Petit Le Mans: WTR Cadillac snatches win on final lap

Renger van der Zande’s Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R passed Action Express Racing’s Filipe Albuquerque with two corners to go to win Petit Le Mans, as the latter’s car died of fuel starvation.

The final stops for several Prototype teams looked too far from the end to make it without a splash-and-dash, and so it proved.

ESM Nissan’s Pipo Derani vaulted into the lead on the penultimate stop, and even survived a stall after his final stop to retain the lead, but he was having to back-pedal on fuel and fell victim to Albuquerque in the closing stages before stopping for a splash and dash.

Van Der Zande, however, had stopped later than his rivals and kept the pressure on Albuquerque who gambled on staying out but had his Cadillac cough three corners from the end.

Thus Van Der Zande, who co-drove with Jordan Taylor and Ryan Hunter-Reay, dived past to snatch WTR’s first win of the season.

Such was Albuquerque’s fuel issues that the two Mazda RT24-Ps of Oliver Jarvis/Tristan Nunez/Lucas Di Grassi and Jonathan Bomarito/Spencer Pigot/Marino Franchitti swept past to claim a double podium – Mazda Team Joest’s best result of the year.

Following Helio Castroneves’ drive-through penalty for passng under yellow, Ricky Taylor salvaged fifth for Acura Team Penske, ahead of Derani.

CORE autosport’s Colin Braun was another to have to make a late splash-and-dash, thereby losing out on the championship to the other AXR team of Felipe Nasr and Eric Curran, who shared with Gabby Chaves.

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