Points Leaders near Titles in Monterey

September 19, 2019

Points Leaders near Titles in Monterey

September 19, 2019

After this weekend’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and MICHELIN Pilot Challenge races in Monterey, most class points leaders are on the doorstep of titles.

Here’s the breakdown going into Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta for the season finale.


All four WeatherTech Championship driver class leaders are close to clinching the titles.

GT Daytona leaders Trent Hindman and Mario Farnbacher (Meyer Shank Acura) and LMP2 leader Matt McMurry (PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports) only need to start Motul Petit Le Mans to wrap their titles.

Meanwhile both DPi leaders Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron (with eighth place) and GT Le Mans leaders Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor (with seventh place) are close to ensuring their titles.

Mood when you’re closing on a title… Photo: Michelin North America

Acura Team Penske’s Montoya and Cameron banked five extra points on Pipo Derani and Felipe Nasr, their closest competitors. It turned a seven-point edge into a 12-point edge.

Even if the two cars tie, which would occur if Derani and Nasr won and Montoya and Cameron finished eighth, Montoya and Cameron would hold the tiebreaker by virtue of more wins (would be three wins to two).

… and mood when you’re on the podium after a big win. Photo: Michelin North America

Montoya noted the points increase Sunday post-race.

“For the points, it was amazing. Now we’re going into the last race with a 12-point advantage, so that’s huge,” he said. “It was a very strong showing for the team. The 7 car guys did a great job too. They were there for us all day, that was important.

“Going into the next race for Petit with 12-point advantage, it’s a big relief. We couldn’t ask for anything better, but we have to execute there.”

Despite a fraught weekend for Porsche, in its first race off the podium in GTLM all season, Bamber and Vanthoor managed to gain another point on teammates Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet. A top-seven finish in class ensures “BamThor” will take the title; however Tandy and Pilet could swipe it with a win and the No. 912 car finishing eighth or worse in a projected nine-car class.

Take the green flag next race, and the green and gray CarBahn Audi will be GS champs. Photo: Michelin North America

GS points leaders Tyler McQuarrie and Jeff Westphal (CarBahn by Peregrine Racing Audi) have a 33-point lead and will cinch that title by starting the FOX Factory 120.

“From what I’ve been told we just need to take the green flag in Atlanta to cinch the championship,” Westphal said.

“It’s been a long road with a lot of hard work put in by the team and Audi who has been a great partner for us. The race went flawlessly. To cinch a championship at home is just amazing.”

Wilkins and Lewis (left) are close to TCR title but the other podium finishers still have a shot. Photo: Michelin North America

The TCR battle saw Mark Wilkins and Michael Lewis (Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai) extend their gap to 11 points. Teammates Mason Filippi and Harry Gottsacker fell from fifth to 10th in the final laps, after a final splash for fuel.

Wilkins and Lewis can ensure the championship with a top-six finish at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. Otherwise, it opens the door for Tom O’Gorman and Shelby Blackstock (L.A. Honda World Honda) to snatch the title with a win and help.


Similar to other classes, LMP3 in Prototype Challenge requires the “start to clinch” scenario. Austin McCusker and Rodrigo Pflucker (Forty7 Motorsports) hold a 27-point lead after its last race at VIR.


Acura (DPi) and Porsche (GTLM) will clinch the WeatherTech Championship manufacturer titles simply by starting Motul Petit Le Mans.

This shot is the GTD manufacturer battle in picture form. Lamborghini (No. 48) is just ahead of Acura (No. 86) with Porsche (No. 9) lurking. Photo: Michelin North America

The situation is less secure in GTD. Lamborghini leads Acura by just one point, 269-268, with Porsche also in with an outside chance at 261.

Within the MICHELIN Pilot Challenge, Mercedes-AMG holds a three-point lead over Audi (274-271).

Audi’s TCR win in Monterey helped propel it to a four-point gap over both Honda and Hyundai. Either Honda or Hyundai could steal that title with a win, and the best Audi behind both the best Honda and Hyundai.


At Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, the Michelin Endurance Cup championships are also on the line. Points awarded at the four-hour and eight-hour marks, as well as at the finish of the 10-hour race.

Heading into the race, Jordan Taylor and Renger van der Zande have a two-point gap over Derani, Nasr and Eric Curran among DPi drivers. Cadillac holds a six-point lead over Acura among manufacturers. So far Action Express Racing has owned the Michelin Endurance Cup, having won each of the last five titles, and the Taylor team seeks to end that streak.

Michelin Endurance Cup top scoring drivers at Watkins Glen. Photo: Michelin North America

Tandy and Pilet have a six-point lead among GT Le Mans drivers, thanks to wins at the last two Michelin Endurance Cup races in Sebring and Watkins Glen. Porsche leads both Chevrolet and Ford by five points.

Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Felipe Fraga lead by three points among GT Daytona drivers. Mercedes-AMG leads Ferrari by two among manufacturers, with Acura, Audi and Lamborghini also alive and only three points back.

Performance Tech’s Cameron Cassels and Kyle Masson hold an eight-point lead among LMP2 drivers.

Robichon captured the Sprint Cup title. Photo: Michelin North America

PFAFF Porsche’s Zacharie Robichon is the first champion of the year, having wrapped the WeatherTech Sprint Cup title in Monterey. Robichon co-drove with four different drivers (Scott Hargrove, Dennis Olsen, Matt Campbell and Patrick Long) en route to the title, having raced with PFAFF at all events except Detroit when he substituted for Patrick Lindsey at Park Place.

Because of the team discrepancy, PFAFF didn’t win the team title as it skipped Detroit. Meyer Shank Acura took home that title. But Porsche did claim the Sprint Cup title.

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