LAKEVILLE, Ct. – The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship’s lone Prototype Challenge/GT Daytona round of the season saw a pair of surprise winners.
PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports benefited from the demise of the two top PC cars to score its third win of the season, while Turner Motorsport parlayed a fuel strategy gamble to perfection to win its first race of 2015.
Polesitter Stephen Simpson dominated the first half of the race in the No. 85 JDC/Miller Motorsports entry, banking a 40-plus second gap on the 1.474-mile short track. But a fuel pressure issue forced the car to stop on track and Simpson was left stranded.
Shortly thereafter, new leader Conor Daly collided with GTD class-leading Christopher Haase on the run to the downhill, Turn 7, in a heavy accident that took both the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports Oreca FLM09 and No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS out of the race.
It left the lead to the No. 52 PR1 entry driven by Tom Kimber-Smith, who took over from Michael Guasch after a stellar first stint from him. “TKS” made a move on Lap 133 of the 173-lap, two-hour, 40-minute race to pass Bruno Junqueira for the lead, ultimately the win. Junqueira co-drove with Chris Cumming at RSR Racing, while Starworks Motorsport (Renger van der Zande, Mirco Schultis) completed the PC podium.
Turner’s pair of Michael Marsal and Dane Cameron managed to hold on for the GTD win, with Cameron running some 95 laps on a single fuel stint after its lone pit stop on Lap 67.
The No. 33 Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper GT3-R scored a season-best second-place finish (Jeroen Bleekemolen and Ben Keating driving) with the No. 007 TRG-AMR Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 completing the class podium (Kuno Wittmer, Christina Nielsen).
The Prototype and GT Le Mans classes resume alongside PC and GTD at the series’ next round at Road America, August 9.
The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.
IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.
This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.
INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists
IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.
“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.
“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”
It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.