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AMERICA’S TIRE 250 Rearview Mirror: Five Takeaways

Sunday’s AMERICA’S TIRE 250 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca was, in many ways, an “Instant Classic” for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The headline race for the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix weekend featured a thrilling, late-race pass for the overall victory in Mazda Raceway’s iconic Corkscrew turn; a last-to-first, “spin and win” victory in GT Le Mans (GTLM) and an emotional victory celebration in GT Daytona (GTD).

Here are “five takeaways” coming out of the penultimate round of the 2017 WeatherTech Championship:

1. “The Pass” Revisited

VISIT FLORIDA Racing Scores Emotional Win At Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

The infamous ‘Corkscrew’ at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca has seen its share of iconic passes over the years, but the winning pass in Sunday’s IMSA Weather Tech SportsCar Championship race definitely made the list.

Edwards, Tomczyk Take “Spin and Win” Victory for BMW at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

Danny Sullivan became famous for his “spin and win” victory over Mario Andretti in the 1985 Indianapolis 500.

Sullivan now makes his home on the Monterey Peninsula, just a few miles away from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, where John Edwards did his best Sullivan impression in Sunday’s AMERICA’S TIRE 250, spinning on the opening lap and then going on to win the two-hour and 40-minute IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) race in the No. 24 BMW Team RLL BMW M6 GTLM alongside co-driver Martin Tomczyk.

Taylor Brothers Look to Extend Points Lead with TOTAL Pole Award at Mazda Raceway

With an IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype class title in sight, Ricky Taylor and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R. team put its closest championship competitors on notice in qualifying Saturday for the AMERICA’S TIRE 250 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the penultimate round of the season.

Vilander Gives Risi Ferrari Team First WeatherTech Championship Pole Since 2014 in AMERICA’S TIRE 250 Qualifying

It’s been a long time coming for Risi Competizione, but Finnish hotshoe Toni Vilander returned the team and its trademark No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTE to the pole position in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) class qualifying for Sunday’s AMERICA’S TIRE 250 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

The headline race of the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix weekend will be televised live on Sunday at 5 p.m. ET on FS1. IMSA Radio also will have live, flag-to-flag coverage on IMSA.com, RadioLeMans.com and SiriusXM Radio.

A Lap Around Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

Take a lap around Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with Bryan Sellers in the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini.

Feature: 

Dalziel, Nissan Top Time Charts On First Day at Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix

It’s been a good couple of races for the Tequila Patrón ESM team.

In the most recent IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype race last month at Road America, co-drivers Pipo Derani and Johannes van Overbeek drove the No. 22 Nissan DPi to its first victory, leading a 1-3 finish for the team with Ryan Dalziel and Scott Sharp taking third in the No. 2 Tequila Patrón machine, one spot behind runners-up Jordan and Ricky Taylor in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R.

Vilander Stays Hot in Risi Ferrari

Since returning from a midseason hiatus in the Michelin GT Challenge at VIRginia International Raceway last month, the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE team and co-drivers Toni Vilander and Giancarlo Fisichella have been extremely competitive in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class.

The No. 62 team contended for the victory before coming home third and Friday afternoon, Vilander clocked the quickest time of the GTLM class in AMERICA’S TIRE 250 practice. The Finnish racer’s best time was 1:22.635 (97.498 mph).

Negri Switches Classes, Posts Similar Result for Acura in GTD Practice

The last time Ozz Negri raced at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, he and then-co-driver John Pew stood atop the overall podium with a Prototype class victory aboard the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Honda/Ligier prototype.

Since then, Pew retired from competition and Negri and the Shank team switched to the GT Daytona (GTD) class with a pair of new Acura NSX GT3 race cars. But Friday’s GTD practice session finished with a similar result for Negri, who led the class with a best lap of 1:25.25.253 (94.504 mph) in the No. 86 machine he co-drives with Jeff Segal.

CORE Moves To Prototype Class With ORECA In 2018

ROCK HILL, S.C. (Sept. 21, 2017) – Five-time Prototype Challenge (PC) champions CORE autosport will move to the Prototype Class for the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with an ORECA 07 LM P2 and drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun.

CORE makes the switch to the P category after six seasons in the PC class (2011 – 2013 American Le Mans Series; 2014 – 2016 WeatherTech Championship) and the current IMSA season in the GT Daytona (GTD) class.

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