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.