After taking pole position, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates were able to drive to victory in their Ford EcoBoost Daytona Riley Prototype at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas Saturday. The result was the team’s first win since TUDOR visited COTA in 2014 and was the first win for driver Joey Hand since climbing aboard the Ganassi ship at the beginning of this year.
Ford easily walked away with the win, with Hand and co-driver Scott Pruett leading Ricky Taylor in his Corvette DP by a significant 16.9-seconds when the checkered flag came out. The space between them and the rest of the Prototype field helped them avoid becoming entangled in a wreck or incident, of which there were many.
The first came when Dane Cameron in the No. 38 Action Express Racing Corvette DP tried to make an aggressive maneuver on PC driver Renger van der Zande. Cameron ended up hitting the curbing, clipping van der Zande and taking them both off the track. He was handed down a drive-thru penalty for the incident and recovered to finish fifth.
There was more controversy when the sister No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP of Joao Barbosa was hit by Ferrari driver Townsend Bell, putting him into a spin, Barbosa later retaliated, making side-to-side contact with Bell’s car. He would be handed a 60-second stop-go penalty for the incident and ended up 10th as a result.
The No. 90 VisitFlorida.com Racing Corvette DP of Richard Westbrook and Michael Valiante currently lead TUDOR’s Prototype category by 6 points over the No. 5 and No. 31 Action Express Racing cars, which are tired for second. That means the final round of the 2015 season, Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, will feature an exciting three-way battle for the championship when it kicks off on October 3rd.