Mazda DPi Claims Second-Straight IMSA Win

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Mazda DPi Scores
Oliver Jarvis (left) and Tristan Nunez celebrate in victory lane at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on Sunday. (Sarah Weeks photo)

BOWMANVILLE, Ontario – It took nearly seven years for Mazda Team Joest to return to IMSA victory lane between Road America in Aug. 2012 and last Sunday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship win in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.

This time, it took just seven days.

After finishing second in last weekend’s 1-2 result at Watkins Glen Int’l, Tristan Nunez and Oliver Jarvis took the victory in Sunday’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Acura – leading a second straight top-two sweep for Mazda Team Joest.

Jarvis grabbed the lead from teammate Harry Tincknell in the No. 55 Mazda Daytona Prototype international car on the final pit stop with just under 50 minutes remaining in the race and led the rest of the way.

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Jarvis crossed the stripe at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park 1.699 seconds ahead of Tincknell for his third IMSA win and first since taking the overall victory in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Advance Auto Parts in 2013.

“It’s an amazing team effort,” Jarvis said. “Incredible. It’s been an incredible 10 days with the team. We were all getting quite bored of getting that question, ‘When were we going to get our win?’ We always said we were close.

“I honestly believed if we got our first, to get the second seven days later is amazing. What an effort. Mazda Team Joest puts so much effort into this team, Multimatic and AER. This is a culmination of a lot of work. It’s paid dividends in seven days. It’s amazing.”

For Nunez, it was his first overall IMSA race win and sixth class victory. His most recent before Sunday was a Prototype Challenge class win in the Grand Prix of Baltimore in 2013.

Although just 23 years of age, Nunez is in his seventh season as a Mazda factory driver.

The No. 77 Mazda DPi chases the No. 31 Cadillac DPi on Sunday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. (Sarah Weeks photo)

“I’ve been with the program since 2013 since we started the diesel GX (class) car,” Nunez said. “I’ve said it multiple times, it’s worth the wait. All the effort we’ve put in and the changes we’ve made, I really think we have a full, strong package now.

“We have all the pieces checked off. It showed in the past two weeks. You can’t get better than two, 1-2 finishes. It’s really a dream come true. I’ve been dreaming about this moment since I got signed on by [Mazda North American Operations Director of Motorsports] John (Doonan) in the beginning. So, it really hasn’t sunk in yet.”

Tincknell and co-driver Jonathan Bomarito combined to lead a race-high 87 of 125 total laps in the No. 55, but a slight issue on their final pit stop gave the lead and the win to the No. 77.

Both the Nos. 55 and 77 teams have finished on the podium in three of the last four races.

Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron extended their lead in the DPi class lead with a third-place run in the No. 6 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 DPi.

It was their fifth consecutive podium result and they now lead No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R co-drivers Pipo Derani and Felipe Nasr by three points after six of 10 DPi class races in 2019.

The No. 31 team finished fourth, followed by Ricky Taylor and Helio Castroneves in the No. 7 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 DPi. Castroneves and Taylor remain third in the DPi point standings, nine points in arrears of their leading No. 6 teammates.

In the LMP2 class, Matt McMurry and the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA team picked up their third-consecutive class victory to move into the class points lead by two over the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA and its driver pairing of Cameron Cassels and Kyle Masson.

McMurry was joined in the victory by Canadian Dalton Kellett, who made his IMSA competition debut in the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Acura.

“This half of the season is going great: Mid-Ohio, Watkins Glen and now here,” McMurry said. “The team’s just been performing perfectly. The last three races the car’s been great. The execution of the pit stops have been great. And our teammates have been doing well this whole time too.”

“I actually got my start racing here probably eight or nine years ago,” Kellett added. “And it feels amazing to get my first IMSA win here. My parents’ house is 50 minutes west of here. This is my hometown crowd. This feels amazing. PR1 guys have done a good job the whole weekend. They were great. Matt really got me up to speed with the setup, driver changes, that was all new to me. I’m really happy.”

The race was red-flagged for eight minutes following a heavy crash in Turn 2 by Victor Franzoni in the No. 50 Juncos Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R. Franzoni was awake and alert and was transported to a local hospital for further evaluation.