Image courtesy of Circuit of The Americas™ Facebook page.
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship 2015 proved to be an amazing weekend, and if you weren’t fortunate enough to experience the thrill of engines purring and rubber burning at Circuit of The Americas™, don’t worry! We’ve got your recap right here! Both the mercury and the tension were high in Austin this weekend as drivers raced to take the checkered flag for a number of unique competitions. Check out the highlights below to see what you missed!
FIA World Endurance Championship
This exhilarating six-hour race was held Saturday evening, beginning before sunset and finishing under the stars with a stunning fireworks display! 2014 saw Audi claim a sweep of first and second place at Circuit of The Americas™ after battling it out with Porsche and Toyota, but in 2015, Porsche was victorious as the No. 17 Porsche 919 Hybrid finished over a minute ahead of its competition. The drivers of the winning Porsche team included Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and former Formula 1™ driver Mark Webber. During his driving career with both F1™ and Le Mans, Webber raced at COTA™ no less than three times but hadn’t been able to pull out a win until now. Fourth time’s the charm, right?
Audi was forced to settle for second and third places with their R18 E-Tron Quattro. In second place were No. 7 drivers Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer, while fellow Audi drivers Lucas di Grassi, Loïc Duval and Oliver Jarvis took bronze. Porsche currently possesses a 36-point lead over Audi as the two manufacturers look ahead to their October race, 6 Hours of Fuji.
Full race results can be seen on FIA WEC’s website!
Saturday’s early race, the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, saw Scott Pruett and Joey Hand take the pole in the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Riley-Ford. This season has been tough for the No. 01 team, but Pruett says that “everything came together” leading up to his 60th career win in North American sports car racing. Hand managed to clock in as the race’s fastest driver and said that “a good race car…makes everything a lot easier.” That may be true, but driver skill and luck play pretty big parts as well!
The No. 01 team finished nearly 17 seconds ahead of brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP. Ricky Taylor took the lead late in the race, but was overtaken by Hand within four laps! Finishing in third was prototype points leader Richard Westbrook in the No. 90 VisitFlorida.com Corvette DP, who teamed up with co-driver Michael Valiante to orchestrate their exciting finish after mechanical struggles threatened their performance.
Didn’t get a chance to catch the TUDOR Championship race? See it in its entirety below, courtesy of the TUDOR Championship’s YouTube channel, and check out race results here!
Lamborghini Super Trofeo
The largest grid in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North American series to date was seen this weekend as 26 total Lamborghinis lined up for double-header action at Circuit of The Americas™! Both Huracán and Gallardo models competed, but it was the Huracán that dominated both rounds. When comparing the two models, the results weren’t even close – the highest finish a Gallardo driver achieved in either round was 14th place!
In Race 1 on Thursday, Richard Antinucci and Edoardo Piscopo took the lead early on and finished first in the No. 50 O’Gara Motorsport Huracán. The two drivers both cited brakes and tires as a big concern due to the challenging nature of the COTA™ track and high Austin temperatures, but ultimately the No. 50 team prevailed over the sweltering conditions. Race 2 saw Enrique Bernoldi claim his first win of the season in the No. 01 Prestige Performance Huracán by saving his tires and completing each lap with consistency.
Full results for both races can be found here!
Porsche GT3 Cup
This one-make series proved to be extremely kind to driver Angel Benitez, Jr. in the No. 05 JDX Racing / Hertz car, as he took first place in both rounds of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge at IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship! He even set a new race lap record of 2:13.801 during the second race of the weekend as he took the checkered flag for his fifth win of the season! Elliott Skeer piloted the No. 14 Wright Motorsports Porsche to two brilliant finishes in both races, taking silver during the first race and third place in Race 2.
Get Your Name on the Waiting List for the 2016 IMSA Weathertech sportscar championship!
Though the temperatures were high this weekend, guests with Circuit of The Americas Experiences Official Ticket Packages stayed cool with covered seating in the most exciting sections of the track and access to an exclusive on-site party in the Paddock Building! They also had access to exclusive meet and greets with exciting guests such as drivers from CJ Wilson Racing - see photo to the right and check out our 2015 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Facebook photo album here! Add your name to our 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship waiting list to be notified as soon as Circuit of The Americas Experiences Official Ticket Packages are available!