LAKEVILLE, Conn. – Renger van der Zande and Alex Popow raced to their IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship victory of the season Saturday in the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park.
Both drivers led in the No. 8 Starworks Motorsport ORECA FLM09 in the 2-hour, 40-minute race.
Popow avoided major damage when another Prototype Challenge car made contact with the rear of his car on an aborted start and took the lead after the first round of pit stops 30 minutes into the race.
Van der Zande took over just past the hour mark and benefited from pit work that vaulted him from sixth to the lead on his final stop with 1 hour, 4 minutes left. He beat Tom Kimber-Smith in the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA by 0.815 seconds on the 1.474-mile circuit.
"I really like this place," van der Zande said. "Every 10 laps you have to fight through traffic a lot. I think after driving three years in this championship, I really know the GTD and GTLM (drivers) quite well, who's acting this way and acting that way.
"The fight with Tom Kimber-Smith was great, I had a 10-second lead, and then two laps later, I had a 0.7-second lead. That makes it very interesting."
Popow and van der Zande also won the Prototype Challenge class at Belle Isle and Watkins Glen. They extend their point lead to 17 over Kimber-Smith and Robert Alon.
In the GT Le Mans class, Corvette Racing picked up its 100th sports car victory with a 1-2 finish led by No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R co-drivers Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin. Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia finished second in the No. 3 Corvette.
Milner and Gavin also won the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona and the Twelve Hours of Sebring. They extended their points lead to 10 over No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT co-drivers Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook. Briscoe and Westbrook won the three previous WeatherTech Championship races.
Andy Lally and John Potter won the GT Daytona class in the No. 44 Magnus Racing Audi R8.