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IMSA: ESM, Corvette, Starworks, Turner win in Monterey

May 4, 2014, 9:16 PM EDT

ESMRace Getty Images

The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship put on a pair of two-hour races Sunday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, and both the P/GTLM and PC/GTD races were barnburners.

In the headlining P/GTLM race, Extreme Speed Motorsports took an overall triumph with its P2-spec HPD ARX-03b, driven by pole sitter Johannes van Overbeek and co-driver Ed Brown. Van Overbeek made a pass of Jordan Taylor in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP at Turn 4 on Lap 76 to take the win.

Corvette Racing won its second straight GTLM race with Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia, though more than an hour after the checkered flag, the rest of the podium had not been determined.

Unofficially at the flag, the No. 55 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE finished second ahead of the No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR. But a penalty was assessed to the No. 911 after the race for an on-track incident, which dropped that car to ninth, and promoted the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F458 Italia to the podium.

The earlier PC/GTD race saw Starworks Motorsport’s pair of¬†Renger van der Zande and Mirco Schultis take the overall win in the Martini liveried Oreca FLM09.

GTD saw Spencer Pumpelly nearly win for Flying Lizard Motorsports in his Audi R8 LMS, but unfortunately run out of fuel on the final lap exiting the Corkscrew. Dane Cameron and Markus Palttala inherited the win in what was a great comeback drive in the No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3, as Palttala was spun in the first 15 minutes.

  1. testover6370 - May 5, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    This was the first new IMSA weekend I enjoyed and they deserve a round of applause. The Conti race was great, especially the battle between the Miatas, but most of it was in silence because those sections would be commercial breaks for the FS1 broadcast. They really need to fix that.

    In PC, since Martini livery is worth something like 15 hp, in a field of spec cars the Starworks car just had to win. PC is usually funded mostly by gentleman drivers so the liveries reflect sponsorships from the companies the drivers own or run, so it was cool to see a classic livery on a PC car.

    GTD was a great race, and while it was heartbreaking to see FLM lose the lead and stop just yards from the finish line, it was also great to see Turner recover from getting drilled early on. If you want a clip encapsulating the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, you can’t do better than that last half a lap.

    GTLM was surprising. I expected this track to suit the BMWs and for them to just walk away with it. Corvette got that C7.R up to speed and reliability far faster than I thought they would. Nice to see Risi get a podium after an opening part of the year that would be an understatement to call disastrous. I don’t like that the podium was altered by a penalty a full hour after I turned off the race. I don’t agree with NASCAR’s philosophy that the podium should stand once the race concludes and any post-race penalty does not reflect in the race results, but it also shouldn’t take an hour to get right either.

    In prototypes, I’m glad a P2 finally won, and JVO is just a beast at Laguna Seca, taking the #2 ESM of all cars to the pole and win (as the #2 is usually slow by P2 standards) but it is unfortunate that the battle between Oak and Spirit of Daytona didn’t go to the end. They were the fastest cars on track, but you knew close racing between Yacaman and Westbrook wouldn’t last long before it all ended in tears.

    Congrats to Deltawing and Mazda for being close to being on pace! That was the real prototype victory of the week.

    Time lost to commercials in the broadcast seemed better. Still not good, but better.

    Officiating deserves a big pat on the back. They made perfect judgement calls on leaving stranded cars in place when they were in a safe position, and calling for a safety car when they were in a dangerous spot. They called it right every time. That makes up for Sebring big time.

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