Courtesy of IMSA

IMSA: Acura Team Penske wins thriller in Detroit

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Team Penske has earned its first IMSA win at Detroit’s Belle Isle Park since 2007, with Dane Cameron taking the No. 6 Acura DPi to Victory Lane after holding off the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi of Felipe Nasr in the closing laps.

The victory was the second consecutive for the duo of Cameron and Juan Pablo Montoya, as the No. 6 team previously won the last WeatherTech SportsCar Championship round earlier this month at Mid-Ohio.

“We’ve just been getting better and better,” Cameron told NBC Sports. “Juan did an absolute hell of a job in qualifying. It was pretty amazing, that lap he did. [In the race], we got jumped there in the cycle and I wasn’t real happy about it, so we made sure we made it up to the front. From there, it was just about looking forward and executing. Hats off to everybody at Acura Team Penske.”

Montoya, who started from the pole, led the race early before swapping driving duties with Cameron, who took the lead back on Lap 26 when the No. 77 Team Joest Mazda of Tristan Nunez pitted under green.

Nasr would challenge Cameron for the lead during the final 20 minutes of the race, but Nasr was unable to complete a pass and had to settle with a second-place finish for himself and co-driver Pipo Derani. The No. 7 Acura Team Penske entry of Ricky Taylor and Helio Castroneves rounded out the podium, finishing third.

Hawksworth, Heistand Win in GTD

There was also a repeat winner in GT Daytona, as the No. 14 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus of Jack Hawksworth and Richard Heistand took their second consecutive class victory. After outdueling Mario Farnbacher and Meyer Shank Racing at Mid-Ohio, Hawksworth took an 0.828-second win today over the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche of Patrick Long.

Long’s co-driver, Zach Robichon, led the race from the pole, before Hawksworth took the lead with 48 minutes remaining. Hawksworth didn’t surrender the lead for the rest of the race.

“I had a good feeling about today,” Hawksworth told NBC Sports. “You give me a sniff of a win, I’m going to go for it and I’m going to try to win the thing, so that’s what I did.”

AIM Vasser Sullivan’s other Lexus entry, the No. 12 of Frankie Montecalvo and NBC Sports’ own Townsend Bell, finished third in GTD.

The next race of the 2019 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International on June 30. Live coverage begins at 9:30am ET on the NBC Sports App, and the race will air on NBCSN at 7 p.m. ET.

Unofficial Results

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F1 tests: Mercedes innovates with wheel adjustment system

Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images
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MONTMELÓ, Spain — Veteran Kimi Raikkonen set the fastest time on the second day of Formula One preseason testing on Thursday, but Mercedes still garnered more attention by introducing an innovative wheel adjustment system.

On-board footage showed defending champion Lewis Hamilton pulling the steering wheel back and forth on the front straight to apparently change the angle of the front wheels on his Mercedes car.

The team stayed tight-lipped about the car’s new feature but guaranteed it was “safe” and “legal.”

“I probably won’t shed a great deal more light than what you saw on the TV but yeah we have a system in the car, it’s a novel idea,” team technical director James Allison told F1 TV. ”We’ve got a name for it, it’s called DAS, if you’re interested, and it just introduces an extra dimension for the steering, for the driver, which we hope will be useful during the year. But precisely how we use it and why we use it, that’s something we will keep to ourselves.”

Allison said governing body FIA knew in advance that the team was introducing the new system.

“It’s something we’ve been talking to them (about) for some time,” he said. “The rules are pretty clear about what’s permitted on steering systems and we’re pretty confident that it matches those requirements. I’m pleased we got it on the car, it seems to be useful, and we’ll see over the coming days how it benefits us.”

Hamilton said he was still trying to get used to the system, but praised the team for coming up with the innovation.

“I’ve only had one morning on (it, so) I don’t really have a lot to talk about with it. We’re trying to get on top of it, understand it, but safety-wise no problem today and the FIA are OK with the project.

“For me it’s really encouraging to see that my team is continuing to innovate and stay ahead of the game, and I think that’s down to the great minds in the team and so hopefully that’ll work to our benefit.”

Hamilton led the time charts on Wednesday but was only ninth-fastest on Thursday.

MORE: Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas fastest in Day 1 of F1 practice
MORE: Sergio Perez fastest early on Day 2 of F1 Practice

The 40-year-old Raikkonen, who has a chance this season to break the record for most race starts in F1, was fastest with a time of 1 minute, 17.091 seconds in his Alfa Romea. He was 0.2 seconds quicker than Sergio Pérez with Racing Point. Daniel Ricciardo of Renault was third.

Raikkonen caused a red flag near the end of the afternoon session when his car stopped on the track with an apparent mechanical issue. The Finnish driver had spun earlier in the session, as did Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes, Romain Grosjean of Haas and Pierre Gasly of Alpha Tauri, formerly known as Toro Rosso.

Grosjean had the most laps among the 13 drivers who went to the track on Thursday, with 158.

Bottas was the slowest driver of the day, while Sebastian Vettel was sixth-fastest with Ferrari.

Pérez had set the quickest time in the morning session. The Mexican driver had been third fastest on Wednesday, behind Hamilton and Bottas.

Drivers will be back on the track on Friday to close out the first week of testing. Teams will have another three days to test next week.

Preseason testing has been reduced from eight to six days to help compensate for the record 22 races on the calendar, including a new Vietnam Grand Prix and the return of the Dutch GP. Midseason testing also has been eliminated.

The season opens on March 15 at the Australian GP.

The Barcelona-Catalunya track will host the Spanish GP on May 10.