Mazda stretches fuel mileage to claim victory in Six Hours of The Glen

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Mazda stretches fuel mileage to claim victory in Six Hours of The Glen

IMSA

Mazda stretches fuel mileage to claim victory in Six Hours of The Glen

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A late-race strategy call gave the No. 55 Mazda RT-24P track position, which is all Harry Tincknell needed to secure victory in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of Watkins Glen.

A full course yellow with just over forty-five minutes left in the race beckoned the DPi field into the pits and as some cars took tires, Mazda serviced just one tire during the stop while packing in as much fuel as possible, it was a decision that vaulted them into the lead and to the eventual win for Tincknell, Oliver Jarvis, and Jonathan Bomarito.

“It was a fantastic team effort all weekend by Mazda. We didn’t test here, and I think we started the weekend off a little on the back foot and we just got better and better all weekend — every session we learned. Even if weren’t at the top of the timesheets I think we learned the direction we needed to go… The team calculated it perfectly for the last lap, but they forgot about the in-lap,” Tincknell joked after running out of fuel in the toe of the boot.

Mazda’s triumph was a crushing blow for the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-05c who dominated for most of the race. Dane Cameron was magnificent and had built up a sizeable lead when he handed the car over to Olivier Pla. A full course yellow cost them their 15-second advantage, the one-tire stop from Mazda cost MSR their lead, and Tincknell’s pace through traffic cost them a win that they looked destined to take.

The No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05c of Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque, and Alexander Rossi. Like the No. 60 Acura, the No. 10 Acura seemed to have a leg up on the field for most of the race but dropped down the order after Mazda’s strategy call.

On the final lap of the race, Kevin Magnussen in the No. 01 Cadillac Chip Ganassi Racing DPi-V.R. was hit from behind by Kamui Kobayashi in the No. 48 Ally Cadillac Racing DPi-V.R in the heel of the boot. Kobayashi was given a drive-thru penalty for the contact but the unofficial results listed the No. 48 as finishing fifth despite the penalty.

The No. 3 Corvette C8.R of Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor took home the win in GT Le Mans, getting the better of their teammates in the No. 4 Corvette C8.R and defending off a surprising challenge from the No. 24 BMW M8 in the final half-hour.

Garcia passed Nick Tandy in the No. 4 Corvette for the lead of the race but the hole the Corvettes punched in the air by running side-by-side gave John Edwards in the No. 24 BMW the run he needed to crack the stronghold Corvette and held on the top two spots. Garcia went from second to first as Tandy dropped from the lead to third, losing a spot to his teammate and the No. 24 BMW.

It turned out the No. 4 Corvette had a mechanical problem that was costing it speed. Despite that, Tandy held onto the final podium spot for himself and Tommy Milner. The No. 25 BMW M8 GTE of Connor De Phillippi, Philipp Eng, and Bruno Spengler ended the race in fourth.

The No. 11 WIN Autosport ORECA 07 of Steven Thomas, Tristan Nunez, and Thomas Merrill claimed the victory in LMP2. As so often happens in these pro-am classes, the pace of the amateur driver made the difference in this one. While it came down to a dash to the finish between Nunez and Mikkal Jensen in the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA 07, Thomas still played a big part in this victory.

He was quick from the start, managed to keep the car in one piece, and by the time he handed it over to his more experienced teammates the car was in a good position for Nunez to close it out.

“If anyone didn’t appreciate what Tristan Nunez did in those last two stints, you don’t appreciate racing because that was top of the world sportscar driving right there. He’s one of the best,” Thomas said of Nunez.

“That was the hardest race of my career,” Nunez said. “It was tough out there – especially with all of the traffic. You’re trying to push as hard as you can and try to hit the fuel number and then you’ve got the engineer every lap giving you the gap behind.”

Nunez explained that his engineer miscued his microphone to say there was 25 minutes left in the race but the ‘twenty’ portion of the message was cut off so Nunez only heard ‘five minutes left’. When his engineer came back on to tell him there was still twenty minutes left in the race Nunez was “devastated,” he described.

The aforementioned No. 52 ORECA of Jensen, Ben Keating, and Scott Huffaker was second. The No. 22 United Autosports USA ORECA 07 of James McGuire, Guy Smith, and Wayne Boyd rounded out the podium. It was a quiet race for United with no major dramas but not a lot of pace to challenge for the lead.

The No. 74 Riley Motorsports Ligier JS P320 of Gar Robinson, Scott Andrews and Felipe Fraga won the race in LMP3. Fraga held off a hard-charging Colin Braun to secure their second win of the season. The No. 74 Ligier now just needs to start Petit Le Mans to claim the Michelin Endurance Cup.

The No. 54 CORE autosport Ligier JS P320 was second with Braun, Jon Bennett, and George Kurtz. The other Riley Motorsports entry, the No. 91 Ligier JS P320 of Dylan Murray, Jim Cox, and Jeroen Bleekemolen rounded out the podium.

All but one LMP3 car made it to the finish. The lone retirement in the class was the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports Ligier JS P320 who fell victim to crash damage and later an engine problem that has threatened their chances of racing next week.

It took a little bit of luck but the No. 96 Turner Motorsports BMW M6 GT3 of Bill Auberlen, Robby Foley, and Aiden Read took home the win in GT Daytona. The No. 96 BMW was one of the first GTD cars to make their final pitstop and while the car was in the pits, the full course yellow came out. That allowed them to complete their stop and cycle to the front of the field.

Auberlen’s stiffest competition in the final minutes turned out to be himself as the team was narrowly close to a penalty for track limits. Race Control had been sending warnings for track limits all day and sent a cryptic message to the Turner Motorsports team to check their inbox in the series’ private message system.

“We had that all day; it was due to track limits. Bill [Auberlen] and I were the two guys getting called and we thought we were pretty much on the road by about an inch, but I guess the cameras and everything like that it was very close so [IMSA] was basically saying, ‘Hey, you’re leading the race, just stay on the road.’ So, Bill [Auberlen] adjusted what he was doing, and it was fine in the end,” Foley explained.

The No. 1 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo of Bryan Sellers, Madison Snow, and Corey Lewis was second. Just as the No. 96 BMW did, the No. 1 Lamborghini benefited from the late-race yellow to move up the order. The No. 23 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 of Ian James, Roman De Angelis, and Ross Gunn completed what was an odd podium.

None of the top three cars factored into the discussion until the final half-hour of the race when the pit cycle was done and dusted. The No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche and the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC-F GT3 were the class of the field all race long but only came home with an eighth and sixth, respectively, to show for it.

RESULTS

Retirements:

P33: No. 44 Magnus Racing Acura NSX GT3 – Power Steering
P34: No. 18 Era Motorsport ORECA 07 – Electrical
P35: No. 19 GRT Grasser Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo – Fire
P36: No. 75 SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 – Suspension
P37: No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports Ligier JS P320 – Crash Damage
P38: No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR – Oil Leak & Fire

MX-5 CUP | ROUND 9 – ROAD AMERICA

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