Shank Wins IMSA Finale

BRASELTON, Ga. — Michael Shank Racing’s No. 60 Honda-powered Liger sports car won the season-ending Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta on Saturday night, and the Action Express Racing’s No. 31 Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototype took the season title.

John Pew, Oswaldo Negri, Jr. and endurance driver Olivier Pla teamed to win the 10-hour race, with the 60-year-old Pew making his final series appearance in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

“It’s the best way to go out, but it also makes it very hard to go out,” Pew said. “It makes it hard to quit. You really try to talk yourself into leaving and then something like this happens and you think, ‘Maybe not.’ I’ll take a little time to reflect. It’s been a fantastic 10 years, a lot with Ozz, and all with Michael Shank.”

Dane Cameron, Eric Curran and guest driver Simon Pagenaud, the current IndyCar champion, finished fourth to win the season title. Theyt beat their No. 5 Action Express Racing teammates, Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi, who won the last two championships.

“It’s truly unbelievable,” Curran said. “It hasn’t really sunk in yet. It’s going to take some time. The whole team and Dane and I worked so hard all year. We came so close last year, but we pulled it together this year. It feels amazing, all the guys that work hard on the Action Express team, and the pit stops were unbelievable. Most importantly, it was a tough day today, but we got through it.”

In the GT Le Mans class, the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE of Giancarlo Fisichella, Toni Vilander and James Calado won the race, and the championship went to the No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R of Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Marcel Fassler.

In the Prototype Challenge class, the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Chevrolet-powered ORECA of Robert Alon, Tom Kimber-Smith and Jose Gutierrez won the race, while the No. 8 Starworks Motorsport team of Renger van der Zande and Alex Popow took the season championship.

The finish in the GT Daytona class was controversial, with the No. 44 Magnus Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 passing the No. 33 Dodge Viper GT3-R on the next to last lap, but IMSA, the sanctioning body, gave the win to the Viper, because amateur driver John Potter did not complete the required three hours of drive time to be eligible.

The season title in GT Daytona went to Christina Nielsen and Alessandro Balzan of the Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3. Nielsen became the IMSA WeatherTech series’ first female champion.


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