GT Le Mans Heads To Circuit of The Americas With New Points Leader

Please see attached press release, below is a text-only version.

GT Le Mans Heads To Circuit of The Americas With New Points Leader

Nielsen Looks To Extend Lead In GT Daytona Standings At Lone Star Le Mans

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 14, 2015) – Fresh off a win at VIRginia International Raceway, new GT Le Mans (GTLM) points leader Patrick Pilet heads into the Lone Star Le Mans at Circuit of The Americas with a five-point advantage over second place drivers Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen, 248-243.

Pilet overtook the No. 3 Corvette Racing duo in the standings after capturing his third consecutive GTLM victory at VIR in the No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR with co-driver Nick Tandy. Tandy, who won overall at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans with Porsche North America teammate Earl Bamber, is hoping to help Pilet edge closer to the GTLM championship in Texas’ version of the endurance classic.

“I can’t wait for the race, mostly because the season is coming to a close and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but COTA is a great circuit to race on,” said Tandy. “The Esses are amazing in a high-downforce car, but really I prefer the last section with the long Turns 16-18 leading directly into the very tricky Turn 19. You can give up in some parts to be good in the next but you have to try to keep the rhythm and flow up in this section.

“Realistically we need to be around the [Corvette Racing] No. 3 car for the next two events. We can afford to finish behind them both times as long as they don’t win both races. The aim is for a very good run at COTA so that the pressure is eased for the final round.”

Third in the standings are BMW Team RLL drivers Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner in the No. 25 IHG Rewards Club BMW Z4 GTLM with 240 points, eight points behind Pilet. Giancarlo Fisichella and Pierre Kaffer in Houston-based Risi Competizione’s No. 62 Ferrari F458 Italia, and John Edwards and Lucas Luhr in the No. 24 BMW Team RLL IHG Rewards Club BMW Z4 GTLM are tied for fourth with 233 points.

Bamber and co-driver Joerg Bergmeister are fifth in the GTLM team standings with 225 points in the No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR while Team Falken Tire co-drivers Bryan Sellers and Wolf Henzler are sixth in the points with 214 in the No. 17 Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR.

Corvette Racing’s No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R drivers Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner had success of their own in June’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, winning the GTE-Pro class with Prototype (P) driver Jordan Taylor. The pair currently sits seventh in the standings with 206 points.

Nielsen Looks To Extend Six-Point GT Daytona Standings Lead

Christina Nielsen extended her GT Daytona (GTD) lead to six points after a second-place finish at VIR, her fourth of the season. Nielsen, who is already looking ahead to Road Atlanta, is hoping to stretch that lead out even further at the Circuit of The Americas with TRG-AMR co-driver Kuno Wittmer.

“Circuit of The Americas is a really cool track, and I think our car is going to be good there. I’m looking forward to it,” said Nielsen. “Of course, I’m really looking to Road Atlanta. It is my favorite track and Petit is my favorite event, so I can’t want to get there.”

The TUDOR Championship season ends with the Petit Le Mans Powered by Mazda, set for Oct. 3 at Road Atlanta. Nielsen is looking to become the first woman in history to win a major international sports car championship.

Second in the points, trailing TRG-AMR’s No. 007 Royal Purple/Orion Energy/LaSalle Solutions/PassTime USA Aston Martin Vantage 232-226, are Scuderia Corsa’s Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell in the No. 63 Robert Graham/Royal Purple Ferrari 458 Italia. Sweedler and Bell won at the most recent event at VIR, giving Ferrari its first TUDOR Championship win since the series’ inaugural race, the 2014 Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Close on the Ferrari’s heels are Paul Miller Racing drivers Christopher Haase and Dion von Moltke in the No. 48 Castrol EDGE Audi R8 LMS with 224 points. The pair held the top spot in GTD for much of this season before falling behind Nielsen after Road America and Sweedler and Bell following VIR.

The Lone Star State will be well represented in the GTD class with three teams and drivers that call the Circuit of The America’s their home track.

Texan Ben Keating and co-driver Jeroen Bleekemolen are the defending GTD winners at Circuit of The Americas in the No. 33 Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R and currently sixth in the standings with 209 points. The No. 33 team won most recently at Road America.

A second Texas-based team will field a Viper this weekend – Lone Star Racing’s No. 80 ACS Manufacturing Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R driven by Dan Knox of Pilot Point, Texas, and Marc Goossens, who finished second in the GTLM class at the Texas circuit in last year’s event.

Jason Hart of Flower Mound, Texas, will join Mike Vess in the return of Flying Lizard Motorsports’ TUDOR Championship GTD entry, the No. 45 Vess Energy Group Audi R8 LMS. Flying Lizard’s No. 35 entry finished 13th in the 2014 Lone Star Le Mans. Also competing on Saturday will be Dallas-based Park Place Motorsports No. 73 Park Place Porsche 911 GT America co-driven by Patrick Lindsey and Spencer Pumpelly, who are eighth in the GTD standings with 203 points.

Other GT Daytona contenders include Cooper MacNeil and Leh Keen in the No. 22 Alex Job Racing WeatherTech Porsche 911 GT America, the No. 23 Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing Heart of Racing Porsche 911 GT America for Ian James and Mario Farnbacher, the No. 44 Magnus Racing Flex Box Porsche 911 GT America for Andy Lally and John Potter, the No. 76 Compass360 Racing AERO Advanced Paint Technology/Children’s Tumor Foundation Audi R8 LMS for Ray Mason and Pierre Kleinubing, and the No. 97 Turner Motorsport Alverez & Marsal/IHG Rewards Club BMW Z4 for Michael Marsal and Markus Palttala.

The Lone Star Le Mans, Round 11 of the 2015 TUDOR Championship, will be televised live on FOX Sports 2, beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Sept. 19. The race will be rebroadcast on FS1 on Sunday, Sept. 20, beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET.


Nate Siebens

Senior Manager, IMSA Communications

(386) 310-6568


imsa-gt preview cota-rls.pdf

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