Weekend Recap: Toyota's Team Orders, Post-Race Drama in Detroit & More
Catch up on a busy weekend of racing with full coverage on Sportscar365...
Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Brendon Hartley won the 8 Hours of Portimao after Toyota switched the positions of its Le Mans Hypercars twice in the final stint.
Buemi, driving the No. 8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid, breezed past the No. 7 car of Jose Maria Lopez, Kamui Kobayashi and Mike Conway coming out of the Turn 5 hairpin with 10 minutes to go and went on to take the checkered flag by a margin of 1.8 seconds.
The organized place change occurred seven minutes after Buemi allowed Lopez through at the same point on the 4.6 km Algarve International Circuit.
Buemi moved into the lead of the race with around half an hour remaining, when Lopez made a pit stop to take on enough fuel in order to reach the end. The No. 8 Toyota’s strategy throughout the race meant that it did not need an additional service.
Lopez made use of a Full Course Yellow period to complete his splash whilst Buemi was driving at the 80 km/h control speed, which left the Toyotas only four seconds apart.
Lopez rapidly closed that gap before Buemi was asked to cede the position, but the change only lasted a handful of minutes as the Swiss driver soon found himself back in front.
Van der Zande, Magnussen Claim IMSA Victory in Detroit
Renger van der Zande held off a hard-charging Felipe Nasr to give Chip Ganassi Racing its first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship victory with Cadillac in Saturday’s Chevrolet Sports Car Classic in Detroit’s Belle Isle.
The Dutchman survived a late-race caution and restart with three minutes to go to edge out the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R by 0.573 seconds.
Having led from green, the No. 01 Cadillac held control of the 100-minute race, which was appearing to come down to a fuel mileage race until a full course caution with nine minutes to go for the stopped No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 of Bill Auberlen.
It marked a Saturday sweep in Belle Isle for Ganassi, which won the first NTT IndyCar Series of the weekend with Marcus Ericsson, while Magnussen claimed his first-ever sports car racing win in only his fourth start.
CarBahn Penalized, Heart of Racing Aston Wins in GTD
Roman De Angelis was left nearly speechless after getting the news that he and co-driver Ross Gunn inherited the GT Daytona class victory in Saturday’s Chevrolet Sports Car Classic at Belle Isle following a post-race infraction for CarBahn by Peregrine Racing.
De Angelis and Gunn finished second on the road in their No. 23 The Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 although a post-race audit by IMSA demoted the Jeff Westphal and Richard Heistand-driven Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo to last in class due to the car not meeting the minimum refueling time during its full fuel load stop.
It marked both drivers’ and the Ian James-led team’s first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship win, albeit it under unusual circumstances.