Photos by MSA Staff
Winning three of the four longest races in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship carried Honda to the coveted manufacturer’s championship in the 2016 Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup.
Ed Brown, Scott Sharp, Johannes van Overbeek and Pipo Derani opened the year with back-toback victories in the Rolex 24 At Daytona and Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida in the No. 2 Tequila Patrón ESM Honda Ligier JS P2, and then finished second in Saturday’s season-ending Petit Le Mans Presented by Harrah’s Cherokee Resort Casino behind the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Curb Records/AERO Honda Ligier JS P2 of Ozz Negri, John Pew and Olivier Pla.
Winning the opening four-hour segment of Saturday’s finale enabled Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa in the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype to clinch their third consecutive Patrón Endurance Cup driver and team titles. The team won Round 3, the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.
A solid start – winning at Daytona and Sebring – again gave Corvette Racing the boost to sweep GT Le Mans (GTLM) honors. However, it was the No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R with drivers Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin which took the prize, giving Corvette Racing back-to-back team titles following 2015 winners Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia in the team’s No. 3 Corvette C7.R.
GT Daytona (GTD) saw the top prizes split among Audi, Magnus Racing and Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing drivers Mario Farnbacher and Alex Riberas. While a violation of IMSA rules regarding minimum driving time cost the No. 44 Magnus Racing team the class victory at Petit Le Mans, the nine points earned by the car in the four- and eight-hour segments carried Magnus Racing to the team championship.
Riberas and Farnbacher, meanwhile, earned the GTD driver honors in the No. 23 Heart of Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R. In addition, the two points earned for a sixth-place finish by the No. 9 Stevenson Motorsports Audi R8 LMS GT3 were enough to secure the manufacturer’s title for Audi.
For the second consecutive year, PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports took top honors in Prototype Challenge (PC), while Robert Alon, Tom Kimber-Smith and Jose Gutierrez piloted the No. 52 Prisma/Professional Security Consultants/Westfield ORECA FLM09 to the driver’s title.