GP2: Vandoorne edges out Rossi for Monaco win

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Stoffel Vandoorne’s sensational start to the 2015 GP2 Series season continued in Monaco on Friday as he edged out American driver Alexander Rossi to claim his third feature race win in a row and extend his lead at the top of the drivers’ championship.

Starting from fourth place, Vandoorne managed to jump Rossi during the round of mandatory pit stops before eking out a lead and winning the race by 6.2 seconds.

“Things are feeling quite special at the moment,” Vandoorne said after the race. “I mean, winning in Monaco is probably one of the nicest races that you can win.

“To have achieved that is just great. It wasn’t easy. I had to fight for it so it makes it even better.”

Despite extending his lead at the top of the drivers’ championship to 43 points, Vandoorne is refusing to rest on his laurels heading into the rest of the season.

“I need to keep going until the end,” the Belgian said. “For sure, we have scored a lot of points so far, but I really want to continue like this until the end.”

After starting from pole position, Rossi admitted that he was disappointed not to have won the race, but was pleased to continue his run of podium finishes at the start of the 2015 season.

“When you start from pole especially around Monaco, you think that you’re in a really good position to win,” the Californian said. “Unfortunately, we lost a lot in the pitlane because the team that was before us was also preparing for a pitstop so it was a very tight angle and I couldn’t get in.

“Because Stoffel’s spot was before us, he could get a quicker pitstop and he got me at the end. And then, the race was about pushing and seeing if we could overtake, but to be honest I did not have high hopes considering who was in front of me.

“Obviously, it’s great to be on the podium, but it hurts a little bit to lose a win in Monaco from pole.”

The podium was completed by Sergio Canamasas, who moved up to third by virtue of Julian Leal’s penalty. Ferrari junior driver Raffaele Marciello dropped from second on the grid to finish eighth at the flag, but will start tomorrow’s sprint race from pole position thanks to the reverse grid.

To view the complete results from Monaco, click here.

Meyer Shank Racing wins Petit Le Mans to take final DPi championship in dramatic finale

Petit Le Mans championship
IMSA
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Meyer Shank Racing outdueled Wayne Taylor Racing to win the Petit Le Mans and clinch the championship in a thrilling final race for the DPi division.

Tom Blomqvist, who started from the pole position, drove the No. 60 Acura ARX-05 to a 4.369-second victory over Pipo Derani in the No. 31 Action Express Cadillac.

With co-drivers Oliver Jarvis and Helio Castroneves, Blomqvist helped MSR bookend its season-opening victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona by winning Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season finale at Michelin Road Atlanta.

In between those two victories, the No. 60 earned five runner-up finishes to stay in the thick of the championship hunt and trail WTR’s No. 10 Acura by 14 points entering Saturday’s race.

WTR’s Filipe Albuquerque had a lead of more than 10 seconds over Blomqvist with less than 50 minutes remaining in the 10-hour race.

But a Turn 1 crash between the Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillacs brought out a yellow that sent both Acuras into the pits from the top two positions.

Though he entered in second, Blomqvist barely beat Albuquerque out of the pits, and he held the lead for the final 45 minutes.

Albuquerque closed within a few car lengths of Blomqvist with 14 minutes remaining, but he damaged his suspension because of contact with a GT car in Turn 1.

It’s the third consecutive runner-up finish in the points standings for Wayne Taylor Racing, which won the first Daytona Prototype international championship in 2017. The premier category will be rebranded as the Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class with the LMDh cars that will establish a bridge to racing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Kamui Kobayashi finished third in the No. 48 Cadillac of Action Express that also includes Jimmie Johnson and Mike Rockenfeller.

The podium showing marked Johnson’s last scheduled race in IMSA’s top prototype division. The seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion has raced in the No. 48 Ally Cadillac lineup as the Action Express entry has run the Endurance Cup races.

Johnson said a lack of inventory will preclude him having a 2023 ride in the top category. But he still is hopeful of racing the Garage 56 Next Gen Camaro in next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans and possibly running in a lower class for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

“I’d love to be at Le Mans next year,” Johnson told NBC Sports’ Dillon Welch after his final stint Saturday. “I’d love to be at the Rolex 24. The series is going through a shake-up with the reconfiguration of the rules and classes, so I don’t have anything locked down yet, but I’m so thankful for this experience with Action. The support Ally has given us, Mr. Hendrick, Chad Knaus, all of Hendrick Motorsports. It’s been a fun two years, and I certainly hope I’m on the grid again next year.”