Renger van der Zande took advantage of a late caution period to score the third Prototype Challenge (PC) victory of the season for the No. 8 Starworks Motorsport Martini ORECA FLM09 co-driven by Mirco Schultis and Alex Popow.
“This is my second time at Petit Le Mans and my second win,” said Popow, who won with CORE autosport in 2012. “To win again in my second appearance is incredible, and also to give Starworks its first victory here.”
CORE autosport’s Colin Braun finished second, 10.990 seconds behind in the No. 25 Flex-Box ORECA FLM09, as the team failed to sweep the four Patrón Endurance Cup races. Braun and Jon Bennett added the PC team title to the drivers’ titles they clinched at Austin’s Circuit of The Americas, and also joined James Gue in winning both team and drivers’ championships in the Patrón Endurance Cup in the No. 54 Composite Resources entry.
“I don’t think we had the raw pace that we needed today,” Braun said. “But I think we showed our strength by not giving up. We just kept our heads down and kept working, I wanted to be one spot better, but we came here to win the championship and we were able to accomplish that goal.”
Atlanta-area driver Sean Rayhall was leading the class in the No. 25 8Star Motorsports ORECA FLM09 when he hit the wall in Turn 4 with 19 minutes remaining – bringing out the 13th and final caution of the event. Rayhall – who co-drove with Tom Kimber-Smith and Eric Lux – was uninjured in the incident.
The incident briefly gave the lead to Gunnar Jeannette, who co-drove the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Camp Boggy Creek/Bayshore Family of Companies ORECA FLM09 with Frankie Montecalvo. However, both van der Zande and Braun managed to get by following the restart. Jeannette, who pitted for fuel, held on to finish third.