GT Title Fights Nearing Conclusion At Petit Le Mans

0
37
Petit
Dirk Werner and Patrick Pilet hold a slim lead in the GT Le Mans North American Endurance Cup as the Petit Le Mans nears its end. (IMSA Photo)

BRASELTON, Ga. – Two hours remain in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season and the picture in the four-race Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup is coming into focus.

One segment after the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R and drivers Christian Fittipaldi, Joao Barbosa and Filipe Albuquerque clinched the Patrón Endurance Cup in the Prototype class, joining Prototype Challenge (PC) class champions James French, Patricio O’Ward and Kyle Masson in the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA FLM09, the battle in the GT classes will come down to the final segment in the Motul Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.

In GT Le Mans (GTLM), the lead is down to one point with the No. 911 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR co-drivers Dirk Werner and Patrick Pilet over No. 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT co-drivers Dirk Mueller and Joey Hand. The No. 911 was seventh at the eight-hour mark in GTLM, while the No. 66 led.

It’s even tighter in the battle for the Patrón Endurance Cup manufacturer championship with Ford and Porsche tied with 42 points, meaning whichever car is higher at the finish will win the title in the four-race championship.

In GT Daytona, the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 team was looking to sweep both the season-long class championship and Patrón Endurance Cup in the same season. A broken axle, however, in the race’s fifth hour sent the team behind the wall for lengthy repairs.

Running 12th at the end of the second segment, the team and drivers Christina Nielsen, Alessandro Balzan and Matteo Cressoni now trails the No. 33 Riley Motorsports-Team AMG Mercedes-AMG GT3 trio of Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Mario Farnbacher by three points.

Mercedes-AMG has a four-point lead, 41-37, over Acura in the GTD manufacturer standings for the Patrón Endurance Cup.