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Michelin Pilot Challenge

McCumbee, Gallagher Take Win at Watkins Glen

Chad McCumbee, Patrick Gallagher take dominant CTSC win at Watkins Glen…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

Chad McCumbee sprinted away from Owen Trinkler on the final restart to claim victory in Saturday’s Continental Tire 240.

McCumbee and co-driver Patrick Gallagher started on the outside of the front row in the No. 8 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4 and had moved to the race lead by the halfway mark of the four-hour Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race at Watkins Glen.

While a late-race caution for the stranded Justin Piscitell in the No. 65 Murillo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 erased McCumbee’s lead of nearly 20 seconds, he quickly pulled out a comfortable gap when the race went back to green with 30 minutes remaining.

Tyler Cooke took second in the No. 82 BimmerWorld Racing BMW M4 GT4 after tracking down and passing Trinkler’s Team TGM Mercedes with 17 minutes to go.

Kyle Marcelli slipped around Trinkler moments later to take the final step of the podium and put a second Mustang GT4 in the top three overall.

Jeff Westphal and Trinkler completed the top-five in GS.

There were several incidents in the race, including one for early GS frontrunner Martin Barkey, who made contact with Eric Lux just shy of the halfway point while battling for second.

Barkey’s No. 80 AWA Mustang GT4 spun into the tire barriers and sustained damage to the rear of the car while Lux continued on, with no further action taken by officials.

A major incident in the Esses on the opening lap, meanwhile, eliminated several cars including a few major contenders.

TCR class pole-sitter Pierre Kleinubing suffered significant damage in the No. 75 Audi RS3 LMS TCR, as did Toby Grahovec’s No. 26 Classic BMW and the No. 9 Aston Martin Vantage of Aurora Straus.

In total, at least six cars were involved in the opening-lap fracas, which resulted in a lengthy safety car period.

The second yellow came out at the 70-minute mark when Bryce Ward backed his Winward Racing/HTP Motorsport Mercedes into the tire barrier.

Ward, who was transported to an area hospital, underwent a CT scan on his head and was diagnosed with a concussion and later released.

Lee Carpentier brought out a third yellow when his Audi TCR lost a wheel, relegating the one-time race leader to a sixth-place finish in class.

Compass 1-2 in TCR

Compass Racing’s Tom Long slipped past Tom O’Gorman of Racing with 24 minutes to go to take the TCR class lead and cruised home to victory over Kuno Wittmer in the sister No. 74 Audi.

Stephen Simpson came home third in the JDC-Miller Motorsports Audi he shares with Michael Johnson, while O’Gorman slipped to fourth by the checkered flag.

Mark Pombo and Colin Mullan took ST class honors in the No. 52 MINI JCW, edging the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i of Nick Galante and Devin Jones that dominated much of the race.

Galante entered the final round of pit stops as the leader but slipped to fourth in class after problems on pit lane.

Galante had fought his way back to second before a spin caused by contact with a GS class car derailed his comeback drive, although a late problem for the No. 73 MINI of Mat Pombo, who had been running second, allowed Galante to take the second step of the podium.

Max Faulkner overcame a pit road penalty to take third for Bodymotion Racing in the No. 21 Porsche Cayman.

RESULTS: Continental Tire 240

Ryan Myrehn is an Indianapolis-based broadcaster and reporter. In addition to his work covering primarily domestic sports car racing for Sportscar365, he is the lead announcer for SRO America's TV coverage as well as a pit reporter for IndyCar Radio. Myrehn, a graduate of DePauw University, is also the host of Sportscar365's “Double Stint” Podcast.


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