Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup Leaders Parlay
Successful Outings At Sebring Into Points Lead
Post-Daytona Leaders Remain Atop Post-Sebring Standings In Three Of Four
Classes; Mercedes-AMG Team Rides Sebring Win To Top Of Class
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 21, 2017) – While the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship still has 10 of its 12 races to come on the 2017 schedule, we’ve already reached the halfway point in the battle for the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup following last Saturday’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida.
The Patrón Endurance Cup rewards top performers in the four WeatherTech Championship endurance races: the Rolex 24 At Daytona, which was contested on Jan. 28-29, the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on March 18, the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen on Sunday, July 2 and the 10-hour Motul Petit Le Mans on Saturday Oct. 7. Points are awarded at strategic intervals for each race, with five points going to each class leader at those intervals, followed by four points for second place, three for third, and two points for all others from fourth place onward.
With back-to-back victories in the Rolex 24 and Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R team and drivers Jordan and Ricky Taylor appropriately find themselves atop the Patrón Endurance Cup standings with a total of 32 points. In addition to winning both races, the team has earned the maximum five points in five of the seven points-paying segments thus far.
The No. 10 holds a three-point advantage, 32-29, over the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R team of Christian Fittipaldi, Joao Barbosa and Filipe Albuquerque. Fittipaldi, Barbosa and the No. 5 team are three-time defending Patrón Endurance Cup champions, having won the title each year since its inception in 2014. In the battle for Patrón Endurance Cup manufacturer honors, Cadillac leads with a perfect 35 points, followed by Nissan with 23 points and Mazda with 20.
In the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class, the No. 911 Porsche GT Team of Patrick Pilet, Dirk Werner and Frederic Makowiecki kept their brand-new Porsche 911 RSR atop the Patrón Endurance Cup standings for the second consecutive race. While the No. 911 team didn’t win either race, it has earned maximum points in three of seven segments and four points in two others.
It’s a narrow, one-point lead, however, as the No. 911 team currently has 27 points, with the No. 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT trio of Dirk Mueller, Joey Hand and Sebastien Bourdais sitting on 26 markers after Sebring. The No. 66 team won the GTLM class in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona. Ford also leads the Patrón Endurance Cup manufacturer standings by two over Porsche, 30-28.
Three of the four teams leading Patrón Endurance Cup standings after Daytona continued to lead following Sebring. This includes the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA FLM09 squad of James French, Pato O’Ward and Kyle Masson in the Prototype Challenge (PC) class. In fact, the No. 38 team has accomplished something that no team has done in Patrón Endurance Cup history: it has a perfect record of leading every segment through the first three races of the season.
Performance Tech Motorsports leads the No. 26 BAR1 Motorsports team by a healthy, 12-point margin, 35-23, over the No. 26 BAR1 Motorsports team. The No. 8 Starworks Motorsport and No. 20 BAR1 Motorsports teams are tied for third in PC with 20 points apiece.
The lone newcomer to the top of the Patrón Endurance Cup standings comes from the GT Daytona (GTD) class. Following its class victory in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the No. 33 Riley Motorsports-Team AMG Mercedes-AMG GT3 team of Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Mario Farnbacher now lead the class with 25 points.
The No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 shared by Christina Nielsen, Alessandro Balzan and Matteo Cressoni is second in the Patrón Endurance Cup GTD standings with 22 points, while the No. 86 Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Acura NSX GT3 shared by Ozz Negri, Jeff Segal and Tom Dyer is third with 20 points after leading the standings following the Rolex 24. Mercedes-AMG also leads the Patrón Endurance Cup GTD manufacturer standings by six, 29-23, over Audi, which won last year’s title.
Next up for the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup will be the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen on July 2. The next race for the WeatherTech Championship, the BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach – featuring the P, GTLM and GTD classes – is scheduled for Saturday, April 8 and will be televised live on FOX at 4 p.m. ET.