Acura Team Penske breaks through with first IMSA WeatherTech win in Mid-Ohio

Photo: IMSA

Talk about delivering return on investment to your sponsors: It was an Acura sweep in the Acura Sports Car Challenge Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Ricky Taylor and teammate Juan Pablo Montoya finished 1-2 for Acura Team Penske – the team’s first win since returning full-time to sports car racing this year — in the Prototype class.

“We come here in Acura’s for Acura’s home race and then to start the month of May with a legend (teammate Helio Castroneves), it’s just the start,” Taylor told Fox Sports 2.

Added Castroneves, in his first season in the series, “This kid (Taylor) is unbelievable. He was on it and never lost his cool. Unbelievable. I was losing my cool, it’s the hardest thing to watch.”

Taylor then predicted even more success for Castroneves, who races next in a one-off start in the Verizon IndyCar Series in the May 27th 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“He’s got more coming up in the month,” Taylor said of Castroneves on FS2.

As for runner-up Montoya, he told FS2, “You’ve got to be happy for Acura. We’ve worked so hard and we’ve been so unlucky this year. To win here on their home turf (Acura has a manufacturing shop in Marysville, Ohio, about an hour away from Mid-Ohio) and do it 1-2 is pretty cool.”

The weekend also marked the return to Mid-Ohio for the IMSA WeatherTech Championship Series after a five-year absence.

Taylor’s No. 7 Acura DPi crossed the finish line 8.464 seconds ahead of Montoya in the No. 6 Acura DPi, while Tristan Nunez, in the No. 77 Mazda DPi finished third, 18.310 seconds behind Taylor.

Teammates Filipe Albuquerque and Jordan Taylor finished fourth and fifth.

While there was some minor contact between several cars across all three classes, the entire 2 hour, 40 minute race was run completely caution-free under sunny conditions and temperatures in the 70s, a distinct improvement from Friday, when rain deluged the track.

In the GTLM class: Laurens Vanthoor, in the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR, held off strong late challenges by Connor De Phillippi (by 1.673 seconds) and Jan Magnussen (by 12.295 seconds). Joey Hand (-18.696 seconds) and Richard Westbrook (-19.970 seconds) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

“It was horrible,” Vanthoor laughed to FS2. “The BMW (of De Phillippi) was chasing us with fresher tires and my tires were already destroyed with 15 laps to go, so I had to fight like crazy to stay on track and push.

“I was worried that cars were catching me. I was doing my best and tried to keep positive and finally it worked. A lot of stuff went wrong along in-between, chances that went away, but now it’s done and I hope it’s the first of many.”

In the GTD class: Dominik Baumann won the first race for Lexus Racing USA, beating Alvaro Parente to the checkered flag by a slim 0.191-second margin. Bryan Sellers finished third (-18.472 seconds), followed by Jack Hawksworth (-25.027 seconds) and Lawson Aschenbach (-28.795 seconds).

“The radio connection was not too good, so I had to manage it myself,” Baumann said to FS2. “But I pushed every lap. It was just 100 percent every lap.

“I didn’t know what the gap was, but I’m so glad we did it. The pressure’s going off and it was such a perfect weekend.”

The next IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship race will be held on the weekend of June 1-3 as part of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix on the Belle Isle street course.

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Motocross 2023: Results and points after season opener at Fox Raceway


It was not the first time it has been done, but a rider winning in his Motocross debut is rare as the results show Jett Lawrence swept the motos at Fox Raceway in Pala, California and took the early points lead.

Dylan Ferrandis may not be quite 100 percent yet, but he was good enough to finish on the podium at Fox Raceway – Align Media

Lawrence became the 16th rider to win in his Motocross debut and was the 10th rider to do so in the season opener, At 19, he wasn’t the youngest to perform the feat; Rick Johnson was 17 in 1982 when he won the lidlifter at Hangtown, the site of next week’s race, but Lawrence’s inaugural win bodes well. The last time a rider performed this feat, Dylan Ferrandis went on to win the 2021 Motocross championship as a rookie in 2021.

Ferrandis did not sweep the motos that season while Lawrence’s performance on Saturday was perfect. He paced both practice sessions, earned the holeshot in each race and finished first in both motos after leading every lap to score maximum points. Lawrence started the weekend needing 85 points to climb into 20th in the combined SuperMotocross standings for the 450 class. Earning 50 with his perfect Motocross results at Fox Raceway, he is nearly 60 percent of the way to his goal.

RESULTS: Click here for full 450 Results; Click here for 250 Results

Chase Sexton was second across the board. He qualified in the second position and finished 2-2 in his motos. In the first race, he was a relatively distant runner-up behind Lawrence, crossing the finish line a little more than 10 seconds ahead. He got a great start in Moto 2 and pushed Lawrence for the entire race, never getting further back than three seconds. He tried to pressure Lawrence into making a mistake, but both riders hardly put a wheel wrong and they finished within a second of one another.

Returning from a concussion suffered in the Houston Supercross race earlier this season and exacerbated at Daytona, Ferrandis finished third in both motos to take third overall. His most important task at hand this week was to avoid trouble and start the Motocross season healthy at Fox Raceway so he can begin to accumulate strong results and move up in SuperMotocross points.

