Wayne Taylor Racing snatches victory as Petit Le Mans ends with crash and tempers flaring


Renger van der Zande took first after Pipo Derani and Ricky Taylor collided while racing for the lead late in the Motul Petit Le Mans, delivering a victory Saturday to Wayne Taylor Racing as tempers flared at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

Driving with Ryan Briscoe and five-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon, van der Zande extended the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship points lead in DPi for the No. 10 Cadillac, which opened the season by winning the Rolex 24 at Daytona with the same driver lineup.

With just more than 10 minutes remaining in the 10-hour event, Derani’s No. 31 Cadillac of Action Express was leading while under heavy pressure from the No. 7 Acura Team Penske being driven by Taylor. Entering the sixth turn, Taylor dove to the inside and got beside Derani, and the ensuing contact caused both drivers to spin off course.

Van der Zande inherited first and remained there until another full-course caution flew a few minutes later, freezing the field as the race ended under yellow.

RESULTS: Where everyone finished in the Petit Le Mans

“I didn’t know they were fighting at all, really,” van der Zande told NBCSN. “I just saw the gap growing closer and closer, and I just kept asking them and I was just chipping it down. The car was flying at the end.”

Taylor hung on to finish second and was confronted afterward by Derani, who had a heated exchange with Helio Castroneves, Taylor’s Penske teammate. Taylor and Castroneves were trying to win their fourth consecutive race in IMSA’s top class.

“I told (Taylor) I always had a lot of respect for him, but I was out in the lead, I was in front, and he pushed me out, and that’s it,” Derani, whose Whelen Engineering entry finished fifth, told NBCSN. “There’s nothing much to say. Unfortunately, we lost the race, we did everything we could. We were 10 laps to go, leading the race, and he just pushed me out on a desperate move to try and go to the lead.

“I think it was a mistake on his side. I hope he sleeps on it and thinks a little bit because at the moment, he thinks it’s my fault, but I don’t know what I could have done different. I was out in front.

“We’ll take the positives out of this race. We did a fantastic race. Acura was much quicker than us, but we were there at the end leading the race. I put two fantastic passes on him after losing the lead on a pit stop. I just want to take home those feelings. We did everything we could. I lost a little bit of respect for him and his teammates trying to accuse me of doing something wrong. But it is what it is. I’m not at the racetrack to make friends. I want to win the next one.”

Derani also had postrace words late Saturday night with Ricky’s brother, Jordan, who made a sardonic Twitter video after they collided during practice last month at Mid-Ohio.

Said Ricky Taylor in a Team Penske release: “We showed all weekend that we were going to be tough to beat and it played out that way in the race. I hate the way that it ended and in no way did I mean to take out (Derani). It’s Petit Le Mans. Everyone wants to win this race, and I saw an opportunity to do that for my team. To come home second is a solid points day, but we were the car to beat at the end, and I’m bummed that we didn’t end on top of the podium.”

After its second victory this season, WTR’s No. 10 of Briscoe and van der Zande took an eight-point lead over the No. 7 Penske of Castroneves and Taylor with two races remaining. Derani is ranked third in the standings, 12 points behind.

“It’s just massive,” Briscoe told NBCSN. “What a finish. It just goes to show never give up, just hang in there. Renger was doing a hell of a stint at the end, pushing and pushing saying, ‘I’m never going to give up.’ And fortune fell our way.”

It was the first Petit Le Mans victory for Dixon, who will be shooting for his sixth IndyCar championship in the Oct. 25 season finale at St. Petersburg, Florida.

“It’s so much fun to drive with this team,” Dixon told NBCSN. “All we needed was a caution. Renger definitely had the speed and closed the gap by over 10 seconds that last stint. So happy for everybody. So good to be on this team. Sometimes you just need a little bit of luck.”

In the other classes:

–GTLM: Porsche Motorsport scored its first victory of the season in IMSA as the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR-19 snapped the two-race winning streak of Corvette Racing’s No. 3 C8.R.

Fred Makowiecki, co-driving with Nick Tandy and Matt Campbell, held off Antonio Garcia, who was paired with Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg. The victory meant Porsche won’t go winless in the automaker’s last season before exiting GTLM, which was announced four months ago.

