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Sunday, 1 October 2017

2017 Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix, America's Tire 250 - IMSA Prototypes

Ricky Taylor in the Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-VR leads the field on lap one through turn one at Laguna Seca.   All eight prototype entries including the Daytona Prototype international cars and the LM P2 cars can be seen in this photo.
The America's Tire 250 was the feature race at this year's Continental Monterey Grand Prix weekend.  It was a round of the 2017 IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship.  This blogpost features the eight prototype cars that battled for overall victory.  Pictures are from practice, qualifying, warm up and the race.   In qualifying Ricky Taylor was in scintillating form and broke the lap record on the way to pole.  He also led the race early on.  However, yellow flags and pit stop strategies and a last minute overtake meant that the surprise winner was the Visit Florida Racing Ligier JS P2 17 of Renger van der Zande and Marc Goossens.  This was the first win for an LM P2 car in IMSA this year.
Christian Fittipaldi tries to get around the outside of Ricky Taylor at turn two on lap one.  Ricky held his position ands quickly pulled out a lead.
The IMSA Prototype Drivers

Top Row, Left - Marc Goosens (Visit Florida Racing)
Top Row, Middle - Joao Barbosa (Mustang Sampling Racing)
Top Row, Right - Renger van der Zande (Visit Florida Racing)
Center Row, Left - Jordan Taylor (Konica Minolta Cadillac)
Center Row, Middle - Ricky Taylor (Konica Minolta Cadillac)
Center Row, Right - Scott Sharp (Tequila Patron ESM)
Bottom Row, Left - Eric Curran (Whelen Engineering Racing)
Bottom Row, Middle - Luis Felipe Darani (Tequila Patron ESM)
Bottom Row, Right - Christian Fittipaldi (Mustang Sampling Racing)

The Results
Here are the eight prototype class cars in the order they were classified at the finish.  The eight prototype cars filled the top eight positions overall.

1st - Visit Florida Racing - Marc Goosens/Renger van der Zande - Ligier JS P2 17 - 114 laps
The winning Visit Florida Ligier LM P2 car exits turn ten during Saturday practice.
2nd - Whelen Engineering Racing - Dane Cameron/Eric Curran - Cadillac DPi-VR - 114 laps
The Whelen Engineerng Racing Cadillac in the Corkscrew during the race.
3rd - Konica Minolta Cadillac - Ricky Taylor/Jordan Taylor - Cadillac DPi-VT - 114 laps
The Konica Minolta Cadillac in the Corkscrew during the race.
4th - JDC Miller Motorsports - Misha Goikhberg/Stephen Simpson - Oreca 07 - 114 laps
The JDC-Miller Motorsports Oreca 07 at the Corkscrew during the race.
5th - Mustang Sampling Racing - Christian Fittipaldi/Joao Barbosa - Cadillac DPi-VR - 114 laps
The Mustang Sampling Racing car entering turn six during qualifying.
6th - Tequila Patron ESM - Ryan Dalziel/Scott Sharp - Nissan Nismo DPi - 114 laps 
The No.2 Nissan during the Fan Grid Walk in the Laguna Seca Pit lane.
7th - PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports - Jose Gutierrez/Olivier Pla - Ligier JS P217 - 114 laps
The PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Ligier in the pits during the warm up.
8th - Tequila Patron ESM - Johannes van Overbeek/Luis Felipe Derani - Nissan Nismo DPi - 113 laps 
The No.22 Nissan at the Rainey Curve during the race.
More Pictures
The winning Ligier and the Whelan Cadillac starting to lap the GT Daytona cars into turn two.
The battle between the Whelen Cadillac and the Visit Florida Ligier at the Corkscrew.  Eventually the Visit Florida car overtook the Whelan car just before he end into the Corkscrew.
The Oreca leads a Nissan through the Corkscrew.
The Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac at the Corkscrew late in the race.
Race morning preparation on the Whelen Cadillac.
The Nissan pits garage on race morning.
The Oreca cockpit.
For photos of the IMSA prototypes at this year's 12 Hours of Sebring, click here.

For the Lamborghini Super Trofeos at Laguna Seca, click here.

John Etherton asserts his copyright to all of the photos on this blogpost.  However, you may post the photos elsewhere on the web as long as you credit the photographer, John Etherton, and this blog post, and provide a link to this page.
John Etherton affirme son droit d'auteur à l'ensemble des photos sur ce billet de blog. Cependant, vous pouvez poster des photos ailleurs sur le web aussi longtemps que vous créditez le photographe, John Etherton, et ce blog, et fournissez un lien vers cette page.
The winning Ligier during Saturday's practice.

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