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(Photo: Phil Allaway)

Mazda Team Joest Takes 2nd Straight 1-2 Finish At CTMP

Last Sunday, Mazda Team Joest claimed their maiden victory at Watkins Glen.  This Sunday (July 7) saw the No. 77 of Oliver Jarvis and Tristan Nunez pass their teammates on their final pit stop.  From there, Jarvis led their teammates home to win the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Acura in another one-two finish for Mazda.

“It’s an amazing team effort.  Incredible,” Jarvis said after the race.  “It’s been an incredible ten days with the team. We were all getting quite bored of getting that question when were we going to get our win.  We always said we were close.  I honestly believed if we got our first, to get the second seven days later is amazing.  What an effort. Mazda Team Joest puts so much effort into this team [along with] Multimatic and AER.  This is a culmination of a lot of work.  It’s paid dividends in seven days.  It’s amazing.”

CORE autosport’s Colin Braun won the pole on Saturday, but the team chose to put Jon Bennett in the car and change tires prior to the race.  As per IMSA rules, the CORE autosport Nissan DPi had to drop to the rear of the class.  That put Acura Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves on the overall pole, but his advantage was short-lived.  Jonathan Bomarito tried to take the lead at the end of the Mario Andretti Straightaway on the first lap, but failed to do so.  Bomarito simply waited a few laps, then passed Castroneves once he caught the rear of the field.

Once out front, Bomarito proceeded to open up a lead of over 11 seconds on the pack.  That advantage shrunk to just under three seconds after the first round of stops, but Bomarito was able to expand the advantage back out to 19 seconds.

Just before the halfway point, Bomarito pitted and handed off to Harry Tincknell.  Once Tincknell got in the car, he seemingly came back to the field.

Jarvis was able to take the overall lead when the No. 55 crew had issues refueling the car.  That allowed Jarvis to jump Tincknell in the pits with 47 minutes to go.  Immediately afterwards, the race’s first full course yellow flew for Performance Tech Motorsports’ Cameron Cassels stopping exiting Moss Corner.

The scariest incident of the day came with 33 minutes to go when something appeared to break on the Juncos Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R. of Victor Franzoni.  Franzoni spun and hit the tires hard in turn 2, burying the car into the tires and putting Franzoni on his side.  Luckily, Franzoni is doing just fine after the crash.

The race was red-flagged with 17 minutes to go to allow the safety crews to fix the tire barrier and remove the Cadillac that had become one with it.  Once the crash scene was cleaned up, the teams were given 15 minutes to fight to the finish.

Jarvis and Tincknell were able to pull out a decent gap in the first couple of laps after the restart to hold on for the one-two finish.  The margin of victory was 1.699 seconds at the finish between Jarvis and Tincknell.  Acura Team Penske’s Dane Cameron and Juan Pablo Montoya were third, followed by the Cadillac of Action Express Racing’s Pipo Derani and Felipe Nasr.  Castroneves and Ricky Taylor were fifth in the second Acura.

In LMP2, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports’ Matt McMurry and Dalton Kallett dominated the race in their ORECA 07-Gibson.  The aforementioned trouble in the final hour for Cassels effectively clinched victory for the California-based team.  The margin of victory was 19 laps.

BMW Team RLL’s Jesse Krohn set a class track record to claim the pole on Saturday and spent the first stint of the race backing that pace up by driving away from the rest of the class.  Both Corvettes suffered from issues on the pit lane in regards to selecting gears that cost them significant time and took them out of the hunt.

Ultimately, it was pit strategy that took the No. 24 BMW out of the class lead.  Porsche GT Team short-pitted the No. 912 Porsche on their second stop to swap Laurens Vanthoor our of the car in favor of Earl Bamber.  The alternate strategy put Bamber on fresher tires and allowed him to jump the No. 24 once Krohn made his second stop and put John Edwards in the car.

Bamber and Edwards were the class of the field in GTLM Sunday and spent the rest of the afternoon matching each other’s pace.  Edwards had a chance to get back at Bamber after the final restart, but was unable to prevent Bamber and Vanthoor from taking their third win of the year.  It is also the fifth straight victory for Porsche GT Team.

The margin of victory was 1.208 seconds over Krohn and Edwards.  Patrick Pilet and Nick Tandy in the second Porsche were third, then Tom Blomqvist and Connor De Phillippi in the No. 25 BMW were fourth.  Ford Chip Ganassi Racing’s Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook were fifth.

GT Daytona saw Turner Motorsport dominate much of afternoon.  Robby Foley led from the class pole, while Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian’s Trent Hindman gave chase.  Hindman tried his hardest to get the lead early, even having contact on the Mario Andretti Straightaway.  However, Foley was able to get away from Hindman and lead comfortably until the opening round of pit stops.

Foley led until the first pit stop of the race, when Bill Auberlen got in the BMW M6 GT3.  Auberlen was able to pull away from Mario Farnbacher in the No. 86 Acura and open up a lead of nearly 15 seconds at one point.

The two cautions in the final hour allowed Farnbacher to move back in on the BMW, but Auberlen was able to pull away to take the victory.  For Auberlen, it is his first class victory since the 2017 Motul Petit Le Mans and the 59th of his career, good for second all-time.  For Foley, it is his first career WeatherTech victory.

Auberlen and Foley’s margin of victory was 2.074 seconds over Farnbacher and Hindman.  AVS Vasser Sullivan’s Townsend Bell and Frankie Montecalvo were third, followed by Park Place Motorsports’ Patrick Lindsey and Patrick Long in their Porsche.  PFAFF Motorsports’ Scott Hargrove and Zacharie Robichon were fifth.

IMSA WEATHERTECH SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP MOBIL 1 SPORTSCAR GRAND PRIX PRESENTED BY ACURA UNOFFICIAL RESULTS

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship has a split schedule going forward.  The GT Le Mans and GT Daytona classes will be back in action July 20 in the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park.  The prototypes will be back in action in four weeks at Road America in Wisconsin.

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About Phil Allaway

Phil Allaway
Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor. Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as Tony Stewart's Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions.

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