“We’ve had such a poor season, so many things have gone wrong,” Tandy said. “The middle of the race seemed we wouldn’t be that competitive. To come out with a win, my fourth at Petit, it’s amazing. This makes up for all the bad times in the season so far. Mega.”

–GTD: The No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari of Jeff Westphal, Alessandro Balzan and Cooper MacNeil took the victory in a points standings shake-up.

The No. 86 Acura of Meyer Shank Racing finished 28th overall and fell from first to fourth in the championship, moving Aaron Telitz into the lead, two points ahead of AIM Vasser Sullivan teammate Jack Hawksworth (who finished second in class Saturday with Telitz).

–LMP2: The No. 8 ORECA LMP2 07 of Tower Motorsport by Starworks took the checkered flag, beating the No. 38 of Performance Tech Motorsports. John Farano, Mikkel Jensen and Job van Uitert were the winning drivers.

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Detroit: Chase Sexton narrowly leads Cooper Webb


For the fifth time in 10 rounds of the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross season, the three riders at the top of the championship standings shared a podium and while those points tell one story, the NBC SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Detroit tell a slightly different tale.

SuperMotocross Power Rankings Detroit
Cooper Webb is peaking at the right time. – Feld Motor Sports

Chase Sexton has been all but perfect during the past 45 days with podium finishes in each of his heats and Triple Crown features. His only stumble during this period was a 10th-place finish in the Indianapolis Main. Last week, Sexton was perfect with wins in both his heat and the feature, although he needed a little help from an Aaron Plessinger mistake to take the top spot on the podium at the end of the night.

Cooper Webb finished fifth at Houston and was beginning to worry ever so slightly about his position in the points. Prior to the race in Tampa, he told NBC Sports that it was time to win and like Babe Ruth pointing to the outfield fence, Webb went out and captured it. Following that race, Webb has swept the podium and earned the red plate two weeks ago in Indianapolis. At Detroit, he added two more points on Eli Tomac as the season begins to wind down.

Tomac struggled with a stiff neck at Indianapolis and after a modest third-place showing in Detroit, he revealed he was still suffering a little. Webb and Sexton have been able to close the gap on Tomac in the past 45 days, but one of the main reasons he is so close in the points was a pair of wins that started the year. Seattle is going to be important for the defending champion because Tomac cannot afford to lose any more momentum with seven rounds remaining.

MORE: Chase Sexton inherits the win in Detroit

It appeared Jason Anderson was turning things around. He earned his fifth heat win at Detroit, which was also his sixth consecutive race (including features) in which he scored a top-five. A fall in the Detroit Main dropped him a lap off the pace and sent him home with a season-worst finish of ninth, causing a ripple effect in the SuperMotocross Power Rankings.

Justin Barcia was a huge part of the show last week in Detroit. He swapped positions with both Webb and Tomac in the middle stage of the race, which allowed Sexton to close the gap. Barcia finished fourth in that race to earn his third consecutive top-five. He’s been outside the top 10 only once in the first 10 rounds.

Adam Cianciarulo had a great start to the Main. He led a couple of laps before losing a lap and slipping back to eighth in the final rundown. That run was strong enough to elevate him three positions in the SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Detroit.

450 Rankings

Driver Percentage
1. Chase Sexton
[2 Main, 6 Heat wins]
87.00 1 0
2. Cooper Webb
[2 Main, 1 Heat win]
86.71 2 0
3. Eli Tomac
[5 Main, 6 Heat wins]
84.57 3 0
4. Jason Anderson
[5 Heat wins]
80.71 4 0
5. Ken Roczen
[1 Main, 1 Heat win]
80.50 5 0
6. Justin Barcia
[1 Heat win]
79.07 7 1
7. Aaron Plessinger 77.14 6 -1
8. Adam Cianciarulo 69.75 11 3
9. Christian Craig 68.86 10 1
10. Justin Cooper 63.90 9 -1
11. Justin Hill 58.57 15 4
12. Dean Wilson 51.50 12 0
13. Colt Nichols 51.25 13 0
14. Shane McElrath 46.86 17 3
15. Josh Hill 46.79 16 1
16. Benny Bloss 45.31 18 2
17. Jared Lesher 39.00 NA
18. Joey Savatgy 38.63 14 -4
19. Cade Clason 37.50 21 2
20. Grant Harlan 35.54 23 3

Supercross 450 Points

The NBC SuperMotocross Power Rankings look at the past 90 days in the 250 class in order to have a balanced comparison between the East and West divisions and Hunter Lawrence has been all but perfect this year. At Detroit, he earned his fifth win of the season and kept alive a streak of podium finishes in six rounds. He tied his brother Jett Lawrence with 10 250 wins one week before the West riders take to the track for back-to-back races at Seattle, Washington and Glendale, Arizona.

