Race Weekend Central

Nick Tandy, Mathieu Jaminet Win TireRack.com Battle on the Bricks

SPEEDWAY, Ind. – Porsche Penske Motorsport’s Nick Tandy was able to beat teammate Felipe Nasr out of the pits to take the lead with 40 minutes to go Sunday (Sept. 17).

From there, he pulled away to win the TireRack.com Battle on the Bricks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course with teammate Mathieu Jaminet. It is Jaminet and Tandy’s second win of the season after winning at Long Beach in April.

“It’s mega. That was the target this morning,” Jaminet said after the race. “We had a great qualifying. We had a great weekend so far. I have no words. It’s been great with Roger [Penske] here. It feels like a home race. I’m really happy to bring this one home. This puts us right back in the championship, so It’s going to be a fight back in Atlanta.”

It will be as the top three teams are separated by a mere five points. No position in the race is less than a 10-point difference, so it’s a veritable three-way dead heat.

Jaminet and Tandy’s margin of victory was seconds over teammates Nasr and Matt Campbell. BMW M Team RLL’s Connor de Phillippi and Nick Yelloly were third, then Action Express Racing’s Pipo Derani and Alexander Sims. Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport’s Filipe Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor recovered from a crash in the morning warmup to finish fifth.

Campbell started from the pole, but lost the lead at the first corner to Jaminet.

The first lap was definitely action packed as Chip Ganassi Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais spun in turn 1 after contact from BMW M Team RLL’s Philipp Eng. Additional contact resulted Bourdais needing a new nose. Later in the lap, Turner Motorsport’s Chandler Hull spun out and stalled after contact from Sheena Monk to bring out the yellow.

Jaminet and Campbell were able to pull away from the rest of the pack once teh green came back out. Behind them, there were a series of spins. Turner Motorsport’s Patrick Gallagher clipped the grass and spun in turn 7. Then, Nolan Siegel spun in turn 13. A couple of laps later, Era Motorsport’s Dwight Merriman went across Dennis Andersen’s nose and spun at the same place.

What could have been a real game changing moment occurred when Merriman came together with Kelly-Moss Road & Race’s Alan Metni in turn 14 and spun. Merriman ended up dead in the water in the middle of the frontstretch, bringing out the second caution.

That brought everyone into the pits for the first round of stops. Jaminet managed to beat everyone out of the pits. However, Derani was able to get alongside Tandy leaving his stall. Due to the Michelin RFID reader at the end of the pit lane forcing the cars to go single-file, Derani was forced to yield.

What followed was a lot of confusion and multiple laps of arguments. IMSA officials initiated a review of the running order. Out of that review, Derani ended up in the overall lead, quite the accomplishment after entering the pits in fourth.

Derani spent much of the next hour racing hard against both Nasr and Tandy for the lead, all while driving away from the rest of the GTP class.

Derani held the advantage until he went a little too hot into turn 12. That allowed Nasr to take the overall lead. Derani ended up dropping back to third. Once Derani had been dispatched, he simply couldn’t keep up with the two Penske Porsche Motorsports 963s.

The final pit stops were quite crucial. Nasr entered the pits with the overall lead, but a poor stop allowed Tandy to not only jump over Nasr and take the lead, but pull out seven seconds.

Back on the track, Tandy was able to extend his advantage. The seven-second lead quickly increased to 12 seconds. At that point, Tandy just had to hold on for the win.

In LMP2, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports’ Ben Keating started from the pole and led early. Crowdstrike Racing by APR’s George Kurtz was right on his tail. A couple of laps after the first restart, Kurtz was able to slip past for the lead in turn 1.

Keating was undeterred and managed to run Kurtz back down and retake the advantage. Once he had the lead back, he managed to drive away until the second yellow.

Not everyone pitted during the caution, resulting in a jumbled order. Once things stablized, Tower Motorsport’s Louis Deletraz led the class and was in good position to bring the team their first win of the year.

