It’s been almost four months since the IMSA VP Racing SportsCar Challenge entrants last competed at Sebring, but the single-driver sprint-race series was back in action at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (CTMP) this past weekend, along with the Michelin Pilot Challenge and WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races.

Greg Liefooghe has proven to be one of the fastest drivers in the series in his Stephen Cameron Racing M4 GT4. He finished second and first in the two VP Challenge races at Sebring back in March, and was on the pole for both races held this last weekend in Canada. He didn’t compete in the first race at CTMP, as the team elected to save the car for the Michelin Pilot Challenge race later on Saturday (many teams in VP Challenge race with the same car in Michelin Pilot Challenge), but Turner Motorsport driver Frank Selldorff put in a strong performance, finishing second in his #95 M4 GT4 behind the winning Porsche as the race ended under caution. Other BMW entries in the field finished in seventh (Patrick Wilmot), eighth (Sean Quinlan), and ninth (Vin Barletta).

In the second VP Challenge race on Sunday, Liefooghe took the win in the #43 M4 GT4, which was made easier for him when two of the other front-running cars had mechanical issues and a penalty. “At that point, the two strongest cars were way back,” he said after the race, “so (I was) just managing the tires in case there was a full-course yellow coming and staying off the marbles which were really bad here–and something to manage in traffic, too. It’s good to have a gap so you can let the leading (LMP3) cars go and still stay on the line and survive. The car was just hooked up all day.”

Greg Liefooghe (middle of podium) celebrates his victory.

Frank Selldorff recovered from a penalty for an improper race start to finish fourth. Patrick Wilmot finished in fifth in his Split Decision Motorsports M4 GT4, while Sean Quinlan finished in seventh and Vin Barletta in eighth.

Francis Selldorff had strong races in VP Challenge, finishing second and fourth.

Patrick Wilmot finished in fifth in VP Challenge on Sunday in his Split Decision Motorsports M4 GT4.

It looked like Turner Motorsport had a win in the bag in the Michelin Pilot Challenge series race on Saturday. All the BMWs in the field started way back on the grid after qualifying was red-flagged due to an accident, but Robert Megennis put in a great drive in the #97 M4 GT4 to work his way up into fifth by around a half-hour into the race. Co-driver Cameron Lawrence took over and came out into second behind the leading Toyota GR Supra, but quickly got past the Supra and into the lead, which he held until the end. Unfortunately, the car was hit with technical infractions in post-race inspection for being under-weight and not serving the minimum refueling time and dropped to last, giving the win to the #50 Toyota GR Supra (which of course is all BMW underneath).

Team owner Will Turner told us that the car was 1.3kg too light (less than three pounds) and they fueled the car 1.7 seconds too quickly, which was simply human error. The infractions didn’t give a real advantage to the #97 car, but rules are rules and IMSA has shown that they have zero tolerance for going outside the rules. The #43 Stephen Cameron Racing M4 GT4 driven by Greg Liefooghe and Sean Quinlan finished in sixteenth, while the #96 Turner Motorsport car of Robby Foley and Vin Barletta was classified eighteenth after having an accident early in the race that cost them time behind the wall for repairs.

Both the Michelin Pilot Challenge and VP SportsCar Challenge series races will race next at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut on July 21st-22nd. —David Haueter

[Photos courtesy LAT Images]



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