When the title sponsor for the race is in your backyard, you hope to see them victory lane. For the third straight year, Team Penske did just that.
The Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio was dominated by the two Team Penske Acura’s. Ricky Taylor and Helio Castroneves brought the No. 7 DPi Acura home 0.607 seconds ahead Pipo Derani and Felipe Nasr in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac.
All while the overall lead was being contested. The checkers fell on a repeat win in GTLM with Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia in their No. 3 Corvettes. This was their fourth win of the season and lead to a 1-2 Corvette class finish ahead of the two BMW’s. It was a small GTLM class as Porsche pulled out of the event due to Covid concerns from LeMan’s a week prior.
At the drop of the green flag, Castroneves qualified second fastest, but he dropped to fourth place on the opening lap. While the No. 6 car might have had more ultimate speed, the No. 7 car remained within a few seconds of the lead all afternoon.
The Penske pair led a total of 37 laps and their latest triumph follows victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.
“This is a combination of everyone at Acura Team Penske, not just Ricky and I,” noted Castroneves, who said the last time he won three races in a row occurred in 2000 in Indy cars. “We all work together and share a lot of information. The No. 6 car was probably a little faster than us today, but somehow, we keep winning. But I knew to be patient at the start, and that helped put us here (as the winners) today.”
“It was a great team effort all weekend,” Taylor added. “Everyone learns from each other, and I think that’s why this team is so successful.”
Corvette Repeats with Domination. (Photo Credit: Steve Conley/SEC Imaging)
The No. 3 Corvette has won four of the last six races in 2020. Taylor and Garcia expanded their points lead to 17 over Gavin and Milner, while Chevrolet pushed its advantage to 11 points over BMW.
For Garcia, the result earned some satisfaction. He finished third at Mid-Ohio in 2018 and second last year, both times in the previous version Corvette C7.R. The Spaniard credited the mid-engine C8.R, which debuted in competition this season, for helping propel the victory on Sunday.
“Jordan did a fantastic job all day long, getting on pole and then getting a solid lead even if there were a ton of yellows,” said Garcia, who picked up his 21st career IMSA win and also his maiden Mid-Ohio victory. “When you are in that position, you are in control of the race. The C8.R worked perfectly again today. Not only on a quick lap but the consistency through the stint was the main thing. … The C7 was good as we proved over the years, but this is definitely a step forward.”
The No. 25 BMW, driven by Bruno Spengler and Connor De Phillippi finished third, with the sister No. 24 BMW co-piloted by Jesse Krohn and John Edwards placing fourth.