The 2015 IMSA WeatherTech season opened at Daytona International Speedway in January with the traditional Rolex-24. It was followed by the historic 12-Hours of Sebring, Long Beach, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Detroit, Watkins Glen, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Lime Rock, Road America, VIRginia International Raceway, Circuit of the Americas and a 10-hour finale at Road Atlanta.

There were four classes:

  • Prototype (P) – These are purpose built race cars and the quickest in the series. Included in this group are Daytona Prototypes from the former Grand-Am series and P2 cars. Manufacturers such as Ford, Chevrolet, Honda and Mazda are supplying engines that produce 550-600 horsepower. Chassis’ competing in the category include the Corvette DP, DeltaWing DWC 13, Mazda/Lola, Riley DP, Ligier JS P2 and Ford DP.
  • Prototype Challenge (PC) – This is a spec class using the ORECA FLM09 chassis. The cars are powered by Chevrolet LS3 engine which produces approximately 485-horsepower.
  • GT Le Mans (GTLM) – Cars in this class are highly modified production vehicles from manufacturers such as Ferrari, Porsche, Chevrolet and BMW. As a result, a wide range of engine configurations and displacements are employed. The series technical staff uses a number of methods to ensure that teams are competing on a ‘level playing field’. Most of the teams competing in this group are receiving factory support.
  • GT Daytona (GTD) – This is also a production based class but does not allow the same level of technological improvements that can be made to GTLM cars. Vehicles in the category include Audi R8 LMS GT3, Porsche 911 GT3-R, Ferrari 488 GT3 and Dodge Viper GT3-R. Similar to GTLM, the technical staff uses a number of methods to ensure parity.

In 2014, the American Le Mans and Rolex Sportscar series merged to form the new Tudor United SportsCar Championship. The main concern among teams was whether their current equipment would be competitive in the new series. While progress had been made in the first year to balance the performance of different GT marques, the series was challenged by their premier class – the Prototypes. Those ‘in the know’ recognized that it would be difficult to achieve parity between the Daytona and Le Mans Prototypes as they were designed and constructed using different rules. But, the series technical officials listened to the teams and continued to make progress on this issue in 2015.

Race seven of twelve for the 2015 Tudor United Sportscar Championship was conducted at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Twenty-three entries would compete in a 2-hour and 40minute race around the ten-turn 2.459-mile road course. This event would not include the Grand Touring Daytona category.

