabulous race at a track that takes everything; cars, drivers, tires to the limit. And cars, drivers and tires won today,” said Ken Payne, technical director, motorsport, Michelin North America.

Mazda, Porsche, Turner BMW headline WeatherTech winners

There were 2,857 days between Mazda’s American Le Mans Series overall race victory in Baltimore in 2011 and last week’s win in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Watkins Glen. It then took just seven days for Mazda to score its second win of the season here at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. In fact, they finished 1-2 in all three races. 

Today it was Oliver Jarvis and Tristan Nunez who shared the winning No. 77 Mazda RT24-P, leading home the second-placed No. 55 car driven by Jonathan Bomarito and Harry Tincknell. Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron finished third in the No. 6 Acura Team Penske ARX-05, their fifth consecutive podium finish, to extend their championship points lead.

Porsche GT Team registered its fifth straight GT Le Mans victory dating back to Sebring. Since IMSA was reunited as one series starting in 2014, Porsche is the first brand in this class to record five straight wins in a single season. 

Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor brought the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR to the victory ahead of Jesse Krohn and John Edwards (No. 24 BMW M8 GTE) and Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet (No. 911 Porsche). 

Turner Motorsport BMW scored the GT Daytona class win with a near perfect weekend. Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley took the No. 96 BMW M6 GT3 to the top spot, with Foley having scored pole. 

PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports won its third straight LMP2 race, with Dalton Kellett and Matt McMurry sharing the No. 52 Oreca 07.

Record Runs Continue

On the tough track, Michelin continued to reset the performance bar in IMSA competition throughout the weekend. 

Several classes set new track records in qualifying, including a new track record 1:05.452 (135.250 mph) lap by CORE autosport’s Colin Braun in the CORE autosport Nissan DPi. This marked the seventh DPi pole record in as many weekends. 

Challenge Race Winners

Canadian fans are very knowledgeable and enthusiastic and with new record speeds and so many Canadian drivers competing, many successfully, they had plenty to cheer. 

On Saturday, IMSA’s two Challenge series delivered five great hours of racing.

Robin Liddell and Frank DePew (Rebel Rock Racing, Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R, GS) and Britt Casey Jr. and Mikey Taylor (JDC-Miller Motorsports, Audi RS3 LMS TCR, TCR) led off the afternoon with a win in the fifth round of the IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge series. Canadian drivers Kyle Marcelli (KohR Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4) and Jesse Lazare (MIA Racing McLaren 570S GT4) scored podium finishes in their home race, with second and third in GS.

This two-hour race marked this series’ halfway point of the 10-race season. Provisionally, just two points cover three driver pairings in GS. Just six points cover the top three TCR driver pairings.

Austin McCusker and Rodrigo Pflucker took the LMP3 win in Saturday’s three-hour IMSA Prototype Challenge race, Round 4 of 6 for this series. They extended their lead in the championship standings with just two races to go.

Next Up

The WeatherTech Championship GTLM and GTD classes race next at Lime Rock Park (Saturday, July 20, 3 p.m. EDT, NBC Sports App and 10 p.m. EDT, NBCSN) for the first of two GT-only showcase events. The DPi and LMP2 classes are off until Road America the first weekend of August.

MICHELIN Pilot Challenge competitors race next at Lime Rock Park (Saturday, July 20, 11 a.m. EDT, IMSA.TV). 

Prototype Challenge resumes at VIRginia International Raceway the last weekend of August.

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