Morning rains gave way to sunshine and a hot, dry race Sunday allowing Michelin and its technical partner teams from Corvette Racing, SRT Dodge Viper, BMW and Porsche to shine brightly in both conditions as the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship made its Canadian debut at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Michelin teams combined to take the top seven positions in the rugged GT Le Mans (GTLM) class as Corvette Racing’s Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia reeled off a fourth consecutive class victory in the two hour 45 minute race. Finishing second and third for the second consecutive race were the SRT Dodge Vipers of Kuno Wittmer with Jonathan Bomarito, and teammates Dominik Farnbacher and Marc Goossens.
They were followed by the factory BMW Team RLL’s John Edwards and Dirk Mueller, the factory Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR of Nick Tandy and Richard Lietz, BMW’s Andy Priaulx and Bill Auberlen and Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner.
Once again the best GTLM race laps from the top Michelin technical partner teams from Corvette Racing, SRT Dodge Viper, BMW and Porsche fell into an incredibly tight range with the top five finishers posting best race laps within a 0.106 second window with Bomarito’s 1:16.577 setting the standards.
Bomarito’s co-driver, Canadian favorite Wittmer of Montreal secured the GTLM class pole for the Dodge Viper SRT factory team.
The fast and flowing 10 turn, 2.459 mile circuit rewards the bold but carries significant risks on its blind rises and high speed corners that require high driver confidence and commitment and consistent handling.
The race morning warm-up session, held in full wet conditions saw Michelin technical partner teams take five of the top six positions overall, including the top three spots, with the Corvette Racing C7.Rs pacing the entire field.
“It was very satisfying for our technical partner teams and drivers and Michelin engineers and tire developers to see our teams perform at such a high level in both wet and dry conditions on a very fast track,” said Silvia Mammone, motorsports marketing manager, Michelin North America. “Things went so well in the wet conditions that some of our teams and engineers were almost disappointed that the track dried for the race.”
Taking the overall victory was the Oak Racing Nissan Morgan P2 prototype entry driven by Olivier Pla and Gustavo Yacaman. The victory makes Oak Racing the sixth different team and Nissan the fourth manufacturer to claim an overall victory in the seven TUDOR Championship Prototype events to date.
Bob Ulrich was named Modern Tire Dealer editor in August 2000. He joined the magazine in 1985 as assistant editor, and has been responsible for gathering statistical information for MTD's "Facts Issue" since 1993.