Garcia, Taylor win soggy GT-only ROVAL round

Corvette Racing’s Antonio Garcia took the No. 3 Corvette Racing C8.R to victory lane at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday night on NASCAR ROVAL weekend.

Garcia and Taylor celebrate their fifth wins of the 2020 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. (Picture Credit: Corvette Racing’s Twitter)

Background

IMSA had a 20-year abscence in Charlotte before Saturday’s race at The ROVAL — the first sports car race in twenty years in Concord, North Carolina.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual GT-only IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship event held at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut was rescheduled on the 2.28-mile infield course at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

With the NASCAR weekend from The ROVAL previously scheduled, IMSA and NASCAR added the GT-only 100-minute sprint race.

The Petit Le Mans 10-hour race at Road Atlanta is scheduled for October 17th, making less than a week turnaround for the GT teams.

The Porsche GT Team returned to the paddock, being forced to skip last month’s round at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course due to positive COVID tests within the Porsche factory team.

Start

The race was pushed back an hour due to an extended NASCAR Xfinity Series event that went into Overtime and ended over an hour past the scheduled time slot.

Because of Hurricane Delta, rain poured on the Charlotte, NC area all day. Nearly the entirety of the WSCC race was held in rainy conditions, racing on a soaked circuit.

GT Le Mans

The win marks the fifth for Garcia and Jordan Taylor this season in their first full-season together.

The No. 3 Corvette races around the soaked Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL. (Picture Credit: Corvette Racing’s Twitter)

Finish

In the final 25 minutes of Saturday’s Motul Grand Prix, Garcia passed BMW Team RLL’s No. 24 for the top spot. However, a late-race caution was displayed following a crash with the Corvette’s sister car, which appeared to blow a tire in the midst of “Speedway Turns 3-4”.

Porsche’s Dud

Both Porsche 911 RSR – 19’s were eliminated within the opening 15 minutes of Saturday’s race. Between their two entries, only 12 laps were completed in the 62 total lap race. Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber were unable to take over the seat of their respective Porsches.

Early in the race, both Porsche GT’s spun at similar times. Laurens Vanthoor nicked the wall while Frederic Makowiekci spun exiting the opening corner. Repairs weren’t sufficient for both cars.

GT Daytona

Bill Auberlen scored his 62nd career WSCC victory Saturday from the ROVAL.

‘62’ Dominant

Auberlen led the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW to their second victory on the 2020 WSCC season in the midst of wet-weather, passing several competitors in convincing ways.

The No. 96 BMW was on another level Saturday. Auberlen set the fastest lap in the GTD class, and was 0.652-seconds slower than the best GTLM lap, however, that lap was 0.656-seconds faster than the next GTD lap. Auberlen was so fast, he was closer to GTLM cars than his next in-class competitor.

The victory for Auberlen extends his All-Time Win Record in the WSCC to 62 class victories.

Auberlen takes the checkered flag at Charlotte Motor Speedway Saturday. (Picture Credit: IMSA / Michael L. Levitt & Getty Images)

The night started with an early spin by the car’s Am-driver, Robby Foley.

Hawksworth’s Failed Pass

On the final restart, Jack Hawksworth attempted a daring pass on GTD-championship leader Mario Farnbacher. Unfortunately for both, Hawksworth failed to execute the pass properly, spinning the No. 86 Acura.

Race control penalized Hawksworth, sending the No. 14 Lexus down pit lane with just minutes left on the clock.

As a result, AIM Vasser Sullivan failed to place a car on the podium.

Results

Saturday marked the sixth win for Corvette Racing’s new C8.R, which debuted just this year at the Rolex 24 Hours. After winning Mid-Ohio last month, it also marks the second straight for Garcia and Taylor.

GTLM Results

Pos.: Drivers (No.) Team – Laps

1: Antonio Garcia / Jordan Taylor (3) Corvette Racing – 62

2: Jesse Krohn / John Edwards (24) BMW Team RLL – 62

3: Bruno Spengler / Connor De Phillippi (25) BMW Team RLL – 62

4: Oliver Gavin / Tommy Milner (4) Corvette Racing – 54

5: Nick Tandy / Frederic Makowiecki (911) Porsche GT Team – 8

6: Earl Bamber / Laurens Vanthoor (912) Porsche GT Team – 4

 

GTD Results

Pos.: Drivers (No.) Team – Laps

1: Bill Auberlen / Robby Foley (96) Turner Motorsport – 61

2: Ryan Hardwick / Patrick Long (16) Wright Motorsports – 61

3: Ian James / Roman De Angelis (23) Heart of Racing – 61

4: Townsend Bell / Michael De Quesada (12) AIM Vasser Sullivan – 61

5: Alvaro Parente / Misha Goikhberg (57) Henricher w/ Meyer Shank – 61

6: Rob Ferriol / Spencer Pumpelly (30) Team Hardpoint – 61

7: Mario Farnbacher / Matt McMurry (86) Meyer Shank Racing – 61

8: Aaron Telitz / Jack Hawksworth (14) AIM Vasser Sullivan – 61 

9: Jeff Kingsley / Paul Holton (76) Compass Racing – 60

10: Gar Robinson / Lawson Aschenbach (74) Riley Motorsports – 60

11: John Potter / Andy Lally (44) GRT Magnus – 25

12: Till Bechtolsheimer / Marc Miller (22) Gradient Racing – 9

Unofficial Motul Grand Prix Results by Class (PDF)

acoon9919@gmail.com'
Adam Coon

At 17 years old and attending high school, I have spent my weekends and free time covering motorsports on my Instagram page since July 2016. From Upstate New York, I am a devoted racing fan always looking to meet more people who share the same love I do.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *