Team Penske IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Race Report

July 8, 2018

Track:                  Canadian Tire Motorsports Park
Race:                   Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix
Date:                   July 8, 2018

 No. 6 Acura ARX-05 DPi – Dane Cameron/Juan Pablo Montoya
: 1st
Overall Finish: 17th
Class Finish: 10th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 111/116
Laps Led: 35
Points Position: 5th (-21 pts)

  • Dane Cameron qualified the No. 6 Acura ARX-05 Prototype in the second 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.
  • Cameron immediately jumped out to a commanding lead as the two-time, defending winner at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (CTMP) looked to become only the third driver to win three races in a row at the track. 
  • Further evidence of the speed of Cameron's Acura Prototype was the fact that in the first five minutes of the race he set a new record for the fastest race lap run at CTMP at 1:07.259 seconds.
  • Cameron ran a majority of the race and looked to be the driver to beat before a cut tire at the one-hour and 21-minute mark forced him to pit road. To make matters worse, the No. 6 Acura Prototype driver ran the red light at the end of pit road upon returning to the track and was forced to serve a 60-second hold penalty, dropping him down two laps to the leader.
  • Juan Pablo Montoya, making his first start at CTMP, took over the No. 6 at the two-hour and 13-minute mark. More bad luck struck the team as he took to the track when a loose wheel came off the machine, severing a brake line. After further repairs the team found themselves down five laps to the leader.
  • With few laps remaining in the two-hour and 40-minute race, Montoya got up to speed quickly but did not have enough time to improve the team's position in class, but he did pick up one spot in the overall running order.
  • With the finish, Cameron and Montoya dropped to the fifth position in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype standings, 21 points out of the lead.

"A disappointing end to a really strong weekend for us at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. We led a bunch of laps at the beginning and the car was outstanding. It was cool to set the fastest race lap with the No. 6 Acura. It was difficult to manage the fuel numbers with the small capacity we have but everything was right on target before if fell apart. I'm disappointed in myself for making that mistake on pit road that made our tire puncture issue even worse. It's always disappointing when one gets away, but it was a strong weekend. We are showing our strength right now. Now we just need to execute a little better to win one."
Dane Cameron

No. 7 Acura ARX-05 DPi – Helio Castroneves/Ricky Taylor
: 5th
Overall Finish:  5th
Class Finish: 5th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 116/116
Laps Led: 0
Points Position: 6th (-23 pts)

  • Helio Castroneves qualified the No. 7 Acura ARX-05 Prototype in the sixth 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, Juan Pablo Montoya, amazingly Castroneves was also making his first start at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. To maximize the experience of his co-driver on the No. 7 Acura Prototype, Ricky Taylor, the strategy was to make the driver change early in the race.
  • Castroneves relinquished the seat to Taylor at the 20-minute mark of the race, just before a full-course caution flew. With the early driver change pit stop and the small fuel capacity of the Acura Prototypes, the caution gave the team an opportunity to come down pit road to top off with fuel to help them hit their numbers.
  • When the race resumed, Taylor did a great job to run inside the top five while keeping the No. 54 car – the pole position winner – behind him all while keeping an eye on his fuel numbers.
  • Taylor ran as high as third in the second half of the race, but lost two positions in turn five at the one hour and 50-minute mark due to an understeer issue in that corner.
  • Late in the race Taylor and the No. 5 Prototype made contact while battling for position, which led to the alignment being altered in the No. 7 machine over the remaining laps, but Taylor was able to bring it home with a top-five finish.
  • With the finish Castroneves and Taylor remain sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype standings, 23 points back of the leaders.

"I don't think I have ever fought so hard for two and a half hours. It was a long day out there but the No. 7 Acura ARX-05 was really fast. We had an aggressive strategy and things just didn't fall our way to make it happen. It's certainly not easy to pass here at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park and having to save fuel as much as we did, sometimes we just got stuck and couldn't go anywhere in traffic. But we kept at it and never gave up. This is a strong team and we will be ready when we get to Road America."
-Ricky Taylor