However, as the race continued on, Deletraz began to fade. At the same time, TDS Racing’s Mikkel Jensen came to life. Jensen was able to run Deletraz down from 50 seconds behind and take the lead away with 26 minutes to go. From there, Jensen pulled away to take his and Steven Thomas‘ second win of the year.

Jensen and Thomas’ margin of victory was 19.909 seconds over Deletraz and Dan Goldburg. Kurtz and Ben Hanley were third, then Keating and Paul-Loup Chatin were a lap down in fourth. TDS Racing’s No. 35 for Rodrigo Sales and Giedo van der Garde was fifth.

LMP3 saw Jr III Racing’s Bijoy Garg start from his first career pole and control the class for the entire first stint of the race. It was only once he exited the No. 29 during the second caution in favor of Guilherme de Oliveira that things began to heat up.

Despite Siegel’s early spin, Jr III Racing’s No. 30 with Garret Grist driving was able to work up to the class lead. MLT Motorsports’ Dakota Dickerson gave chase.

It was the final round of stops that truly decided the class and neither Grist or Dickerson ended up with the lead. Instead, Andrew Wojteczko Autosport’s Wayne Boyd, angry at himself after an early spin, ran eight laps longer than Dickerson before making his final stop, setting quick times in the process. That allowed him to successfully overcut and keep the lead. From there, Boyd held on to take his and Anthony Mantella‘s second win of the year

Boyd and Mantella won by 12.755 seconds over Riley Motorsports’ Gar Robinson and Josh Burdon, who recovered from a crash in qualifying Saturday. Grist and Siegel were third after Dickerson broke in the final five minutes. Garg and de Oliveira were fourth, while Matt Bell and Orey Fidani in the second AWA entry were fifth.

In GTD Pro, the biggest moment of the race came at the very start. Class pole-sitter Klaus Bachler illegally changed lanes in an attempt to block WeatherTech Racing’s Jules Gounon from getting a run on him. That resulted in a drive-through penalty that gave Gounon the lead.

VasserSullivan’s Jack Hawksworth got the lead early on from Gounon, then lost it on pit road during the second caution when Daniel Juncadella got in the No. 79 Mercedes. From there, Juncadella and Gounon were not seriously threatened and only dropped from the lead during pit stop sequences as they took their second win of the year.

Juncadella and Gounon won by 4.394 seconds over The Heart of Racing’s Ross Gunn and Alex Riberas. Hawksworth and Barnicoat were third, while Bachler and Patrick Pilet settled for fourth.

In GTD, Paul Miller Racing’s Madison Snow led early from pole before losing the lead to Mikael Grenier. Snow got the lead back before the second yellow, where he gave way to Bryan Sellers.

A jumbled strategy put The Heart of Racing’s Roman DeAngelis in the lead as they chose not to make a driver change on the first stop. The second stop put Sellers in the lead.

The race ultimately came down to a three-man duel between Sellers, US RaceTronics’ Loris Spinelli and Winward Racing’s Philip Ellis. Sellers was leading until Ellis was able to get past with 32 minutes to go in a clean battle.

Spinelli was not so clean. Spinelli all but drove through Ellis to take the lead with a little more than 10 minutes to go. Ellis wasn’t happy about this move and “gave him a piece of his own medicine” with a few laps to go to retake the lead. From there, Ellis held on to take his and Russell Ward‘s first win of the year.

Ellis and Ward ended up 1.268 seconds ahead of Spinelli and Misha Goikhberg. Sellers and Snow were third, good enough to clinch both the 2023 GTD class championship and the 2023 GTD championship in the WeatherTech Sprint Cup.

DeAngelis and Marco Sorensen ended up fourth with their alternate driver change strategy. Gallagher and Robby Foley recovered from their early spin to finish fifth.

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship TireRack.com Battle on the Bricks Unofficial Results

There is only one more WeatherTech race remaining in 2023. That is the 10-hour Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. The race is scheduled to go green at 11:40 a.m. ET on Oct. 14. Coverage will start at 11:35 a.m. ET on Peacock. USA Network coverage will pick up at 6:30 p.m. ET and go to the finish.

About the author

Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.

Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.

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