Hawksworth, Barnicoat Take First GTD PRO Win

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. — Weather conditions varied throughout the IMSA Fastlane SportsCar Weekend at Road America, but the GTD PRO class featured one constant — domination by the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 driven by Jack Hawksworth and Ben Barnicoat.

The pair of British drivers teamed up to lead 51 of the 62 laps completed of the classic 4.048-mile Wisconsin road course to claim their first victory together of the season.

They won by 0.760 second over GTD PRO championship leaders Matt Campbell and Mathieu Jaminet in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R, with Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor taking third place in the No. 3 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R.

Hawksworth earned the Motul Pole Award Saturday at a track where the Lexus has traditionally excelled. He led the opening stint of the race, handing off to Barnicoat after 40 minutes when the first of four full-course cautions flew.

Switching to Michelin rain tires from slicks, Barnicoat briefly lost the lead to Jaminet in the Pfaff Porsche. But the shower was brief, requiring a switch back to dry tires at the next round of yellow flag pit stops. 

Barnicoat took the lead soon after the subsequent restart, with one hour and eight minutes remaining in the two-hour, 40-minute race. Jaminet was able to keep the Lexus within a second, but never seriously challenged as Barnicoat scored his second career IMSA win and his first in GTD PRO.

Hawksworth now owns eight career WeatherTech Championship race wins.

“That was definitely I’d say the toughest race I’ve ever done,” said Barnicoat. “I’d never really done a lot of driving in this car in the wet before, and I made a mistake and the No. 9 got past me. I was really determined not to let that get that better of us.

“The fuel number I had to hit for the strategy was just crazy,” he added. “We knew it was going to be an extreme challenge, and to keep him behind while doing that was the toughest thing I’ve ever done. The yellow at the end fell for us and I was able to hold him off.”

Jaminet said he was disappointed to see the caution fly with less than 10 minutes remaining, but he admitted that he was unlikely to be able to pass Barnicoat unless the Lexus ran into a problem.

“It seemed like they found the right switch at the end to get some extra top speed they didn’t have at the beginning,” Jaminet commented. “We’ve been sometimes lucky this year and today was maybe a bit against us.

“All in all, it was a good race, and P2 is quite good for our championship with only two rounds to go.”

With the Road America victory, Barnicoat, who ranks second in the GTD PRO standings, closed the gap slightly. But the Porsche duo still holds a comfortable 227-point cushion as the season winds down.

Ward, Ellis Seal the Deal for No. 57 Mercedes Team in GTD

Russell Ward and Philip Ellis played the stealth game to nab the GTD class victory at Road America in the No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT GT3.

Ward ran the first 40 minutes of the two-hour, 40-minute WeatherTech Championship clash before handing the car off to Ellis. But the team elected to keep Ellis on slick tires at a time when the track was damp and most of his competitors were on Michelin rain tires.

Ellis completed a treacherous stint without making an unplanned pit stop to change tires, assisted by a timely full-course caution.

“That’s when it started to turn for us,” Ward remarked. “We still had to overtake a couple cars and jump guys in pit lane, so it wasn’t an easy battle. The strategy was good and the pit stops were great.”

Ellis took the lead on the 46th of the 60 laps the GTD class completed and was comfortably in front when a late accident caused the race to end under yellow.

Robert Megennis and Jeff Westphal finished second in the No. 39 CarBahn with Peregrine Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3, while Frankie Montecalvo and Aaron Telitz capped a great day for Lexus by taking the final podium finish in the No. 12 RC F GT3.

“We were still on slicks when everybody else was on rain tires and immediately fell to the back of the field,” Ellis said. “I just tried to stay alive on slicks, so we didn’t have to make an extra pit stop. Then we gambled for the second full course yellow, and that kind of saved us at the end.”

“Philip was the star,” Ward added. “This has been coming, and it feels good.”

