Cameron, Curran Give Cadillac DPi Win in Action-Packed Race at CTMP
In a race that saw changing weather conditions and various pit strategies between teams opting for wet weather or "slick" dry-weather tires, Cameron had to hold off a hard-charging Stephen Simpson in the rain over the final minutes to score his first win of the season for the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R team and co-driver Eric Curran.
It was Cadillac's seventh win of the season, with each of the marque's three teams now having won a race in the debut WeatherTech Championship campaign for the Cadillac DPi-V.R.
"You can have all the speed in the world, but execution wins it," said Curran. "It just kind of handed it back in our favor when it came down to who had slicks and who didn't. We just keep doing a good job, and it shows on the Action Express side why we're three championships in. It's shear execution."
Weather was a factor throughout the final hour of the event. A sudden downpour while under caution with 48 minutes remaining forced the Prototype leaders to pit road. Of the seven cars on the lead lap, only the points-leading No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R opted to remain on slick tires.
The move appeared to pay off when, despite dropping from second to fourth immediately following the restart due to the damp track, Jordan Taylor made up ground as the circuit continued to dry out, and ultimately took the lead when each of the teams that took rain tires hit pit road with 30 minutes left.
Taylor looked like he was going to cruise to his sixth win in seven races alongside co-driver Ricky Taylor, but was involved in an incident with the Chevrolet Corvette C7.R of Tommy Milner with 21 minutes left in the race. Taylor remained on the track throughout the ensuing caution, but gave way to Cameron immediately on the restart with 10 minutes to go.
Cameron was in the process of holding off a late charge from Simpson when David Ostella flipped in the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Ligier with just a handful of minutes remaining, forcing the race to end under caution. Ostella was evaluated and released from the infield care center following the incident.
"I knew the (No.) 85 was strong all weekend," said Cameron. "I knew they had some pace on us. We probably weren't the happiest we'd been with our car, but we had good track position. Then the rain came back a bit, and I was either going to win or go off trying to win."
It was the second consecutive runner-up finish for Simpson, co-driver and Toronto resident Misha Goikhberg and the No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports ORECA LM P2 team. The No. 2 Tequila Patrón Nissan DPi of Scott Sharp and Ryan Dalziel rounded out the Prototype podium while Mazda Motorsports made up the remainder of the top five with its No. 55 and No. 70 Mazda DPis finishing fourth and fifth, respectively.
Complete race results are available at results.imsa.com. The next WeatherTech Championship round for the Prototype class is the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America on Sunday, Aug. 6.
Performance Tech Rallies to Remain Perfect in PC Class
Performance Tech Motorsports is now three wins away from a perfect season in the Prototype Challenge (PC) class with James French and Pato O'Ward scoring the sixth consecutive win for the No. 38 ORECA FLM09.
It was an eventful win for the team coming back from one lap down to win the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Leading for much of the early part of the event, O'Ward hit a piece of debris with 54 minutes remaining and had to pit to replace the nose of the car. The team lost a lap in the process, but raced back to the lead lap and took the lead for good with 36 minutes to go.
"I drove straight through it, broke the splitter and the nose," said O'Ward. "When we changed it, we got out in second and it started raining. We came in to do a splash of fuel, and they asked what I wanted. I said I want to risk it and kept the slicks. That's why we were able to overtake and get into first."
Each of the BAR1 Motorsports entries led a lap during the race. Garett Grist got around pole-winner French at the start of the race to lead the opening lap in the team's No. 26 ORECA FLM09, while Ryan Lewis led multiple laps when O'Ward had to pit from the lead to make repairs to the nose of the No. 38. Lewis and co-driver Don Yount finished in the runner-up position.
"I was talking to Garett before the race and he said he'd pass me on the outside going into one, which is funny because he did it," said French. "We had a bit of contact, and I might have damaged the steering a bit because the wheel got a little heavy. So that was mostly my day, trying to carry a heavy wheel. The car was super quick, and had lots of grip, it was really fun to drive."
The PC class returns to action Sunday, Aug. 6, for the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America.
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