MSR Wins in IMSA Farewell
Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian has won the 2023 running of the Motul Petit Le Mans held Saturday at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, in Braselton,GA. The win capped off a come back drive for the #60 Acura ARX-06 driven by Tom Blomqvist, Collin Braun and Helio Castroneves. After contact with another car lead to a loss of 2 laps while they pitted to replace damaged suspension components. However the team was able to get back on the lead lap and challenge the No 01 Cadillac Racing Cadillac shared by Sebastian Bourdais, Renger Van Der Sznde, and IndyCar champion Scott Dixon.
Braun managed to overtake Van der Zande thanks to a strong restart with just 30 minutes remaining in the 10 hour endurance classic.
This race marks MSR’s farewell to IMSA for the time being. As MSR was unable to put together a 2024 program for the GTP class, as the Acura ARX-06 of MSR is expected to be transferred to Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti who will be expanding to field a second ARX-06 next year.
Meyer Shank Racing had been plagued this season by them being stripped of points for their season opening win at the 24 Hours of Daytona, where the team was found to be manipulating tire pressure data that was sent to IMSA and tire provider Michelin.
AXR Wins GTP Championship after late race collision with Title Rival
The #31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac of Action Express Racing won the inaugural championship of the IMSA GTP era. Three teams went into Saturday’s Motul Petit Le Mans separated by just 11 points in the GTP Championship standings.
The #6 Porsche Penske Motorsports entry was eliminated from championship contention an hour and 15 minutes into the race, while driven by Nick Tandy, when he was collected by an incident involving slower GT traffic entering turn ten.
The Championship lead would go back and forth between the #31 AXR entry and the #10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-06 of Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti as positions changed throughout the race.
With just over an hour remaining in the race, Filipe Albuquerque in the #10 attempted to pass the #31 of Pipo Derain for second place around the outside of turn 1. Derani made contact with the 10 which forced it off the track and into the tire barrier. Filipe Albuquerque exited the car limping, he would later be taken to a local hospital for further evaluation.
The incident was shown as under review by Race Control, but ultimately no action was taken.
The elimination of the #10 allowed the #31 to take the championship with a 6th place finish in the race.
Corvette Racing bids farewell with engine failure
Corvette Racing bid farewell to IMSA competition as a full factory racing team with a disappointing engine failure after leading 87 laps in the GT Daytona Pro class. This race marked the final race for Corvette Racing as a factory team after a 25 year stint. Earlier this year it was announced that Corvette Racing would transition to a factory supported Customer team model. Pratt Miller, the team that operated Corvette Racing on General Motors behalf, will continue to field two of the new Z06 Corvettes GT3 cars next year in the GT Daytona Pro Class in IMSA Competition.