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MSR TAKES IMSA CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD FOLLOWING SECOND PLACE FINISH AT CTMP

Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) finished second in Sunday’s race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park after leading 60 laps, but took a major step towards winning the DPi title in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with only two races remaining.

Oliver Jarvis and Tom Blomqvist took their fifth-consecutive runner-up finish in the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-05 DPi on Sunday. The fourth conseuctive podium finish saw MSR gain ground in the overall championship to now lead by 56-points.

Blomqvist started on the pole after shattering the track record at CTMP, which was also the fastest average lap speed in WeatherTech on Saturday. Blomqvist dominated the first stint of the grueling race until his second pit stop with one-hour, 38-minutes remaining to hand the Acura off to Jarvis.

Jarvis led for 28-straight laps until a pit stop on lap 77 and just before the second full course caution of the race. MSR elected to pit Jarvis for a quick splash of fuel under yellow – a move that played a major role in the outcome. 

Racing resumed with Jarvis pitting with just 40-minutes left on the race clock. Needing a few seconds less of fuel than his competitors for fill up as a result of his previous strategic pit stop, Jarvis emerged with the lead.

The team looked to be on target to score a secon win of the season until a late full course caution for the No. 10 Acura eliminated the advantage that Jarvis had built on the field. Once back to green, Jarvis gapped the pack until approaching lap traffic impeded Jarvis’ charge, allowing the No. 01 to slip by and lead the pack to the checkered flag after a tough two hours and 40-minutes of racing with Jarvis bringing the Acura home in second. 

Entering the weekend second in the championship and with a 17 points deficit, MSR now holds a 56-point lead (2,737-2,681) with only two rounds remaining – Road America on August 7 and Petit Le Mans on Oct. 1.

Oliver Jarvis:
“It was a tough way to end the race, but on the plus side we came away with the points lead in the championship. Traffic was the difficult part about today and it was hard to get into a rhythm. At then end, I didn’t know he [Van Der Zande] was there into two and into three and in hindsight if I would have known, I would have defended. So that’s on me. It’s not easy because every car does something different [when they use traffic to pass]. I’m gutted for the team to have not brought home the win, but results like this all go towards the overall championship, and we are now leading so we really need to focus on the final two rounds to keep the lead.”

Tom Blomqvist:
“It was actually a tough race for us, our race car was really challenging to drive. Olly didn’t find it that easy out there. Even in my first stint, it was okay when you were in the clear air, but in the traffic we really struggled. We learned some lessons with a track like this, we can only work to achieve good performance over a lap. We can learn for the next two races, they are super important. The team did a good job getting us back into the lead with the strategy call on the fuel. Then it was tough out there with the traffic. Olly did his best, but I think it was hard to get the flow around there. I think everyone is heartbroken over today. We should have won that one.”

Source. Sunday Group

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