Last year, Wayne Taylor Racing and Action Express Racing were the two pillars of Cadillac's overwhelmingly successful DPi program. This year, Acura poached WTR from Cadillac to replace Penske Racing as their top partner and were immediately rewarded with an overall win at the Rolex 24 at Daytona. WTR came into Long Beach with a chance to effectively seal a class championship for the program, but they struggled to keep up with the pace of the Cadillacs on the street circuit and their old rivals at AXR pounced.
WTR's Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque would finish a respectable fourth, but they were outshined by all three Cadillacs. It left them 50 seconds behind the race winners, the No. 31 AXR entry of Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani, and saw their championship lead dwindle down to a manageable number ahead of November's season-ending Petit Le Mans.
It means season honors will be on the line for drivers, teams, and manufacturers in the ten hour classic. Last year, those circumstances led Wayne Taylor Racing to win for Cadillac when the Action Express Cadillac and the lead car from Penske's now-shuttered Acura program crashed into each other in the closing hour. This year, the lead teams for Cadillac and Acura will have a shot at each other while four other competitive full-time entries attempt to steal the final endurance race of the season.
In GTLM, Nick Tandy and Tommy Milner led another predictable 1-2 for Corvette Racing in the 3-car class. Their No. 4 car has now won three season races, one fewer than the No. 3 in what has become an entirely internal competition as the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche continues to be uncompetitive most race weekends. The class will again expand to five cars when BMW's part-time M8 GTE program returns for Petit Le Mans, the last-ever IMSA race for the GTLM category.
In GTD, Brian Sellers and Madison Snow won their first race of the season in the No. 1 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini after beating out two fast Porsches from Pfaff Motorsports and Wright Motorsports. GTD still has two races to run, but the win puts the Miller Lamborghini in position to claw back into the championship battle at VIR. The second place finish for Pfaff moves Laurens Vanthoor and Zacharie Robichon into the lead of that title hunt.
The GT classes race at VIR on October 9th, but DPi, LMP2, and LMP3 do not race again until the season-ending Petit Le Mans. That race is scheduled for November 13th.
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