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Action Express’s Curran And Cameron Nearly Flawless At Road America

| , RacinToday.com Monday, August 10 2015

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After winning Sunday’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America, driver Dane Cameron admitted to having trouble finding any fault at all with his team’s effort.

He even used the “P” word.

“You have to be perfect to win races in the IMSA Prototype category,” Cameron said. “The competition level is incredibly high. I think we were actually really perfect, and you can’t ask for anything better.”

Cameron, co-driving with Eric Curran, took the lead at the historic road circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wis., near the halfway point and then cruised his second TUDOR United SportsCar Championship victory of the season for the No. 31 Whelen Engineering/Team Fox Corvette.

Cameron beat Action Express teammate Joao Barbosa to the checkered flag by 14.359 seconds after leading all but three of the final 41 laps on the 4.048-mile Road America circuit.

Barbosa joined Christian Fittipaldi in the team’s No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP.

The finish also dramatically tightened the Prototype championship race with only two races remaining.

Richard Westbrook and Michael Valiante took fifth in the No. 90 VisitFlorida.com Racing Corvette DP. Unofficially, their lead was cut to one point over Barbosa and Fittipaldi, 248-247, with Curran and Cameron another point behind.

The pole-winning No. 01 Ford EcoBoost/Riley DP of Joey Hand lost more than a minute during its first pit stop during the lone full-course caution period of the two-hour, 40-minute race, after a clamp came loose on the turbocharger.

Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Scott Pruett was unable to significantly cut the deficit during the final two-hours, three minutes of green flag running, despite running the fastest lap of the race. He finished third, 25.140 second behind at the checkered flag.

“We knew we had a great car this weekend,” Pruett said. “Unfortunately, we had a line come undone on the left-side boost system, and we had to fix it. We lost significant power. The yellow came out at the right time for us so we could fix it. Unfortunately, we had no more yellows, so I think even getting back to third was a pretty solid day for how back we were.”

Prototype Challenge

Bruno Junqueira passed a spinning Connor Daly on the final lap, giving RSR Racing its second Prototype Challenge (PC) victory of the season in the No. 11 AutoMaxUSA ORECA FLM09 started by Chris Cumming.

Daly recovered to finish second, giving Performance Tech Motorsports its best finish of the season for the No. 38 Ric-Man Construction/GO-PUCK/Braille Batteries ORECA FLM09. James French – a native of nearby Sheboygan, Wis. – won his third TOTAL Pole Award and led twice for 14 laps. Daly took the lead on Junqueira’s final pit stop and led 18 laps through the final circuit.

“Man, I gave it 100 percent,” Junqueira said. “Both cars were on old tires, and I took all the risks. I really wanted to win it bad. I love this track, and it was great to win for the RSR team and for Chris. We tested for the first time this year on Tuesday and the car was good. I pushed hard. We had brake problems at the end, but I was able to win. The last lap, I just took all the risks to catch him.”

Colin Braun and Jon Bennett finished third in the No. 54 CORE autosport Flex Box/Composite Resources entry, one position ahead of championship rivals Mike Guasch and Tom Kimber-Smith in the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Cuttwood car. That added two points to the lead, with Bennett and Braun now ahead by five points, 253-248, with two races remaining.

GT Le Mans

Porsche recorded a 1-2 finish in the GT Le Mans class.

One day after Earl Bamber drove the team’s No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR to the (GTLM) class pole, co-drivers Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet rallied from the back of the field to give the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR its second consecutive TUDOR United SportsCar Championship win of the season.

“Like at (Canadian Tire Motorsport Park) we had the perfect weekend,” Tandy said. “We were fastest, started on pole, and we won the race. We had a small problem in the qualifying session, but overall we executed perfectly as a team. Everyone is confident as we go into the weekends now.”

 

Pilet – who started last following a post-qualifying engine change – finished 5.241 seconds ahead of Porsche 911 America teammate Joerg Bergmeister, who made a daring last-lap pass on the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F458 Italia of Pierre Kaffer for the second position.

“It was a crazy weekend,” Pilet said. “We were always in front, but unfortunately I had a problem with the car and I couldn’t qualify. We had to change the engine for the race and it was good choice. We ran a lot of downforce, we didn’t feel it was needed to be fast in the straight lines. It was completely different than anyone else. I was surprised about the grip, it was amazing.”

 

Bergmeister and Kaffer made slight contact in Turn 13, sending Kaffer sliding through the grass. He rebounded to finish third alongside co-driver Giancarlo Fisichella, while Bergmeister and co-driver Bamber matched their season-best finish of second.

The points-leading No. 3 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R of Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia finished fourth, extending its points lead to four points, 217-213, over the No. 25 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE of Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner. Auberlen and Werner finished fifth.

GT Daytona

Jeroen Bleekemolen inherited the GT Daytona lead when Kuno Wittmer drove the No. 007 Royal Purple/Orion Energy/LaSalle Solutions/PassTime USA Aston Martin Vantage V12 onto pit lane for fuel with 20 minutes remaining and never was threatened, joining co-driver Ben Keating in giving the No. 33 ViperExchange.com Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R its first win of the season.

Wittmer held on to finish second, propelling co-driver Christina Nielsen to the points lead by two points (199-197) with three races remaining. Nielsen took the top spot from No. 48 Castrol EDGE Audi R8 LMS co-drivers Christopher Haase and Dion von Moltke, who finished sixth.

Polesitter Patrick Lindsey led the first 24 laps and finished third in the No. 73 Park Place Porsche 911 GT America co-driven by Spencer Pumpelly. It was the duo’s first podium finish since winning earlier this season at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

| , RacinToday.com Monday, August 10 2015
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