Photo courtesy of IMSA

CTSC race at Road America rain-shortened; Ford, Mazda win

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ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – The No. 59 KohR Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4 has won the latest Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race from Road America, but with an odd ending as the two-hour race was called with just over 15 minutes remaining.

Following the second full-course caution of the race, caused when a pair of Aston Martin Vantages stopped at separate points of the 4.048-mile track, the race was then red flagged for lightning in the area, which was then followed by substantial rain. This all occurred in the second hour of the race with under 50 minutes remaining.

The question mark from there was whether there would be enough time for the race to get restarted with enough time for leading cars to pit, and then go back to race conditions. Once inside of 20 minutes, that decision was made by IMSA Race Control that determined there would not be enough time to do restart safely and complete the balance of the race.

It left Dean Martin and Jack Roush Jr., in the Ford, head of the field in GS, with the No. 28 RS1 Porsche Cayman GT4 MR of Dillon Machavern and Dylan Murcott in second and the No. 69 Motorsports In Action McLaren 570S GT4 of Jesse Lazare and Chris Green.

Within the ST class, the field was a bit jumbled. Four cars – the Nos. 25 and 27 Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5s, and the No. 56 Murillo Racing and No. 17 RS1 Porsche Caymans – did not pit for what would have been their first scheduled stops before the rain hit and the red flag came out. That meant each car’s second drivers, Stevan McAleer, Britt Casey Jr., Eric Foss and Spencer Pumpelly, respectively, did not actually take over the cars that were started by Chad McCumbee, Tom Long, Jeff Mosing and Nick Galante.

There is a 45-minute minimum drive time rule in this series, and it remains to be seen how IMSA will award points and decide the results following these abnormal circumstances.

All results are provisional pending further review. More will follow.

Alex Palou fastest as several go off course during IndyCar practice at IMS

IndyCar Harvest GP practice
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
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Alex Palou paced the opening practice Thursday for the IndyCar Harvest GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

The Dale Coyne Racing rookie turned a 1-minute, 10.177-second lap around the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course in his No. 55 Dallara-Honda.

Jack Harvey was second, followed by Colton Herta, points leader Scott Dixon and Max Chilton.

PRACTICE CHART: Click here to see the speed rundown from Thursday’s session

FRIDAY AT IMS: Details for watching Race 1 of the Harvest GP

Qualifying for Friday’s race will be at 6:20 p.m. ET Thursday on NBC Sports Gold.

Will Power, who won the pole position for the July 4 race at the track, spun off course with just more than a minute left in the session after the left rear of his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet made slight contact with the right front of Alexander Rossi’s No. 28 Dallara-Honda.

Power was among several drivers who went off track, but there were no damaged cars during the session. Marcus Ericsson missed the final 5 minutes of the practice after being penalized for causing a red flag with a Turn 8 spin.

Arrow McLaren SP drivers Pato O’Ward and Helio Castroneves, who is driving for Oliver Askew (who is recovering from concussion-like symptoms), also veered off course as did rookie Rinus VeeKay and Santino Ferrucci.

Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson was in attendance at the session before racing Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. Johnson will be driving a partial schedule of road and street courses in IndyCar next season for Chip Ganassi Racing.

“Literally, the smallest of details, I can pick up on,” Johnson told NBC Sports pit reporter Kevin Lee. “It’s been really nice today just to see how a session starts and obviously to jump on the radio and listen to how the systems work and then obviously you get into the car and the setup and such. I’m at ground zero right now, a 45-year-old rookie trying to learn my way into a new sport essentially.”

Johnson told Lee his sponsorship hunt to run a Ganassi car “has gone really well. The fact that I’m here today and ingrained so deeply in the team is a great sign of where things are going. Looking forward to getting behind the wheel of a car soon and hopefully having some announcements for the world to see soon, too.”

Fans were in attendance Thursday for the first time this season at IMS, which is allowed a limited crowd of 10,000 for its races this weekend.