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IMSA Michelin at Daytona: Riley Motorsports leads a Mercedes one-two finish

IMSA Michelin at Daytona:

• Riley Motorsports leads a Mercedes one-two finish
• Maxwell uninjured in roll-over

Daytona Beach, FL, Jan 24/20 (GRW): The No. 35 Riley Motorsports of Dylan Murry/Jim Cox/Jeroen Bleekemolen started in 15th place but they led 60 of the four-hour race’s 110 laps including the final ten to take the race win. The No. 57 Mercedes of Bruce Ward and Philip Ellis came home in second place 1.2 seconds back after leading briefly late in the race.

The No. 13 McLaren driven by Canadian drivers Orey Fidani and Kuno Wittmer qualified on the pole and they led the first 21 laps before losing the lead to the No. 46 Chevrolet Camaro of Hugh and Matt Plumb. The No. 13 car finished in 38th place after sustaining a pit lane penalty and car trouble.

The No. 39 Audi R8 of Jeff Westphal/Tyler McQuarrie qualified in third place and finished in fourth. The No. 4 Mercedes of Russell Ward and Indy Dontje finished in third place making it a three-car Mercedes sweep. Torontonian Kyle Marcelli, teamed with Nate Stacy in the No. 60 Aston Martin which had arrived only a few days before the race, finished in fifth place after leading for six laps before being overtaken by the victorious No. 35 Mercedes.

Scott Maxwell was paired with fellow Torontonian Marco Signoretti in the No. 19 Multimatic Mustang GT4. Maxwell started in 13th place and was soon up to ninth after the race started. With only about eight minutes left in the race, he tangled with Kris Wilson in the No. 99 Aston Martin at the entrance to the bus stop chicane. The car slammed into the barrier, flipping over onto its roof. This brought out another yellow which stayed out until the race’s four-hour duration ran out.

Eventually, Maxwell emerged from the car, was taken to the medical centre for a check up and he was released uninjured soon after.

There seems to be a growing interest in both the GS (GT4) class and the TCR class which make up this series. This season-opener had nine makes among its 33 GS entries while the TSR touring sedan class had 18 entries with four makes represented. This car count in both categories is well up from recent years.

The TSR class was a one-two-three sweep for the Audi RS3s, with the pair of Gavin Ernstone and Jon Morley winning in the No. 61 car.

Click HERE for the race results.

The Next IMSA Michelin Pilot race will be run at Sebring on Thursday, March 19

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