Team Penske IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Race Report

July 1, 2018

Track:                  Watkins Glen International
Race:                   Sahlen's Six Hours at the Glen
Date:                   July 1, 2018
No. 6 Acura ARX-05 DPi – Dane Cameron/Juan Pablo Montoya
: 3rd
Overall Finish: 3rd
Class Finish: 3rd
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 202/202
Laps Led: 124
Points Position: 3rd (-13 pts)

  • Dane Cameron qualified the No. 6 Acura ARX-05 Prototype in the fourth position in Saturday's qualifying session, but received a one-spot bump on the starting grid as the pole winner moved to the back of the field after a driver change.
  • At the drop of the green flag, Cameron wasted no time in jumping to the lead as he moved past the two leaders on entry into the first corner.
  • At the 22-minute mark of the six-hour event, Cameron made slight contact with the No. 90 machine of Tristen Vautier while trying to put him a lap down. The contact resulted in slight, left-front damage to the Acura but did not affect the performance of the car.
  • Cameron led a total of 60 laps as he stayed in the car for three stints – under very hot conditions at Watkins Glen – before handing the reins over to Juan Pablo Montoya.
  • Montoya continued to the strong showing for the team as he immediately jumped out to a one-minute lead over the field. He would pace the field for 11 additional laps before Cameron returned to the seat.
  • The final two stints of the race were left to Montoya. On the last pit stop of the day, Montoya was engaged in a strong battle off pit road with the No. 10 of Jordan Taylor. Taylor was able to grab the lead for the ensuing restart, but Montoya put pressure on him going into the first three corners.
  • Unfortunately, while the two battled for position, the No. 99 of Scott Simpson was able to get by both drivers to take the lead. Montoya did a great job in holding off the No. 54 of Romain Dumas before a fuel-pickup issue on the final corner allowed the former Team Penske driver to get by him as Montoya brought the Acura home in the third position.
  • With the finish, Cameron and Montoya moved to the third position in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype standings, 13 points out of the lead.

"Everybody at Acura Team Penske did an amazing job today. This to drive. It was tough today. This is one of the tracks where the ‘P2' cars [built to FIA LMP2 regulations] have a huge advantage on fuel and top speed. We were fighting with the Wayne Taylor car for the lead [late in the race] and I passed him and the 99 car [Stephen Simpson] came from like five cars back to pass both of us.  Then coming out of the last corner, I think the [fuel collector tank] was empty.  I bogged down, it came back but it was enough to cost us second place."
Juan Pablo Montoya
No. 7 Acura ARX-05 DPi – Helio Castroneves/Ricky Taylor
: 2nd
Overall Finish:  12th
Class Finish: 12th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 198/202
Laps Led: 10
Points Position: 6th (-20 pts)

  • Ricky Taylor qualified the No. 7 Acura ARX-05 Prototype in the third position, but also received a one-spot bump on the starting grid as the pole winner moved to the back of the field after a driver change.
  • Like his teammate, Dane Cameron, Taylor did yeoman's work during his first time behind the wheel as he too did a triple stint in the No. 6 Acura while pacing the field for four laps before Helio Castroneves took over for him.
  • Castroneves also kept the team towards the front of the field, eventually leading six laps.
  • Unfortunately for the team, at the 2:30 minute mark of the six-hour race, Castroneves came to pit road with a gear shifting issue that required multiple trips to pit road for repairs. The issue also caused Castroneves to speed on pit road, meaning the three-time Indianapolis 500 winner would have to serve a pass-through penalty once the repairs had been made.
  • Once Castroneves was able to return to racing he was scored five laps down to the race leaders, but the team continued to work on a plan to maximize the day.
  • However, throughout the remainder of the race the strategy only allowed for the team to make up one of the five laps, resulting in a 12th-place finish.
  • The result dropped Castroneves and Taylor to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype standings. 20 points back of the leaders.

"Man, the No. 6 Acura Prototype drove amazingly well. It's honestly the best car I've ever had here at Watkins Glen. It's a shame we ran into shifting issues with Helio in the car. I know we both would have liked to have had a shot there at the end. But the car handled so well that I didn't think much about the heat. I mean, it was hot but a car that drives like that makes it easier on you."