SuperMotocross Power Rankings Detroit
Nate Thrasher is settling into a comfortable role as ‘best in class’. – Feld Motor Sports

The Lawrence brothers are dominating the points in each of their respective divisions, which means the remainder of the field is battling to be best in class.

In the East, that rider is Nate Thrasher, who beat Hunter in a head-to-head matchup in their heat only to finish second in the main when the majority of points were awarded. Thrasher seems to have accepted his position in the championship standings, but that doesn’t mean he won’t keep trying for wins.

Haiden Deegan showed a lot of aggression in his heat last week. He threw a couple of block passes at his teammate Jordon Smith and set up a series of events that kept Smith from making the big show while Deegan settled into second in the preliminary. Deegan was unconcerned about how he raced his teammate and would not let a little controversy keep him from celebrating his second career podium in Detroit.

Supercross 250 Points

Jeremy Martin just keeps clicking off solid results. He won his heat last week by making a pass on Deegan and Smith while they were in the heat of their battle. Martin finished fourth in the Main, which means he continues to have only one finish worse than sixth in any of the features or mains.

Smith fell one position in the points standings, but the damage was even worse in SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Detroit. Crash damage in his heat contributed to a last-place finish in that race, for which he earned minimal points. He was not able to advance from the Last Chance Qualifier after stalling his bike in heavy traffic.

250 Rankings

Rider Power
1. Hunter Lawrence – E
[5 Main, 5 Heat wins]
90.43 1 0
2. Jett Lawrence – W
[3 Main, 3 Heat wins]
90.30 2 0
3. Nate Thrasher – E
[1 Main, 3 Heat wins]
84.00 5 2
4. Cameron McAdoo – W
[1 Heat win]
79.80 9 5
5. Haiden Deegan – E
[1 Heat win]
78.21 7 2
6. Jeremy Martin – E
[2 Heat wins]
78.00 8 2
7. Jordon Smith – E
[3 Heat Wins]
76.77 4 -3
8. Levi Kitchen – W
[1 Main]
75.30 3 -5
9. Mitchell Oldenburg – W 75.20 11 2
10. RJ Hampshire – W
[4 Heat wins]
74.50 17 7
11. Max Anstie – E 74.43 6 -5
12. Tom Vialle – E 72.07 12 0
13. Max Vohland – W 71.56 10 -3
14. Stilez Robertson – W
[1 Heat win]
69.22 14 0
15. Chris Blose – E 67.43 18 3
16. Chance Hymas – E 67.10 15 -1
17. Enzo Lopes – W 66.00 20 3
18. Michael Mosiman – E 65.80 16 -2
19. Pierce Brown – W 65.78 13 -6
20. Phil Nicoletti – W 59.25 21 1

* The NBC Power Rankings assign 100 points to a Main event winner and 90 points for each Heat and Triple Crown win, (Triple Crown wins are included with heat wins below the rider’s name). The points decrement by a percentage equal to the number of riders in the field until the last place rider in each event receives five points. The Power Ranking is the average of these percentage points over the past 45 days for the 450 class and last 90 days for 250s (because of the split nature of their season).

POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 8 AT DAYTONA: Chase Sexton unseats Eli Tomac
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 7 AT ARLINGTON: Jason Anderson narrowly trails Tomac
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 6 AT OAKLAND: Perfect night keeps Tomac first
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 5 AT TAMPA: Sexton, Cooper Webb close in
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 4 AT HOUSTON: Tomac rebounds from A2 crash, retakes lead
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 3 AT ANAHEIM 2: Consistency makes Ken Roczen king
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 2 AT SAN DIEGO: Roczen moves up, Sexton falls
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 1 AT ANAHEIM 1: Tomac, Jett Lawrence gain an early advantage