#60: Meyer Shank Racing W/Curb-Agajanian, Acura ARX-06, GTP: Colin Braun, Tom Blomqvist - Victory Lane

IMSA: MSR Acura strokes it to win the Chevrolet Grand Prix

Playing their energy management strategy to perfection, Meyer Shank Racing led an Acura 1-2 sweep of today’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, with Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport finishing second for Acura.

In the premier GTP division for hybrid prototypes, Blomqvist and Braun had their #60 MSR Acura ARX-06 at the front of the field for the majority of the two-hour, 40-minute contest, despite a flurry of incidents and late-race caution flags turned the race into a contest of pit stop strategies.

Stretching their final run for an impressive 78 minutes, MSR held on for the victory; with the sister WTRAndretti Acura of Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque coming home second.

The victory is the second of the season for Acura, both 1-2 results, with the previous win coming at the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona.  In scoring their first overall win today at CTMP, the Meyer Shank organization became the first GTP team to win multiple WeatherTech Championship races in 2023 in the new hybrid prototype era.

Today’s victory moves Braun and Blomqvist to sixth in the championship after six of nine races; while Albuquerque and Taylor are third in the standings, just 29 points out of first.

Taylor and Garcia Return Corvette to victory in GTD Pro

Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor chased down the leaders Sunday and won the GT Daytona Pro (GTD PRO) class of the Chevrolet Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

The victory was the first for the team in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship since March 2022. Before the slump, Corvette had won five of the previous seven season championships in IMSA GT classes.

GTD Pro winning #3 Corvette
GTD Pro winning #3 Corvette

“It’s perfect,” Taylor said. “The Chevrolet Grand Prix, to be in a Corvette here, kind of our stomping grounds … it’s a classic Corvette victory.”

Taylor pitted from fourth place just 33 minutes into the race. Garcia replaced him and drove the No. 3 car up to second place in just 10 minutes and into the lead shortly after that. The two combined to hold the lead to the finish of the two-hour, 40-minute race.

#3 Corvette takes the checkered flag

“We deserved this win for a long time,” Garcia said. “We came so close many times. We were really struggling to pace at most of the races. … Finally, we got what we deserved.”

The No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R (992), co-driven by Patrick Pilet and Klaus Bachler, finished second on the team’s home soil as the race ended under caution.

Daniel Juncadella and Jules Gounon brought the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 home in third place to keep the GTD PRO points pressure on the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 co-driven by Ben Barnicoat and Jack Hawksworth, who put the car on pole Saturday but finished fourth Sunday.

Barnicoat and Hawksworth continue to lead the WeatherTech Championship GTD PRO standings with 2,110 points. Juncadella and Gounon are currently second, 96 points behind, while Garcia and Taylor closed to within 109 points of the lead with five races still remaining on the calendar.

Corvette’s timing was as flawless as its on-track performance. As Taylor and Garcia celebrated their victory in Canada, their teammates celebrated a championship in Italy.

A fourth-place finish in the Six Hours of Monza helped Corvette Racing and co-drivers Nicky Catsburg, Ben Keating and Nico Varrone clinch the championship in the GTE Am class of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The victory at CTMP and the championship at Monza were especially gratifying in light of news last month that Corvette Racing will shift its attention toward support of customer teams in 2024.

At CTMP, strategy and a never-give-up attitude were credited for ending the 13-race IMSA slump.

“We made some good strategy calls early in the race and jumped two of the guys,” Taylor said. “Antonio just stayed out of trouble on that last restart and just drove it to the finish. It’s finally great to be back in victory lane. Hopefully this will kind of kick-start the second half of the year for us.” by Jeff Olsen

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