The No. 67 Ford GT of Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe finished second in Sunday’s IMSA Continental Tire Road Race Showcase – a disappointing result for the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing team after the pairing led the GTLM field for much of the day.
The closing five minutes of the race were intense in GTLM. Westbrook led the field to green on the third and final restart with five minutes to go, while the Ferrari 488 GTE of Toni Vilander sat second and the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR of Nick Tandy was third.
When the green came out, the Ferrari and Porsche showed greater pace than the Ford. Tandy got a run up the Ford and Ferrari on Turn 5 but spun, pushing him to the back of the field. Vilander then looked poised to move into first but spun after making contact with the No. 55 Mazda Prototype, allowing the No. 4 Corvette C7.R of Tommy Milner to move into second.
On the final lap it was clear the No. 4 C7.R had better pace than the slightly damaged No. 67 GT. Milner easily worked his way around Westbrook to take first by 0.730 seconds, while Wesbtrook claimed second and the No. 100 BMW Team RLL BMW M6 GTLM of John Edwards took third. The result helped the leading Corvette team grow their lead over second place’s CGR-Ford crew in the GTLM standings.
“It was bumper cars at the end,” Westbrook said post-race “I thought we had enough, but I just had nothing on the restart. (The winning car) cleared me by the time we hit the braking zone. It was a tough one to take.”
“It was really disappointing to miss the win,” Briscoe added. “I think we deserved it. The guys did an awesome job in the pit, strategy was great, the car was handling great. We did everything right, but the race was 10 minutes too long and Richard did a great job to bring it home in second.”
The pole-sitter No. 66 Ford GT, meanwhile, was never truly in the race after suffering a suspension failure shortly after the race’s start. Joey Hand enjoyed a good start, but his suspension soon began pulling to the right, forcing him to the pits for repairs and putting the team four laps down from the rest of the GTLM field.
The IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship heads to Virginia International Raceway next for the Michelin GT Challenge. Click here for full results from Road America and here for a complete schedule for VIR.