Ferrandis entered this round 25th in the standings and left Pala in 19th. With that position, he has an automatic invitation to the feature starting grid in the SuperMotocross World Championship as long as he does not fall back.

Click here for 450 Moto 1 [Lap Chart] | Moto 2 [Lap Chart] | Consolation Race

Aaron Plessinger and Cooper Webb both ended the race with 34 points, but Plessinger had the tiebreaker with a better finish in the second race. Notably, both riders sustained injury sometime during the season, but Plessinger had an advantage by coming back a week sooner in Salt Lak City for the Supercross finale. He finished second in that race.

Webb was cleared late in the week by doctors after being on concussion protocol from a vicious strike to his helmet in a Nashville Supercross heat race late in the season. He made a beeline to the track to run the Motocross opener. After missing last year’s outdoor season, he wanted to make certain that did not happen again. He still has a solid opportunity to catch Sexton for the No. 1 overall seed in the SuperMotocross standings., but he will need to make up 78 points.

Click here for 450 Overall results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points

For the first time in history, Pro Motocross results from Fox Raceway show brothers as winners on the same day.

Battling a rib injury suffered practicing earlier in the week, Hunter Lawrence got a poor start to Moto 1 and had to overcome his 10th-place standing at the end of Lap 1. He methodically worked his way toward the front but might have settled for a position off the podium if not for heavy traffic in the closing laps. Lawrence was able to get through the field quicker than Justin Cooper and Jo Shimoda to finish third.

Hunter Lawrence overcame sore ribs to score the overall 250 win at Fox Raceway – Align Media

Lawrence’s second moto was much stronger. He earned the holeshot and led all 15 laps of the race to win by a more than eight seconds.

Haiden Deegan didn’t feel any pressure heading into this round. No one expected much in his third Motocross National and he would have been happy with anything in the top five. At least that’s what he said in the post-race news conference. Deegan said similar things after finishing fourth in his first Supercross race this season. In a stacked field of 40 riders at Fox Raceway, “Danger Boy” finished sixth in Moto 1 and second in Moto 2 for the second-place finish overall.

Click here for 250 Moto 1 [Lap Chart] | Moto 2 [Lap Chart] | Consolation Race

In only his third Pro Motocross National, Haiden Deegan finished second overall. – Align Media

RJ Hampshire had an eventful weekend. He dominated Moto 1 and won by a healthy margin, making a statement about how he will race now that Jett Lawrence is no longer in the field. He was a victim of mayhem in Turn 2 of Moto 2, which forced him to the ground. Another crash on an uphill portion of the track later that same lap put him in 39th. Hampshire salvaged as many points as he could and finished 11th in the second race to stand on the final box of the podium.

Tom Vialle came within a lap of scoring his first career podium. He had the position based on a tiebreaker over Justin Cooper and Maximus Vohland until Hampshire passed two riders on the final lap and earned one point more than that threesome. Instead, Vialle settled for his first podium in an individual moto with a 7-3 in the two races. More accustomed to this style of racing, Vialle will be a factor in the coming rounds.

Click here for 250 Overall results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points

Cooper finished with a 5-4 in the two motos to sweep the top five and take fourth-place overall. Cooper started five rounds in the 450 class in Supercross this season and none on a 250, so he is starting with zero points in the SuperMotocross seeding, but with runs like this it won’t take long to make up the 89 he needs to climb to 20th.

One of the best performances of the weekend was put in by Vohland. He finished second in Moto 1 and had to withstand pressure from Lawrence in the closing lap. A poor start of 16th in the second race forced him to play catchup and he could only climb to ninth at the checkers.

2023 Supercross Results

Round 17: Chase Sexton, Jett Lawrence win
Round 16: Chase Sexton, RJ Hampshire win
Round 15: Chase Sexton, Hunter Lawrence win
Round 14: Justin Barcia, Max Anstie win
Round 13: Chase Sexton, Hunter Lawrence win
Round 12: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Round 11: Eli Tomac bounces back with sixth win
Round 10: Chace Sexton wins, penalized
Round 9: Ken Roczen wins
Round 8: Eli Tomac wins 7th Daytona
Round 7: Cooper Webb wins second race
Race 6: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Race 5: Webb, Hunter Lawrence win
Race 4: Eli Tomac, Hunter Lawrence win
Race 3: Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen win
Race 2: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Round 1: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings

Week 16: Chase Sexton takes SX title
Week 15: Eli Tomac is back on top
Week 14: Justin Barcia, most of top 20, hold steady
Week 13: Barcia leapfrogs the Big Three
Week 12: Eli Tomac gains momentum
Week 11: Cooper Webb, Tomac overtake Chase Sexton
Week 10: Sexton leads with consistency
Week 8: Sexton unseats Tomac
Week 7: Jason Anderson narrowly trails Tomac
Week 6: Perfect Oakland night keeps Tomac first
Week 5: Webb, Sexton close gap
Week 4: Tomac retakes lead
Week 3: Ken Roczen takes the top spot
Week 2: Roczen moves up; Sexton falls
Week 1: Tomac tops 450s; Jett Lawrence 250s