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Joey Barnes

IMSA Petit Le Mans: Ganassi Cadillac heads BMW at half distance

Matt Campbell had Porsche Penske Motorsport’s #7 963 out front for the majority of the running since the race ticked over past the two-and-half hour mark.

It lost the lead following a driver change, as this year's Indianapolis 500 winner Josef Newgarden on his GTP class debut took over the 963 for the first time after just over four hours of running.

The #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-06 that started on pole was running as high as second in Ricky Taylor's hands, but fell back to fourth before a driver swap to Filipe Albuquerque further relegated the crew to sixth.

Sebastien Bourdais turned up the wick in the #01 Ganassi-run Cadillac V-Series.R and rose up to second before handing over to van der Zande with roughly six hours remaining.

The #25 BMW M Team RLL Hybrid V8 driven by Yelloly was able to get by Newgarden for second at 15 minutes before the halfway mark.

Newgarden would fall down another spot moments later, when Harry Tincknell’s customer Proton Competition 963 squeezed by for third.

The #6 PPM 963 that was involved in the multi-car crash earlier was able to return to action with seven hours left, albeit 68 laps down with Mathieu Jaminet behind the wheel.

In the LMP2 class the TDS Racing ORECA-Gibson 07 driven by Mikkel Jensen was firmly in control by 17s over Nolan Siegel's CrowdStrike Racing by APR version before a pitstop and driver change seven minutes before the halfway mark.

That vaulted Siegel to the top as Scott Huffaker took over from Jensen and emerged 18s behind in second. PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports’ #52 entry of Alex Quinn is third.

#11 TDS Racing Oreca LMP2 07: Steven Thomas, Mikkel Jensen, Scott Huffaker (Photo by: Art Fleischmann)

AWA is out front in the LMP3 division, with Mathew Bell's #13 Duqueine D08 narrowly ahead of Garett Grist in the #30 entry for Jr III Racing in the closest battle on-track.

Jarett Andretti brought out the caution near the three-hour mark when his #36 Andretti Autosport Ligier JS P320 went off course and became stuck in the gravel in Turn 5. It got back into the race after a tow under caution, which was further extended when the #17 AWA Duqueine D08 of Wayne Boyd was stranded by a fuel pressure issue and had to be towed back to the pits from near Turn 8.

The GTD Pro title had already been clinched by British duo Ben Barnicoat and Jack Hawksworth when they took the start in their #14 Lexus RC F GT3, but it wasn't to be a happy day for the Vasser Sullivan Racing crew.

After a pit stop, Barnicoat appeared to clip the kerbing slightly at the Esses, which upset the car enough to send it off course. The splitter dug into the ground and ripped the front end from the car, littering that portion of the 2.54-mile road course with debris to bring out a caution while his stranded car was removed from near Turn 7.

Corvette Racing’s #3 C8.R went back to the lead, even following a pit stop, which saw Tommy Milner swapped for Jordan Taylor. A Ferrari 296 GT3 occupied second, with Risi Competizione’s Daniel Serra ahead of WeatherTech Racing’s #79 Mercedes AMG GT3 of Maro Engel in third.

Winward Racing’s Indy Dontje held the GTD class lead in his #57 Mercedes AMG GT3, nearly 5s ahead of the similar Korthoff/Preston Motorsports example of Mikael Grenier. Patrick Gallagher is third, 8s back in Turner Motorsport’s BMW M4 GT3.

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