WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – official release — Dennis Bicksler photo — After long hours of green-flag racing, the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen came down to a pair of one-lap sprints.
That was all Richard Westbrook needed to take the lead and give the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP its first TUDOR United SportsCar Championship victory.
Pole winner Alex Brundle was leading in the No. 42 OAK Racing Morgan/Nissan when racing resumed following the third caution period with only 12 minutes remaining. Westbrook got inside Brundle to take the lead on the Glen’s back straight.
Moments later, Scott Pruett and Renger van der Zande crashed in Turn 6, scattering considerable debris on the circuit, but track crews managed to clear the incident in time for a final restart with only 20 seconds remaining in the race. Westbrook held off Brundle by 0.877 seconds to give the Florida-based team its biggest victory.
“I’ve always wanted a good result here, because I love driving here,” said Westbrook, who was joined by Michael Valiante in the winning car. “We were racing the No. 42 the entire race. It was a classic battle and it could have gone either way. Without the yellow, we had the win in the bag – because we had enough fuel and the OAK car had to stop for a splash. The yellow gave them another chance. But I made a good restart, and I made it stick.”
The Spirit of Daytona and OAK Racing cars ran 1-2 in 139 of the 188 total laps.
“I feel like I got mugged on the restart,” said Brundle, who got passed by the lap-down No. 9 Action Express Racing Corvette DP of Burt Frisselle before Westbrook’s winning pass. Brundle co-drove with another Glen newcomer, Ho-Pin Tung, and Gustavo Yacaman.
The merger between the Rolex Series and the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón gave a number of teams the opportunity to race at Watkins Glen International. Corvette Racing and SRT Motorsports took advantage of the opportunity, battling in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class as the two iconic American muscle cars swept the podium.
Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia took their third GTLM victory in the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R. Marc Goossens and Dominik Farnbacher took second in the No. 91 Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R, 0.185 seconds behind, closely followed by Viper teammates Jonathan Bomarito and Kuno Wittmer in the team’s No. 93.
Colin Braun, Jon Bennett and James Gue gave CORE autosport its fourth Prototype Challenge (PC) victory of the season in the No. 54 ORECA FLM09. The trio also has swept all three rounds of the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup to date. The “championship within a championship” encompasses the four endurance races on the TUDOR Championship schedule at Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen and Road Atlanta.
Dane Cameron and Markus Palttala cruised in GT Daytona (GTD), leading the class for all but five laps en route to their second TUDOR Championship victory in the No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW Z4.