The Prototype categories prepare to enter corner ten at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for round seven of the 2015 Tudor United Sportscar Championship. On the pole, for the third time this year is the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP shared by the Taylor brothers, Ricky and Jordan. On the outside of the front row is the No. 5 Action Express Corvette DP of Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi.
The Wayne Taylor Racing duo of the brothers, Ricky and Jordan Taylor were seeking redemption at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. In the previous round at Watkins Glen, the pair were contenders until a spin took the No. 10 Corvette DP out of contention. Ricky qualified on the pole and led the first twenty-seven circuits. They would move back into first place for the final eight laps and score their first victory of the season.
The fastest qualifier in GTLM was Nick Tandy driving the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR, he was the first repeat pole-sitter after seventeen events. Sharing the Porsche with Tandy was Patrick Pilet. Tandy led early in the contest, closely pursued by the BMW of Dirk Werner. During the final round of stops, the Tandy/Pilet Porsche won the race exiting the pits. From this point on, Tandy took control of the contest and captured the win.
Performing the qualifying duties for the No. 31 Action Express Racing Corvette DP was Eric Curran. He would start round seven in the fifth position. Curran and his teammate, Dane Cameron, would lead the most laps at fifty-four during the race. The final pit stop gave the advantage to the Wayne Taylor Racing team. Cameron chased the eventual winner, Jordan Taylor, but came up short by a margin of 0.477-seconds.
In round seven, CORE Autosport teammates Jon Bennet and Colin Braun extended their Prototype Challenge lead to ten points over Mike Guasch and Tom Kimber-Smith. Gentleman driver, Bennet, qualified and started the race in the No. 54 ORECA FLM09. He held his own before passing the car over the Braun. Braun moved into the lead for good during hour two and despite steering issues, he won by a one-lap margin.
The GTLM competitors enter Canadian Tire Motorsport Park’s final turn in anticipation of the green flag. On the front row is the pole-sitter, Nick Tandy, in the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR. Beside Tandy is the second-fastest qualifier, Dirk Werner, in the No. 25 BMW Z4 GTE. The teams for the No. 4 Corvette, No. 912 Porsche and No. 17 Porsche decided to change tires after qualifying and were required to start at the back of the grid.
The No. 24 BMW Z4 GTE of John Edwards and Lucas Luhr crashed in corner three during the opening practice session. Proving that damage was minimal, Luhr qualified third fastest among the GTLM competitors. The pair remained in contention throughout the contest. Edwards drove the final stint and passed his teammate, Bill Auberlen, with three laps remaining for a runner-up finish in class.
Driving the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing prepared Ligier JS PS2 was John Pew and Oswaldo Negri, Jr. Pew was responsible for qualifying the Ligier and would start sixth on the grid. In the race, they used the first and only caution period to change drivers. Unfortunately, the car’s power steering failed, which posed a considerable challenge for Negri. He was able to lead eighteen laps during his stint but would finish in third place.
Corvette Racing’s, Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen arrived at round seven tied for the GTLM points lead with BMW’s, Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner. In the qualifying session, Magnussen was the faster of the two Corvettes, but his time left him fifth in class. Garcia finished the race and chased down Bill Auberlen, who was struggling with his tires. Garcia made the pass and captured the final position on the rostrum.
The Prototype Challenge category became a race of attrition. The winners from CORE Autosport had the field covered, leaving the remaining positions up for grabs. The RSR entry joined the race late and Starworks and PR1 / Mathiasen Motorsports lost engines. At the finish, the No. 16 BAR1 Motorsports ORECA FLM09 of John Falb and Sean Rayhall were second in class, followed by JDC / Miller Motorsports – albeit one lap behind.
Round seven at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park would break the tie between GTLM point leaders from BMW Team RLL and Corvette Racing. Bill Auberlen and his co-driver were atop the standings with Corvette’s Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen. With the tires failing on Auberlen’s No. 25 BMW Z4 GTE late in the contest, Garcia made a successful pass leaving Auberlen to finish fourth in class.
Entering Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, the Prototype championship leaders were the team. Drivers, Richard Westbrook and Michael Valiante, were victorious at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Watkins Glen. Valiante was fourth fastest during the race seven qualifying session. The pair led three laps during a round of pit-stops, but was never in contention and finished fourth overall.
Round seven of the 2015 Tudor United Sportscar Championship was a moral victory for the Claro / TracFone DeltaWing Racing team. A series of issues from the transmission, suspension, brakes to electrical prevented lead drivers Memo Rojas and Katherine Legge from completing a single event. Despite contact during the race, the pair finished seventh in class – albeit three laps behind the leaders.

1PRicky Taylor / Jordan TaylorCorvette DP128-
2PEric Curran / Dane CameronCorvette DP128-
3PJohn Pew / Oswaldo Negri Jr.Honda HPD Ligier JS P2128-
4PRichard Westbrook / Michael ValianteCorvette DP128-
5PJoao Barbosa / Christian FittipaldiCorvette DP128-
6PJoey Hand / Scott PruettFord EcoBoost Riley DP127-
7PTom Long / Joel MillerMazda Prototype126-
8PCJon Bennett / Colin BraunORECA FLM09125-
9PMemo Rojas / Katherine LeggeDeltaWing DWC13125-
10PCTodd Slusher / John FalbORECA FLM09124-
11PCMikhail Goikhberg / Matthew McMurryORECA FLM09123-
12GTLMPatrick Pilet / Nick TandyPorsche 911 RSR122-
13GTLMJohn Edwards / Lucas LuhrBMW Z4 GTE122-
14GTLMJan Magnussen / Antonio GarciaChevrolet Corvette C7.R122-
15GTLMBill Auberlen / Dirk WernerBMW Z4 GTE122-
16PCBruno Junqueira / Chris CummingORECA FLM09122-
17GTLMOliver Gavin / Tommy MilnerChevrolet Corvette C7.R122-
18GTLMPierre Kaffer / Giancarlo FisichellaFerrari F458 Italia122-
19GTLMJörg Bergmeister / Earl BamberPorsche 911 RSR121-
20PCMike Guasch / Tom Kimber-SmithORECA FLM09104Power Steering
21GTLMBryan Sellers / Wolf HenzlerPorsche 911 RSR103Engine
22PCRenger van der Zande / Mirco SchultisORECA FLM09101Engine
23PCJames French / Conor DalyORECA FLM0986Engine

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