IMSA: Mazda Team Joest collects second straight victory at CTMP

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After collecting their first victory in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition last Sunday at Watkins Glen, Mazda Team Joest has won yet again, this time with Oliver Jarvis behind the wheel at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

Jarvis, in the No. 77  Mazda RT24-P, led teammate Harry Tincknell in the No. 55 to another 1-2 finish for the team. Tincknell won last week’s event at the Glen.

“I gotta say, I feel sorry for the 55,” Jarvis, who shared his victory with co-driver Tristan Nunez, told NBC Sports. “They’ve had a perfect weekend. I think they had an issue with a pit stop, but that’s the way it goes. I think we had the pace last weekend, and it went their way, and this weekend it went our way.”

Mazda’s victory was unfortunately overshadowed by a violent late-race crash by Victor Franzoni in the No. 50 Juncos Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R, which came up on its side in Turn 2 tire barriers.

The accident prompted a red flag with 17 minutes remaining as crews cleaned the accident scene. Franzoni was reported by IMSA to be awake and alert and was transported to a local hospital for further evaluation.

The No. 6 Team Penske Acura ARX-05 of Dane Cameron and Juan Pablo Montoya finished the race in third.

McMurray, Kellett claim LMP2 victory

In the two-car LMP2 class, Matt McMurray and Dalton Kellett scored an easy victory in the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca 07 Gibson when their lone class competitor went off-track with an hour remaining in the race. For Kellett, an Indy Lights regular who grew up in nearby Toronto, the win was his first in IMSA competition, also coming in his first start.

“If we can just do this every time, that’d be great,” Kellett told NBC Sports. “This has been a great day. The PR1 guys did a really good job. I’m happy to get my first IMSA win at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park where I started racing.”

Porsche scores fifth consecutive GTLM victory

Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor won gave Porsche their fifth consecutive GT Le Mans victory in WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition.

Driving the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR, Bamber held off John Edwards in the No. 24 RLL BMW to take the checkered flag by 1.208 seconds.

“It feels amazing,” Bamber told NBC Sports. “Everyone at Porsche has been really working hard. Since we started this season we’ve had a good car. I think we’ve been on the podium nearly every race.”

“To get five in a row is an incredible achievement.”

Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet finished third in the No. 911 Porsche.

Turner BMW wins in GTD

Turner Motorsports won in GT Daytona for the first time this season with Robby Foley and Bill Auberlen in the No. 96 BMW M6 GT3.

Foley started from the pole and built a healthy lead early on before handing the wheel to Auberlen, who extended the lead before holding off Mario Farnbacher to take the checkered flag.

With his 54th career class victory, Auberlen passed Lucas Luhr to move to second all-time in IMSA class victories. Only Scott Pruett has more wins, with 59. 

“Scott is an amazing guy,” Auberlen told NBC Sports. “To be anywhere near him is great.”

“The competition is so heavy in this class that when you win here, it’s something to be proud of and these guys [Turner Motorsports] should all be happy.”

Townsend Bell finished third in the No. 12 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus.

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The next race of the 2019 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park on July 20. Live race coverage begins at 3:00 p.m. ET on NBCsports.com and the NBC Sports app.

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Toyota No. 8 car wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans for third consecutive year

24 Hours of Le Mans
JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images
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LE MANS, France — Toyota Gazoo’s No. 8 car comfortably won the 24 Hours of Le Mans by five laps Sunday to secure a third straight victory in the prestigious endurance race.

It was also a third consecutive win for Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi and Japan’s Kazuki Nakajima driving. Brendon Hartley was the other driver, having replaced two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso.

Buemi and Hartley sat on the side of the car as Nakajima drove toward the podium. Hartley won for a second time after tasting success with the Porsche LMP Team in 2017 before an unhappy season in Formula One.

The Swiss team’s Rebellion No. 1 featured American driver Gustavo Menezes and Brazilian Bruno Senna – the nephew of late F1 great Ayrton Senna.

It finished one lap ahead of Toyota Gazoo’s No. 7, with Rebellion’s No. 3 finishing in fourth place.

For much of the race it looked like Toyota’s No. 7 would win after leading comfortably from pole position. But late into the night the car encountered an engine problem and the 30-minute stop in the stands proved costly.

The race was first held in 1923. A total of 252,500 spectators attended in 2019, but there were none this year when the race started three months late because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We miss the fans,” New Zealander Hartley said. “I look forward to seeing all the fans again.”

In other divisions:

United Autosports won the LMP2 division with the entry of Filipe Albuquerque, Paul Di Resta and Phil Hanson.

–In LMGTE Pro, the victory was claimed by Aston Martin Vantage AMR of Maxime Martin, Alex Lynn and Harry Tincknell (who drives for Mazda in the DPi division of IMSA).

–TF Sport won the LMGTE Am class.

The Toyota No. 7 took pole after former F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi narrowly edged out the Rebellion No. 1 team in qualifying.

In damp and humid conditions Mike Conway got away cleanly from the start, while Senna held off Buemi.

After nearly seven hours, Toyota’s No. 8 fell back after a 10-minute stop in the stands to fix a brake-cooling problem on Kazuki Nakajima’s car. Rebellion’s No. 1, driven by Frenchman Norman Nato, took advantage to move into second place behind Toyota’s No. 7.

Then came the decisive moment at 2:40 a.m. as the No. 7 – also featuring Argentine Jose Maria Lopez – encountered a turbo problem. When the car came back out it was back in fourth.

“We had a few problems early in the race,” Nakajima said. “Later they had a bigger issue than us.”

Rebellion’s No. 1 encountered a problem on the hood at around 9 a.m. and the change took six minutes, allowing the Rebellion No. 3 (Nathanael Berthon-Louis Deletraz-Romain Dumas) to close the gap.

It was becoming a tight battle between the two Rebellion cars behind Toyota’s No. 8.

At 12 p.m. Rebellion No. 3 with Dumas behind the wheel was only one second ahead of No. 1 driven by Menezes. Then both cars came in for a driver change with Deletraz swapping for Dumas on a lengthy stop, and Nato for Menezes as Rebellion No. 1 suddenly moved ahead of its team rival.

Dumas, a winner in 2016 with Porsche, appeared unhappy at the strategy decision to bring his car in first and the length of the stop. There were tense explanations in the team garage.

Colombian Tatiana Calderon, an F1 test driver with Alfa Romeo, was in the Richard Mille Racing Team in the LMP2 category. She was joined by German Sophia Florsch – an F3 driver – and Dutchwoman Beitske Visser. They placed ninth out of 24 in their category.