PR1/Mathiasen, Turner win TUDOR race in Lime Rock

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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.

Rinus VeeKay to drive for Ed Carpenter Racing in 2020

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Ed Carpenter Racing has signed 2019 Indy Lights runner-up Rinus VeeKay to drive the full 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season, the team announced Wednesday.

VeeKay will drive the No. 21 Chevrolet previously occupied by Spencer Pigot.

“I’m so happy!” the 19-year-old driver from the Netherlands said in a press release. “It’s a dream come true and something we have worked extremely hard for over the last couple of years. To step up from USF2000 to the NTT IndyCar Series in three years is really special.”

In his maiden Indy Lights season this year, VeeKay collected six race victories and seven pole potions. VeeKay previously won the 2018 Indy Pro 2000 championship, and finished second in the 2017 USF2000 standings.

VeeKay’s success in the ladder series caught the attention of Carpenter, who gave VeeKay the opportunity to first test for the team at Portland International Raceway in August.

“I have been following Rinus’s path through the Road to Indy, especially the past two years,” Carpenter said. “It was clear to me that he deserves to be in an Indy car. After his first day in a car at Portland this past season, that feeling became even more apparent. His pace, feedback and demeanor inside the car was very impressive for such a young driver.”

As a driver, Carpenter will be VeeKay’s teammate during the five oval races in 2020, once again returning to the team’s No. 20 entry. An announcement on which driver will pilot the No. 20 on the road and street circuits will be made at a later time.

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