Photo courtesy of IMSA

Patron ESM Nissan captures Petit Le Mans victory

Leave a comment

BRASELTON, Ga. – After dominant runs from both Tequila Patron ESM Nissan Onroak DPis in today’s Motul Petit Le Mans, the team’s No. 2 car of Ryan Dalziel, Scott Sharp and Brendon Hartley emerged as race winners in the 20th edition of the October endurance classic at Road Atlanta.

Either the No. 2 or No. 22 car had a proper shot at the win, but two penalties served inside the final 15 minutes of the race changed the final outcome.

Contact between Pipo Derani in the No. 22 car with Ryan Briscoe in his No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT, which left his car with a damaged rear wing assembly, saw him get called into the pits for avoidable contact.

Filipe Albuquerque inherited the lead at this point, in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R, but that was short-lived too. Having been deemed to move Action Express Racing teammate Dane Cameron in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac to the grass in a three-wide move on the front straight, that saw him get a stop-and-hold penalty for unjustifiable risk.

Hartley in the No. 2 Nissan took the lead from there, with Cameron’s No. 31 car he shared with Eric Curran and Mike Conway promoted to second and Team Penske, after a roller coaster day of its own, back on the podium in third for the trio of Juan Pablo Montoya, Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud in the No. 6 Oreca 07 Gibson.

BMW Team RLL signed off the career of the BMW M6 GTLM in style, with a win in GT Le Mans by Bill Auberlen, Alexander Sims and Kuno Wittmer in the team’s No. 25 car. Auberlen is making his 400th start with BMW this weekend.

Sims held off a charge versus champions Corvette Racing, Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia in the No. 3 Corvette C7.R they shared with Mike Rockenfeller. Garcia was in for the finish. The No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE completed the podium.

In GT Daytona, the Montaplast by Land-Motorsport team avenged its runner-up finish in the Rolex 24 at Daytona to win at Petit Le Mans. American star Connor De Phillippi and his usual co-driver Christopher Mies shared the car with teenager Sheldon van der Linde to capture the win in the No. 29 Audi R8 LMS.

A pair of Porsche 911 GT3 Rs were next with Alegra Motorsports and Park Place Motorsports completing the podium.

Finally in the last Prototype Challenge race ever, BAR1 Motorsports ended Performance Tech Motorsports’ perfect season dreams with a flawless drive turned in by John Falb, Garett Grist and Tomy Drissi in the No. 26 Oreca FLM09, a 1-2 finish for the team.

Additional post-race notes are linked here. Here are unofficial results.

Takuma Sato’s likeness revealed on Borg-Warner Trophy (PHOTOS)

Photos; Walt Kuhn
1 Comment

INDIANAPOLIS – Rather than the traditional December unveil, this year’s reveal newest likeness added to the Borg-Warner Trophy came Tuesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

Takuma Sato got to see the result of the sculpting done by William Behrends and then turned from wax, clay and ceramic into sterling silver on Tuesday evening, as the winner of the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil saw his face revealed on the trophy.

Sato took the No. 26 Ruoff Home Mortgage Honda for Andretti Autosport to the win in thrilling fashion this year over Helio Castroneves, denying the Brazilian his fourth Indianapolis 500 victory in the process. It atoned for his near-miss in 2012, driving for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, the team he’ll return to in 2018.

It’s been a whirlwind last week-plus for Sato, doing the podium interviews at the Japanese Grand Prix, reflecting on his Indianapolis 500 triumph, then sharing the victory spoils with another Japanese pilot in Yoshihide Muroya, who won the Red Bull Air Race World Championship at Indianapolis this weekend.

Photos of Sato’s face on the most unique trophy in sports are below. This post will be updated following tonight’s full unveil. (All photos: Walt Kuhn)