Fantastic Racing at the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix, powered by Mazda – Race Recap

Our overall winners three-wheeling it through the Corkscrew. Photo by www.bobheathcote.com

TUDOR United SportsCar Championship

Under sunny skies and cool temperatures, it was a perfect day for fans at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, and it was a near-perfect race for the VisitFlorida.com No. 90 Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototype of Richard Westbrook and Michael Valiante.The team won the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship’s Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix Powered by Mazda, ending up with a 1.351-second margin over the winner of the last TUDOR Championship race two weeks ago at Long Beach, the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP of brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor. In third was the Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian No. 60 Honda Ligier JS P2, in that team’s strongest showing of the year. Fourth was the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Action Express Corvette DP, which won at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

In Prototype Challenge, the polesitting car also went on to win, with the RSR Oreca FLM09 No. 11 of Chris Cumming and Bruno Junqueira dominating the class all day. Second in PC was Colin Braun and Jon Bennett in the CORE Autosport No. 54.

BMW Team RLL dominated the GT Le Mans category of Sunday’s Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix Powered by Mazda, with the team’s pair of BMW Z4 GTEs turning in a 1-2 finish. John Edwards and Lucas Luhr scored their first TUDOR United SportsCar Championship wins in the No. 24 BMW, ahead of the sister No. 25 car driven by Bill Auberlen and polesitter Dirk Werner. While the pair of factory Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSRs and Risi Competizione Ferrari F458 Italia enjoyed a battle for third, they were rarely within striking distance of the two BMWs. The No. 911 Porsche of Patrick Pilet and Michael Christensen ended best of the rest in P3.

Porsche managed to triumph in GT Daytona, with Spencer Pumpelly and Patrick Lindsey winning both theirs and the Park Place Motorsports’ team’s first event in the TUDOR Championship. Lindsey drove a clean, uneventful double stint mostly in the lead in the No. 73 Porsche 911 GT America before handing over to Pumpelly. After heartbreak a year ago when he ran out of fuel on the final lap while leading, Pumpelly had just enough to make it home to the flag this year to score the win. As last year, the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS finished second, now with Dion von Moltke joining Christopher Haase behind the wheel. 

Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo

Richard Antinucci led from start-to-finish to win Round 1 of the 2015 Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America season at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, highlighted by the series debut of the Lamborghini Huracán LP 620-2 Super Trofeo car. Antinucci drove the No. 50 Huracán LP 620-2 Super Trofeo fielded by O’Gara Motorsport and representing the Beverly Hills dealership to the win under caution in the 50-minute race.Cedric Sbirrazuoli, from Monaco, placed second in his Super Trofeo debut in the No. 07 STR entry representing Dallas. Sbirrazuoli was the first Huracán Pro-Am finisher.Corey Lewis completed the overall podium, finishing third overall and second in the Pro-Am class in the No. 29 Change Racing Huracán representing Carolinas after starting sixth overall.

The next stop for the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America will be at Watkins Glen International, June 27-28.

SCCA Pro Racing Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Presented by BF Goodrich Tires

Patrick Gallagher, of Thornville, Ohio, cashed in at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca by taking his first career SCCA Pro Racing Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires win in Championship Round Six as part of the Monterey Grand Prix. Peter Portante, of Plainville, Connecticut, was second with Drake Kemper, of Toluca Lake, California, bringing his car home third. It took three years of trying, but Gallagher won his first Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup race after a hard-fought battle for the lead. While Gallagher officially led all but one lap of the 25-lap race at the 11-turn, 2.238-mile course, that only tells part of the story. Gallagher, driving his No. 44 Howard Concrete Pumping MX-5, took the lead from polesitter John Dean by the completion of lap one, but was unable to break away from the rest of the lead group.

The next stop for the Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires will be at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, July 10-12.