Michelin Endurance Cup Champions Crowned
The four IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup champions were determined at the end of Saturday’s Motul Petit Le Mans round at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.
Action Express Racing, Performance Tech Motorsports, Ford Chip Ganassi Racing and Riley Motorsports clinched the four class titles based on points accumulated across the four long-distance rounds of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Pipo Derani and last year’s champions Felipe Nasr and Eric Curran won the DPi title after winning the season-ending race in their Action Express-run No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R.
The trio overturned a two-point deficit to Wayne Taylor Racing’s Renger van der Zande and Jordan Taylor to come away with a three-point lead in the final points table.
With opportunities to score at the four-hour, eight-hour and 10-hour marks of the race, the Whelen crew accumulated 13 points over the course of the race, compared to the eight registered by WTR.
This set Action Express ahead of WTR in the end-of-year points table for the second year in a row, while Cadillac scooped its third straight manufacturers’ prize ahead of Acura, Mazda and Nissan.
Action Express pair Filipe Albuquerque and Joao Barbosa finished third in the final standings, overtaking Mazda Team Joest’s Harry Tincknell and Jonathan Bomarito.
The GT Le Mans class saw Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook – who finished second at Petit with Scott Dixon – overturn a deficit to Porsche’s Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet to seal the title.
Ford’s No. 67 crew scored the maximum of five points at the four-hour milestone, before taking a further eight across the next two segments.
This gave Briscoe and Westbrook a total of 38, which was enough to beat Tandy and Pilet, who had led since the second Endurance Cup round at Sebring, by a single point.
The result also set Ford ahead of Porsche in the manufacturers’ table, after the Blue Oval arrived at Road Atlanta five points clear of both Porsche and Chevrolet.
It marked Ford’s third consecutive manufacturers’ title in the endurance-only competition.
In GT Daytona, Riley Motorsports defended its advantage heading into the season finale as Ben Keating, Felipe Fraga and Jeroen Bleekemolen were crowned champions.
Despite scoring one point fewer than their main rivals Toni Vilander, Cooper MacNeil and Jeff Westphal in the race, the Riley Mercedes trio still came away with the trophy on a tally of 37 points, compared to the Scuderia Corsa Ferrari crew’s 35.
The final class title on offer in LMP2 was won by Performance Tech Motorsports drivers Cameron Cassels and Kyle Masson.