GTD points leader Steven McAleer finished eighth in the No. 32 Team Korthoff Motorsports Mercedes, immediately behind his closest pursuers Ryan Hardwick and Jan Heylen in the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche. McAleer has a 36-point advantage with two races remaining in the season; three other teams remain within 100 points.

TECH NEWS RELATED

Shell launches Bluetooth-controlled car collection, available from RM30

Shell Malaysia has launched a new remote control car collection that consists of seven of its motorsport cars from seven different types of motorsports – ranging from rally to Formula One. Not just for display, the car collection can be remotely controlled via Bluetooth with your smartphone on the ...

View more: Shell launches Bluetooth-controlled car collection, available from RM30

Charging an EV with home solar and battery could cut annual energy costs by 40 pct

Source: Tesla Homeowners who charge their electric cars at home during the day from a solar panel-and-battery combination could save up to 40 per cent in annual energy costs compared to petrol car ownership, a new study suggests. University of South Australia (UniSA) researchers say record-low prices for rooftop ...

View more: Charging an EV with home solar and battery could cut annual energy costs by 40 pct

Mullen reveals more specs and test-drive tour dates for electric SUV crossover

Image: Mullen Automotive US Nasdaq-listed EV start-up Mullen Automotive has revealed some more of the specs of its ultra-high-performance electric sport crossover the Five RS, ahead of the launch later this month of its “strikingly different” test-drive tour around the US. What we already knew about the Mullen Five ...

View more: Mullen reveals more specs and test-drive tour dates for electric SUV crossover

Citroën branding gets updated for the tenth time in 103 years 

Image: Citroën Image: Citroën Image: Citroën Image: Citroën The double chevrons remain for the latest Citroën branding ahead of a new future of electrification. Here is what badging on the French products will look like from now on.  Image: Citroën Not too long ago, fellow French automaker Peugeot underwent ...

View more: Citroën branding gets updated for the tenth time in 103 years 

Citroën goes retro on its Berlingo-based 2CV Fourgonnette panelvan

Image: Citroën Image: Citroën Image: Citroën Image: Citroën Image: Citroën The Citroën sanctioned Berlingo-based 2CV is the latest retro-inspired build that looks to the past for aesthetic inspiration while the inner workings of a modern vehicle remain.  Image: Citroën Automakers craft bespoke, hand-built models to captivate their audiences all ...

View more: Citroën goes retro on its Berlingo-based 2CV Fourgonnette panelvan

JLR to retrain staff for EV future

BACK TO SCHOOL: Thousands of highly skilled automotive engineers and production employees to specialise in electrification, digital and autonomous cars.What is green?

View more: JLR to retrain staff for EV future

VW bolsters value of Arteon and Touareg

Five-year free servicing, drive-away pricing now available on selected MY22 models

View more: VW bolsters value of Arteon and Touareg

The 2023 Ford F-350 Has Massive Updates on the Way

The Ford F-Series pickup truck line is the best-selling line of pickups in the nation. While there are larger models in that line, the F-350 Ford Super Duty is popular for carrying heavy loads among those needing a work truck and those with recreation in mind. Recent spy photos show ...

View more: The 2023 Ford F-350 Has Massive Updates on the Way

What Is The Best $30,000 Sports Car for Daily and Canyon Driving?

Bye Toyota Rush, hello Yaris Cross for ASEAN? Could happen as early as 2023

CKD 2023 Mazda CX-30 is coming soon, 10 to 20% cheaper than CBU

Rufus River Run: Wentworth to Renmark, NSW-SA

Low capacity raises VinFast questions

3 Fastest EVs and PHEVs of 2022 According to TrueCar

Honda Car Sales Sep 2022 – City, Amaze, Jazz, WRV

NHRA Midwest Nationals Results, Updated Points; Past Champions Dominate the Win Column

Polestar 3 here 2023 at about $160k

Toyota cautions against unrealistic EV expectations

5 of the Best Cars for a V8 Swap

Why I chose the Honda Jazz CVT over the Hyundai i20 N-Line iMT

OTHER TECH NEWS

Top Car News Car News