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Gutierrez Wins Bizarre PC Race 2 at Watkins Glen

Andres Gutierrez held on to win PC Race 2 at Watkins Glen…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Andres Gutierrez survived monsoon conditions to win Race 2 of IMSA Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda weekend at Watkins Glen and extend his points lead in a race that saw just five minutes of green flag running in the 45-minute race.

Gutierrez, who started third, was promoted to the lead in his No. 12 Performance Tech Motorsports Ligier JS P3 after problems struck the front row qualifiers before the race ever went green.

Outside pole-sitter Kenton Koch was forced to pit his Ligier for rain tires after it became apparent their choice of slick Continental tires was not the right one.

It cost Koch one lap and took him out of contention for a good result. He ultimately came home seventh in the LMP3 class.

Race control elected to start the race behind the safety car, due to the rain.

Even still, several cars hit trouble running at reduced speeds, most notably Jay Salmon in the No. 46 ODU Motorsports MPC-class entry who spun and made significant contact with the wall.

The green was further delayed as track workers attempted to clear Salmon’s car and other cars spun off course in the heavy rain, while fourth-place qualifier Robby Foley pitted to replace a missing rear wing.

Race control made its first attempt to start the race with just over 30 minutes remaining, but an accident by pole-sitter Colin Thompson, just as the green was displayed, saw the race go immediately back to yellow.

Thompson, who won Race 1 on Friday, spun while accelerating leading the field to the green and collected MPC entrant Don Yount, ending the day for Yount and causing significant damage to the front of Thompson’s Kelly-Moss Road and Race Norma M30.

While track workers attempted to clean up the remnants of that accident, Jon Brownson appeared to suffer a mechanical problem and pulled his Eurosport Racing Elan DP02 off track, further delaying the green flag.

After Brownson’s car was retrieved, the green finally flew with just under ten minutes remaining.

Eventual MPC class winner Kyle Masson quickly moved past Naj Husain into second overall, where he would finish.

Thompson managed to fight his way back up through the field to fifth overall, but the yellow came out once again with under seven minutes to go for Joel Janco’s MPC car, which was in the Turn 1 barriers.

Janco was able to continue, allowing the race to be restarted for one final lap with two minutes remaining, and Gutierrez held off Masson for the overall win.

James Dayson finished third overall and second in LMP3, while Thompson managed to fight his way up to the third step on the LMP3 class podium on the final lap.

Michal Chlumecky and Race 1 MPC winner Kris Wright completed the MPC podium. Chlumecky took MPC Masters honors, while the LMP3 Masters win went to Husain for Extreme Speed Motorsports.

RESULTS: Race 2

Ryan Myrehn is an Indianapolis-based journalist and sportscaster, covering IMSA and Pirelli World Challenge. Myrehn, a graduate of DePauW University, is also the host of Sportscar365's “Double Stint” Podcast.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. thomas

    July 1, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    Surely 5 minutes of green flag should mean the race doesn’t count as an “Event.”

    • Rus'L

      July 1, 2017 at 8:13 pm

      Well, technically they did run around the track for 45 minutes, so the event was run. LOL

  2. Mike S.

    July 1, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    Sounds like not a safe day to be racing. 9 drivers hurt in GT3 Porsche Cup race. Nice summer weather. 4 released and 5 going to hospital.

    • Rus'L

      July 1, 2017 at 8:12 pm

      The GT3 crash happened Friday, not Saturday. And the crash was in the dry. So, your conclusion is inaccurate. Sunday should be a gorgeous day for the main event.

    • Matt

      July 3, 2017 at 12:51 am

      Omg racing is dangerous?? Who knew?

  3. Guest

    July 1, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    That was a lot of water even for higher classes and pro drivers, they should have never even attempted to start this race. Very dangerous with inexperienced am drivers. Keep everyone safe and dry, cars in on piece, run it tomorrow after the big race.

    • Matt

      July 3, 2017 at 12:52 am

      How are they going to learn then? This isn’t Nascar… real racing takes some balls

    • Matt

      July 3, 2017 at 12:53 am

      How are they going to learn then? This isn’t Nascar… real racing takes some nuts

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