TUSCC: A tight show as LMPC and GTD race Lime Rock


It was tight in the two-class TUSCC race with the LMPC and GTD taking to Lime Rock but it was PR1/Mathiasen that came out on top…07252015_TUSC_LimeRock_Practice_v3


Winners of the two longest races on the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship schedule, Mike Guasch and Tom Kimber-Smith gave PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports the Prototype Challenge (PC) victory at the shortest track, capturing Saturday’s Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park.

After trouble struck down the two dominant cars on the seven-turn, 1.474-mile circuit, Kimber-Smith passed Bruno Junqueira with 35 minutes remaining and went on to win in the No. 52 Cuttwood ORECA FLM09. It was the fourth podium finish of the season for Guasch and Kimber-Smith, who won the class at both the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida.

Junqueira and Chris Cumming finished second in the No. 11 RSR Racing AutoMaxUSA ORECA FLM09, followed by the lapped No. 8 Starworks Motorsport Martini entry of Renger van der Zande and Mirco Schultis.

Stephen Simpson captured the TOTAL Pole Award and dominated the opening hour in the No. 85 JDC/Miller Motorsports UndergroundCellar.com ORECA FLM09. However, the car suddenly stopped in Turn 3 with an electrical problem at the one-hour, four-minute mark, bringing out a caution.  The car was taken to the garage, losing several laps for repairs. Simpson and co-driver Mikhail Goikhberg eventually finished sixth.07252015_TUSC_LimeRock_Practice_v16

That gave the lead to Conor Daly, who had taken over from James French in the No. 38 Ric-Man Construction/GO-PUCK/Braille Batteries ORECA FLM09 for Performanc Tech Motorsports.  Daly attempted to follow Renger van der Zande – who had just regained one of his two lost laps – through the final Downhill turn when he had contact with the GT Daytona (GTD) class-leading No. 48 Castrol EDGE Audi R8 LMS of Christopher Haase. Both cars slammed into the tire barrier and were eliminated, although both drivers emerged unscathed.

That gave the lead to Junqueira, who led 41 laps before Kimber-Smith took the lead in traffic. Kimber-Smith retained the lead when both leaders pitted two laps later, and led the final 23 circuits, winning by 8.304 seconds.

– See more at: http://www.imsa.com/articles/guasch-kimber-smith-take-third-pc-victory-lime-rock-park#sthash.kb30Y2xK.dpuf



An eventful 36 hours at Lime Rock Park ended in a somewhat unexpected way on the home track for Turner Motorsport and driver Michael Marsal, and for returning driver Dane Cameron: atop the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship GT Daytona podium after a victory in Saturday’s Northeast Grand Prix.

The team made just one pit stop in the two-hour, 40-minute race on the 1-474-mile circuit. Running, “(fuel) mappings we have never really run to see what we could save,” Cameron brought the No. 97 Alvarez & Marsal/IHG Rewards Club BMW Z4 across the finish line 3.505 seconds ahead of Jeroen Bleekemolen in the No. 33 ViperExchange.com Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R to score the first victory of the season for the Turner team and the first TUDOR Championship victory ever for Marsal.

It was the second win of the season for Cameron, who took a Prototype class victory at Detroit in May alongside co-driver Eric Curran in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering/Team Fox Corvette DP for Action Express Racing. Cameron, who won the GTD title with Turner in 2014, was pinch-hitting for regular driver Markus Palttala, who had another commitment this weekend.

The victory capped a trying couple of days for the team. In Friday’s morning practice session, Marsal heavily crashed the No. 97 BMW, forcing the team to utilize a local repair shop and work into the early morning hours in order to be ready for the race.


The second-place run for the No. 33 team was the best of the season for Bleekemolen and co-driver Ben Keating, topping a previous best result of sixth last time out in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. The ViperExchange.com team’s sister, No. 93 program has taken victories in two of this season’s three Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup races to date.

Third place went to the No. 007 Royal Purple/Orion Energy/LaSalle Solutions/PassTime USA Aston Martin V12 Vantage co-driven by Christina Nielsen and Kuno Wittmer for the TRG-AMR team. It was the third podium result of the season for Nielsen, who has unofficially moved into second in the GTD driver standings. She trails co-leaders Christopher Haase and Dion von Moltke by just five points, 171-166.

A turning point in the race came right at the halfway point, when Haase – the GTD race leader – crashed in the No. 48 Castrol EDGE Audi R8 LMS after contact coming onto the front straight with overall leader Conor Daly in the No. 38 Ric-Man Construction/GO-PUCK/Braille Batteries ORECA FLM09. The contact sent both leaders hard into the tire barrier and out of the race.

– See more at: http://www.imsa.com/articles/cameron-marsal-win-lime-rock-perfect-strategy-no-97-turner-team#sthash.9xOCkg9B.dpuf