Colin Braun didn’t need to answer questions about whether his No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Acura ARX-06 had enough fuel to finish the Chevrolet Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
An accident involving Renger van der Zande’s No. 01 Cadillac Racing Cadillac V-Series.R with five minutes remaining caused the two-hour, 40-minute round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship to end under caution Sunday. For Braun, attempting to stretch his final tank of fuel for 75 of those minutes, the finish behind the safety car eased any worries he and co-driver Tom Blomqvist had about running dry.
Blomqvist demonstrated the one-lap speed of the Meyer Shank Acura a day earlier by claiming the Motul Pole Award for the Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class at the 2.459-mile, 10-turn road course – the second straight overall pole for the Brit at CTMP. This time, he was able to take the overall race victory after finishing a close second a year ago.
“That’s fantastic,” Blomqvist said following his fourth career triumph in WeatherTech Championship competition. “The racing gods were looking down on us a little bit today. We rolled the dice (with pit stop strategy) to try and go long, and the only way we were going to win that race was if the yellows kind of played into our corner. Thankfully, they did.
“I’m just so happy for the guys,” he added following the No. 60’s first win since the Rolex 24 At Daytona in January. “They’ve worked their backsides off all year long, really. This car has been a lot of work. We haven’t had the greatest run of recent races, so to get the pole yesterday and finish the job off today is just amazing.”
The No. 60 Acura dropped from the lead to third place during a round of pit stops under caution just past the halfway mark. The decision was immediately taken to try and reach the finish without stopping again, hoping for at least one more full-course caution.
Circumstances couldn’t have played into their hands any better. After the first half of the race ran caution-free, the second half saw three more full-course yellows after the initial one, giving Braun the ability to strategically manage his hybrid-powered prototype’s energy reserves.
Braun had a five-second lead over Filipe Albuquerque in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Racing Acura ARX-06 when the final caution flew. Albuquerque and co-driver Ricky Taylor finished second, while the No. 25 BMW M Team RLL BMW M Hybrid V8 shared by Connor De Phillippi and Nick Yelloly earned a fourth podium finish in the last five races to close within 10 points of the GTP championship lead.
The win was the 24th in IMSA competition for Braun, an amazing six of which have come at CTMP – including last year in the Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3) class.
For Albuquerque and Taylor, second place was a welcome result in a season in which the No. 10 Acura has experienced difficulty reaching the finish line. Coupled with a tough day for incoming GTP points leaders Alexander Sims and Pipo Derani in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac (who finished eighth at CTMP), the No. 10 Acura duo is third in the standings, just 29 points out of the championship lead.
“Before the race, the theme of the weekend was we need to put together a weekend like we are used to and just get back to normal,” Taylor said. “It just so happened the No. 31 had a bad day and the points came together. We’re happy about that, and happy to get back on a roll of positive momentum. We’ll take a second place to the sister (Acura) car very happily and try to build on that for Road America.”
Corvette Racing is officially back. Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor chased down the leaders Sunday and won the GT Daytona Pro (GTD PRO) class of the Chevrolet Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
The victory was the first for the team in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship since March 2022. Before the slump, Corvette had won five of the previous seven season championships in IMSA GT classes.
“It’s perfect,” Taylor said. “The Chevrolet Grand Prix, to be in a Corvette here, kind of our stomping grounds … it’s a classic Corvette victory.”
Taylor pitted from fourth place just 33 minutes into the race. Garcia replaced him and drove the No. 3 car up to second place in just 10 minutes and into the lead shortly after that. The two combined to hold the lead to the finish of the two-hour, 40-minute race.
“We deserved this win for a long time,” Garcia said. “We came so close many times. We were really struggling to pace at most of the races. … Finally, we got what we deserved.”
The No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R (992), co-driven by Patrick Pilet and Klaus Bachler, finished second on the team’s home soil as the race ended under caution.
Daniel Juncadella and Jules Gounon brought the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 home in third place to keep the GTD PRO points pressure on the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 co-driven by Ben Barnicoat and Jack Hawksworth, who put the car on pole Saturday but finished fourth Sunday.
Barnicoat and Hawksworth continue to lead the WeatherTech Championship GTD PRO standings with 2,110 points. Juncadella and Gounon are currently second, 96 points behind, while Garcia and Taylor closed to within 109 points of the lead with five races still remaining on the calendar.
There were no miracles this time, just victory for Paul Miller Racing in what is becoming another magical season for the team.
Two weeks ago, the buzz focused on a miraculous second-place finish by Paul Miller Racing. This time, a miracle wasn’t required.
Madison Snow got the team’s No. 1 BMW M4 GT3 into the lead early and Bryan Sellers got it to the finish line first as PMR claimed victory in the GT Daytona (GTD) class.
“It’s awesome,” Snow said. “I think Bryan and I finished third here once before, but the podium has been a little bit elusive for us. Being able to finish on the top step is awesome.”
The team’s third victory of the season padded its lead in the driver and team standings. Sellers and Snow now have 1,974 points, holding a 212-point lead over No. 27 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 co-drivers Roman De Angelis and Marco Sorensen, and a 219-point advantage over Aaron Telitz and Frankie Montecalvo in the No. 12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3.
The No. 1 Paul Miller Racing BMW previously won this season at Sebring and Long Beach.
In the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen last month at Watkins Glen International, Snow, Sellers and Corey Lewis brought the No. 1 back from a three-lap deficit to finish second.
This time, the road to success was far less bumpy. Snow drove to the lead just 10 minutes into the race, and the two maintained control from there.
The race ended under caution, with the No. 70 Inception Racing McLaren 720S GT3 EVO co-driven by Brendan Iribe and Frederik Schandorff finishing second. The No. 32 Team Korthoff Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 co-driven by Mike Skeen and Mikael Grenier finished third.
The WeatherTech Championship resumes for the GTD and GTD PRO classes on July 22 with the FCP Euro Northeast Grand Prix presented by LIQUI MOLY at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut.
Live coverage can be found on USA and Peacock at 9 a.m. PT.