Team Penske IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Race Report - Petit Le Mans

October 18, 2020

Track:    Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta
Race:     Petit Le Mans
Date:     October 17, 2020
No. 6 Acura ARX-05 DPi – Dane Cameron/Juan Pablo Montoya/Simon Pagenaud
Start: 1st
Overall Finish: 3rd
Class Finish: 3rd
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 460/460

  • The No. 6 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 DPi trio of Dane Cameron, Juan Pablo Montoya and Simon Pagenaud battled through plenty of adversity, and one of the most-exciting finishes to an IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IWSC) race in recent memory, to finish on the podium in third place in the prestigious Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta (MRAA) on Saturday night.
  • Cameron paced the field at the start of the 10-hour endurance race thanks to his second-consecutive IWSC pole position on Friday afternoon, setting a MRRA lap record in the process.
  • As in the last race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Cameron was able to drive out to a commanding lead during his first stint before turning the No. 6 Acura over to Montoya on the second pit stop of the day.
  • Both Montoya and Pagenaud were able to keep the No. 6 Acura at the front of the field before Cameron returned to the seat for his second stint on lap 195.
  • Toward the end of the eighth pit cycle of the day and in position to cycle to the race lead, Cameron was one of four drivers involved in two, separate incidents on the exit of the first turn on lap 228. After pitting for repairs, the 2019 IWSC Championship Acura team restarted from the fifth position when the race resumed.
  • To make up the lost track position, the engineering crew on the No. 6 Acura elected to pit off-sequence to the leaders, allowing the team to move up to the third position throughout additional stints by Montoya and Pagenaud.
  • Unfortunately, the race ended under the yellow flag and the team was not able to advance their position any further, but the finish marked the first podium result for the team in 2020.

"All in all, it was a good day for the No. 6 Acura ARX-05 team, but it was a little disappointing because we dominated the first half of the race. What happened to Dane has happened to all of us at some point. It happened to me in the last race at Mid-Ohio. It's tough to recover from that but we did a great job in maintaining a gap to the leaders. I thought we had enough pace to win the race, but when we lost the track position it made it very difficult. There is a lot of traffic at Road Atlanta and that makes it hard to make up any ground."

No. 7 Acura ARX-05 DPi – Helio Castroneves/Ricky Taylor/Alexander Rossi
Start: 2nd
Overall Finish: 2nd
Class Finish: 2nd
Status:  Running
Laps Completed: 460/460

  • A thrilling finish to Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta (MRRA) on Saturday night saw Ricky Taylor battle for the win in the No. 7 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 DPi before contact with the race-leading No. 31 resulted in a second-place finish for the team.
  • Combined with wins in the three previous races, the No. 7 Acura team has scored an average finish of 1.25 over the last four events to remain in contention for the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship (IWSC) with two races remaining.
  • Taylor helped secure the second front-row lockout in as many races for Acura Team Penske in the Friday afternoon IWSC time trial session, the team's fourth-consecutive top-two starting position. 
  • Following a driver change to Helio Castroneves on the second pit stop of the day, contact with a GT entry forced the No. 7 Acura team to change the front wing on the subsequent pit stop, dropping Castroneves to fifth in the running order.
  • After a stint by Alexander Rossi, who was making his first start at MRRA, Taylor jumped back behind the wheel and was able to take over the lead during the eighth pit cycle of the day as the race leaders were involved in an incident in the first turn, just in front of the No. 7 Acura.
  • Over the final two hours of the 10-hour endurance event, the No. 7 Acura and the No. 31 waged a strong battle with one another, swapping the leader several times to set up the intense finish.
  • With 10 minutes remaining, Taylor made a move to the inside of the No. 31 and the two made contact that resulted in the No. 31 spinning off course. The incident allowed the No. 10 to move into the lead and they were able to hold off the No. 7 Acura as the race finished under caution.
  • The next race for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship DPi class will be the Monterey Sports Car Championship at picturesque WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on November 1.  

"I have to thank everyone at Acura and Team Penske for the speed they brought this weekend to Petit Le Mans. We showed all weekend that we were going to be tough to beat and it played out that way in the race. I hate the way that it ended and in no way did I mean to take out the 31 car. It's Petit Le Mans. Everyone wants to win this race and I saw an opportunity to do that for my team. To come home second is a solid points day but we were the car to beat at the end and I'm bummed that we didn't end on top of the podium."