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Continental Tire Watkins Glen Post-Race Notebook

Sportscar365’s Continental Tire post-race notebook from Watkins Glen…

Photo: Rick Dole/IMSA

WeatherTech Championship:

***Ricky and Jordan Taylor’s win streak came to an end on Sunday, when contact at the start of the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen resulted in suspension damage to the team’s No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R. Despite losing seven laps for repairs, the brothers rallied to a sixth place overall finish, and finished only three laps down from the race-winning No. 5 Action Express Racing Cadillac.

***The Taylors saw their 30-point lead in the Prototype championship cut by one-third, with the pairing now only 20 points ahead of Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi, who scored their first victory of the season and kept Cadillac’s undefeated record in the class alive.

***Filipe Albuquerque, who teamed with Barbosa and Fittipaldi for his first win with the team, was forced to complete the race in the team’s No. 31 Cadillac, after having been listed in both cars. “I had to stop watching the race and go in [the No. 31 car] and do my mandatory 30-minute drive,” Albuquerque said. “I asked my engineer to keep me posted on the race of car 5. He told me he was P2, and when we won, I was was obviously still racing but super happy with our victory!”

***It was the third win in the last five years for Barbosa and Fittipaldi at Watkins Glen, to go along with two third-place finishes for the duo at the New York circuit.

***Barbosa, Fittipaldi and Albuquerque have also taken over the lead of the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup, two points ahead of Ricky and Jordan Taylor, who won the first two rounds at Daytona and Sebring.

***Performance Tech Motorsports’ James French, Kyle Masson and Pato O’Ward remain out front in Prototype Challenge, thanks to their fifth win in five races this season, with the Porsche GT Team duo of Dirk Werner and Patrick Pilet holding a two-point lead over Rolex 24 class winners Dirk Mueller and Joey Hand in the Patron Endurance Cup standings in GT Le Mans.

***Alessandro Balzan, Christina Nielsen and Matteo Cressoni, meanwhile, have taken over the lead in GT Daytona, with Balzan and Nielsen also surpassing Riley Team AMG’s Ben Keating and Jeroen Bleekemolen in the overall drivers’ championship, following a 10th place class finish for the No. 33 Mercedes-AMG GT3. The Scuderia Corsa drivers scored their fifth consecutive class podium finish on Sunday.

***It was a race to forget for Tequila Patron ESM, which dominated the time charts all weekend with its pair of Nissan Onroak DPis, but both failed to finish due to mechanical issues in the closing stages of the race.

***Pole-sitter Pipo Derani was forced to retire with 40 minutes to go with throttle issues, after going three laps down due to a series of pit lane penalties largely linked to the aftermath of Scott Sharp’s accident with the No. 75 SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Boris Said in the second hour.

***The team managed to repair the No. 2 Nissan, including putting an entire new rear section on the car, without going a lap down, only for Sharp to exit a closed pit and incur a penalty. Derani and Ryan Dalziel managed to bring the car back into sixth overall until the race-ending issue.

***ESM’s No. 22 car of Johannes van Overbeek and Bruno Senna, which didn’t have the ultimate pace of its sister car, dropped out with just over one hour to go with no oil pressure while running fourth.

***A hub failure dashed hopes of victory for the No. 31 Action Express Cadillac of Dane Cameron and Eric Curran. Curran, who took over the then race-leading car, was forced to stop on track after exiting the pits during the second full-course caution in the third hour when his right-rear wheel came loose. The car lost more than ten laps as it was towed back to the garage for repairs.

***Gustavo Yacaman had perhaps the save of the race, just moments after taking the green flag in his No. 26 BAR1 Motorsports Oreca FLM09. The Colombian lost control of his Prototype Challenge contender through the high-speed Esses, only to continue without even brushing the wall. The car, however, would later make contact with the wall in the hand of PC debutant Derek Jones, which relegated the entry to a third place class finish.

***Bill Auberlen and Alexander Sims’ GT Le Mans class victory means Auberlen has now given the last three generations of BMW’s IMSA GT cars their maiden wins. Auberlen teamed with Joey Hand for the BMW M3 GT’s first win at Road America in 2009 and claimed top class honors alongside Maxime Martin for the Z4 GTLM’s first win at Long Beach in 2013.

***Auberlen’s win, his 56th in IMSA competition, inches him closer to all-time leader Scott Pruett, who is currently at 60 victories.

***All but one car in the eight-strong GTLM class led at one point during the race. “There’s fantastic depth in the field in terms of the quality,” said Sims. “Every single car is full of superstars in GT cars. I think it makes it even more special knowing the quality of the field in getting a result like this.”

***Stevenson Motorsports was a one of a handful of Audi R8 LMS and Lamborghini Huracan GT3 teams to have had punctures in the race, which was triggered by the curbing. Lawson Aschenbach was forced to pit his No. 57 Audi with five minutes remaining, denying the team a likely podium finish in class.

***Joerg Bergmeister, who missed last weekend’s race due to family matters, is expected to be at next weekend’s round at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The German driver tweeted that his newborn son is “doing a lot better” after an initial scare. Patrick Lindsey and Matt McMurry handled driving duties of the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R at The Glen.

Continental Tire Challenge:

***Jack Roush Jr. celebrated his birthday a day early in victory lane. KohR Motorsport’s win in the Continental 120 was the 11th IMSA Continental Tire Challenge win for Roush and the sixth for his co-driver Dean Martin.

***An impressive late-race drive by Al Carter saw the No. 99 Automatic Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT4 come from 7th to lead the race in the final hour, only to be derailed by contact on the last lap between he and Martin’s Mustang. Carter, however, still went to congratulate Martin in victory lane post-race, despite having been relegated to a 7th place result.

***ST class winners Derek Jones and Mat Pombo became the first repeat winners across both classes of the season in the No. 73 MINI JCW Team MINI for LAP Racing, adding to their season-opening class victory at Daytona.

***A late-race mechanical issue robbed the Stevenson Motorsports squad of a shot at the podium in the team’s second race with the new Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R. Matt Bell qualified the car seventh on the GS grid and Robin Liddell had the car running third with 18 minutes to go when the car stopped on track.

***Less than 24 hours after being admitted to a hospital following a heavy crash in Friday’s IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA race, a battered and bruised Jeff Mosing put the No. 56 Murillo Racing Porsche Cayman out front in ST, and led throughout his stint, en route to a third place class finish. Mosing and co-driver Eric Foss maintain their points lead in the hotly contested category.

***Clutch problems put an end to a promising weekend for Owen Trinkler and Sarah Cattaneo in the No. 44 CRG-I Do Borrow Nissan Altima. Cattaneo had raced her way into the top-three in ST when the issues began to emerge, then worsened after she turned the car over to Trinkler. The car finally ground to a halt with 40 minutes to go, a big hit for the duo which entered the weekend fourth in ST points.

Ryan Myrehn contributed to this report

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

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