Ganassi Ford EcoBoost, Corvette Racing, Riley Motorsports Dodge Start Strong With WinsCORE autosport Leads PC In Repeat Attempt After Second-Place Finish
Following an historic sweep for American engine manufacturers in the 53rd Rolex 24 At Daytona, teams with Chevrolet, Dodge and Ford powerplants take slim class leads in the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup to Sebring International Raceway for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida.
The Patrón Endurance Cup is a four-race competition encompassing 52 hours of endurance racing in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. In addition to January’s Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Twelve Hours of Sebring (March 21), the Patrón Endurance Cup also includes the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, June 28, and closes with the 10-hour Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda at Road Atlanta on Saturday, Oct. 3.
The No. 02 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Ford EcoBoost/Riley (Prototype), No. 3 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R (GTLM) and No. 93 Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R (GTD) each rode race wins in the Rolex 24 to the Patrón Endurance Cup lead in their respective classes. In addition, the No. 54 CORE autosport ORECA FLM09 team leads in PC following a second-place result. Chevrolet is the spec engine in the PC class.
In the Prototype class, Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 02 Ford EcoBoost/Riley accumulated 16 points, three more than the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP driven by Jordan Taylor, Ricky Taylor and Max Angelelli and the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP of Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi and Sebastien Bourdais, which earned 13 points each. The No. 02 entry driven by Kyle Larson, Jamie McMurray, Tony Kanaan and Scott Dixon also helped Ford to the lead in the manufacturer standings, 18-17, over Chevrolet.
While the Rolex 24 came down to Chevrolet vs. BMW in the GTLM class, Corvette Racing’s No. 3 and No. 4 entries have a sizable lead in the Patrón Endurance Cup by finishing one-two in three of the race’s four segments. The No. 3 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R and drivers Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen and Ryan Briscoe went on to win the race – leading two of the race’s four segments – to carry a one-point lead, 18-17, over the team’s No. 4 Corvette C7.R which led the opening segment, but finished the race in third. The No. 25 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE is third with 11 points.
CORE autosport and drivers Jon Bennett, Colin Braun, James Gue and Mark Wilkins lead the Patrón Endurance Cup in PC despite a heartbreaking finish. The team was first at the end of the race’s opening three segments and seemed poised for a repeat victory in the Rolex 24, but an incident with 20 minutes remaining handed the race win to the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports team. Still CORE autosport holds a four-point lead, 19-15, over the race winners with JDC/Miller Motorsports in third at 12 points.
The No. 93 Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R team raced from the back of the grid to win three of the four segments in the GTD class. The team and drivers Al Carter, Dominik Farnbacher, Kuno Wittmer and Cameron Lawrence lead the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 team by four points, 19-15, heading to Sebring. Ben Keating also was a part of the race-winning lineup, but was entered to score points in the team’s No. 33 Dodge Viper entry.
A purse of $300,000 is awarded to the champions of the Patrón Endurance Cup with $100,000 going to the Prototype and GTLM championship-winning teams and $50,000 going to the PC and GTD championship-winning teams.
The Patrón Endurance Cup round winners at each endurance event receives a limited edition bottle of Gran Patrón Platinum, numbered and signed by Francisco Alcaraz himself, the creator of the Gran Patrón Platinum recipe and Tequila Patrón’s Master Distiller and Blender.