Photo courtesy of IMSA

Patron ESM Nissan captures Petit Le Mans victory

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BRASELTON, Ga. – After dominant runs from both Tequila Patron ESM Nissan Onroak DPis in today’s Motul Petit Le Mans, the team’s No. 2 car of Ryan Dalziel, Scott Sharp and Brendon Hartley emerged as race winners in the 20th edition of the October endurance classic at Road Atlanta.

Either the No. 2 or No. 22 car had a proper shot at the win, but two penalties served inside the final 15 minutes of the race changed the final outcome.

Contact between Pipo Derani in the No. 22 car with Ryan Briscoe in his No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT, which left his car with a damaged rear wing assembly, saw him get called into the pits for avoidable contact.

Filipe Albuquerque inherited the lead at this point, in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R, but that was short-lived too. Having been deemed to move Action Express Racing teammate Dane Cameron in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac to the grass in a three-wide move on the front straight, that saw him get a stop-and-hold penalty for unjustifiable risk.

Hartley in the No. 2 Nissan took the lead from there, with Cameron’s No. 31 car he shared with Eric Curran and Mike Conway promoted to second and Team Penske, after a roller coaster day of its own, back on the podium in third for the trio of Juan Pablo Montoya, Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud in the No. 6 Oreca 07 Gibson.

BMW Team RLL signed off the career of the BMW M6 GTLM in style, with a win in GT Le Mans by Bill Auberlen, Alexander Sims and Kuno Wittmer in the team’s No. 25 car. Auberlen is making his 400th start with BMW this weekend.

Sims held off a charge versus champions Corvette Racing, Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia in the No. 3 Corvette C7.R they shared with Mike Rockenfeller. Garcia was in for the finish. The No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE completed the podium.

In GT Daytona, the Montaplast by Land-Motorsport team avenged its runner-up finish in the Rolex 24 at Daytona to win at Petit Le Mans. American star Connor De Phillippi and his usual co-driver Christopher Mies shared the car with teenager Sheldon van der Linde to capture the win in the No. 29 Audi R8 LMS.

A pair of Porsche 911 GT3 Rs were next with Alegra Motorsports and Park Place Motorsports completing the podium.

Finally in the last Prototype Challenge race ever, BAR1 Motorsports ended Performance Tech Motorsports’ perfect season dreams with a flawless drive turned in by John Falb, Garett Grist and Tomy Drissi in the No. 26 Oreca FLM09, a 1-2 finish for the team.

Additional post-race notes are linked here. Here are unofficial results.

Todd LeDuc advances two positions in Monster Jam Power Rankings

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Neil Elliott held onto the top spot in the Monster Jam Power Rankings, but he has a new driver sniffing his exhaust as Todd Leduc advanced two positions to second this week.

The Stadium Series Green continues to hold the advantage in the Power Rankings with Elliott topping the chart, Morgan Kane in fourth, and Ryan Anderson eighth, but there is an equitable distribution among the other series throughout the field.

Notably, Leduc and his Monster Energy truck in the Stadium Series Red closed the gap with a 38-point overall victory at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN. Leduc achieved his win through consistency, pocketing the overall without winning a single individual event. Leduc’s best session was a second-place finish to Mike Vaters II in Overkill Evolution by .001 points.

Meanwhile on the West Coast, Elliott rambled on. Elliott won his sixth skills challenge in seven contests so far. That contributed to his 35 points for the event at PETCO Park in San Diego and allowed him to hold onto the No. 1 slot in the Monster Jam Power Rankings.

Colton Eichelberger also held station. Third last week, he entered the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on a mission in the Triple Threat Series Central. He topped the event points in all four events with timed race wins in each session, ATV race wins in three of the four, three wins in the speedster obstacle course, two freestyle wins and one win in the donut competitions.

MORE: Ryan Anderson and the anatomy of a Monster Jam freestyle run

Morgan Kane and Grave Digger had a rough night. He was ousted from the racing event in Round 2 by Max-D and Elliott. He failed to win either of the other two competitions of the night and ended with 29 points, which was a distant third to Ryan Anderson’s Son-Uva Digger (37) and Max-D (35).

Brandon Vinson moved up to the fifth position with three wins in the Triple Threat Series West. During the weekend he earned seven session wins, including a sweep of the speedster obstacle course and two victories in the two-wheel skills challenge.

Tom Meents debuted on the Monster Jam Power Rankings in 10th by winning the overall in back to back nights of the Stadium Series Yellow. The Saturday show can be seen Feb. 22 at 11:30 p.m. on NBCSN (click here for streaming). The highlight of Meents’ weekend were race wins on Saturday and Sunday, defeating Coty Saucier in a Monster Energy truck on Night 1 and Eric Swanson in Obsessed on Night 2.

Power Rankings

1. Neil Elliott–same
2. Todd LeDuc–up 2
3. Colton Eichelberger-same
4. Morgan Kane–down 2
5. Brandon Vinson–up 1
6. Tyler Menninga–up 1
7. Coty Saucier–down 2
8. Ryan Anderson–same
9. Linsey Read–up 1
10. Tom Meents-new for 2020

Upcoming TV Schedule (All showings on Eastern time on NBCSN)

Oakland: February 22 (Saturday); 11:30 p.m.
Miami: March 1 (Sunday); 12 a.m.
Jacksonville: March 9 (Monday); 6 p.m.
Detroit: March 21 (Saturday); 11 p.m.
Las Vegas: March 28 (Saturday); 7 p.m.
Santa Clara: April 11 (Saturday); 7 p.m.
Philadelphia: April 17 (Friday); 2:30 p.m.
Denver: April 25 (Saturday); 6:30 p.m.
Monster Jam World Finals Racing: May 9 (Saturday); 5 p.m.
Monster Jam World Finals: May 19 (Tuesday); 4 p.m.
Monster Jam World Freestyle: May 20 (Wednesday); 12 a.m.
Monster Jam World Finals: June 20 (Saturday); 2:30 p.m.