Connect with us

Michelin Pilot Challenge

Auberlen Holds Off Heylen for Watkins Glen Sprint Win

Bill Auberlen survives late-race restart for victory in Sahlen’s 120 at Watkins Glen…

Photo: IMSA

Bill Auberlen held off a hard-charging Jan Heylen for victory in Friday’s Sahlen’s 120 at The Glen.

The veteran BMW driver survived a late-race restart and impending rain storm to give Turner Motorsport its first win of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season.

While having started from pole, co-driver Dillon Machavern in the No. 95 BWM M4 GT4 controlled the first half of the two-hour contest, which started from behind the safety car after an accident by TCR driver Rory van der Steur on the pace lap.

A caution for the beached No. 88 VGMC Honda Civic Type-R of Jon Miller set up a five-minute shootout to the finish, which saw Auberlen’s sizable lead eliminated.

He crossed the line just 0.615 seconds ahead of Heylen’s No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport in the hard-fought battle.

The No. 46 Team TGM Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R of Hugh and Matt Plumb completed the GS podium in third, with Matt Plumb in a near-photo finish with Indy Dontje at the line in the No. 4 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4, which was fourth.

Robby Foley took the sister No. 96 Turner BMW to a fifth place finish, ahead Spencer Pigot’s Motorsports In Action McLaren 570S GT4 and the Trent Hindman-driven No. 7 VOLT Racing by Archangel Aston Martin Vantage GT4.

Hindman, who was on a two-stop strategy, pressured Auberlen for the lead until having to make a pit stop for fuel with 20 minutes to go.

Championship leader Kuno Wittmer had a challenging day, finishing 15th in class in the No. 13 AWA McLaren after a reported engine issue that put the Canadian one lap down due to an unscheduled stop.

Atlanta Speedwerks Finish 1-2 in TCR

Robert Noaker and Ryan Eversley led home a 1-2 finish for Atlanta Speedwerks and Honda in TCR following a late-race challenge from Jon Morley in the No. 61 Road Shagger Racing Audi RS 3 LMS TCR, which finished third.

Morley briefly took the lead on the restart but lost out to the pair of Hondas at the end of the heated battle.

Noaker shared top class honors with Brian Henderson in the duo’s first career class wins, coming just six days after teammates Eversley and Todd Lamb visited victory lane in the four-hour enduro.

The No. 27 Copeland Motorsports Hyundai Veloster N TCR was fourth at the line.

RESULTS: Sahlen’s 120

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

Click to comment

More in Michelin Pilot Challenge