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Michelin Pilot Challenge

Plumb Takes Historic Win With Holton at Watkins Glen

Points-leading Team TGM Aston Martin victorious in two-hour Michelin Pilot Challenge round…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

Team TGM took its first win of the season at The Esses 120 at The Glen as points-leader Matt Plumb tied Billy Johnson for the all-time win record in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge competition in the No. 46 Aston Martin Vantage GT4 he shared with Paul Holton.

The TGM duo started in second and saved enough fuel in the middle of the race to allow them to short-fill on their final stop and cycle to the lead over the No. 39 CarBahn Motorsports BMW M4 GT4 in the final stages to take the win.

It marked the first Pilot Challenge victory for TGM since 2019 and Plumb’s first series victory since 2017.

A comeback effort for Turner Motorsport paid off with Dillon Machavern and Robert Megennis climbing from 13th to second after the Sean McAlister and Jeff Westphal-driven CarBahn entry suddenly lost three position in the final laps while sputtering on fuel.

Mid-Ohio winners Archangel Motorsports claimed the final podium position, once again utilizing strong fuel strategy to climb the order throughout the race.

The No. 19 Van der Steur Racing Aston Martin recovered from an early puncture through fuel saving and pitting under yellow to finish fourth with CarBahn rounding out the overall top-five.

The CarBahn crew narrowly made the green flag after flying parts overnight for the No. 39 BMW they rebuilt after a major crash during the last round at Mid-Ohio.

RS1’s Trent Hindman jumped out to an early lead from pole in his No. 28 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport, but an earlier pit stop than most of his GS class competitors and a later drive-through penalty dropped Hindman and Stevan McAleer out of contention.

TCR points leaders Chris Miller and Mikey Taylor took their fourth class win of the season in the No. 17 Unitronic/JDC-Miller MotorSports Audi RS 3 LMS TCR after Taylor passed the No. 33 Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Elantra N TCR of Robert Wickens in the final half-hour.

Wickens’ co-driver Harry Gottsacker made up significant ground in the opening half hour, climbing 12 positions on track before inheriting the class lead when the No. 17 Audi stopped for fresh front tires.

However, Taylor would cycle back to the class lead near the halfway mark on a restart and maintained his advantage, despite Wickens briefly leading on an alternate fuel strategy.

BHA’s Dennis Dupont and Preston Brown finished on the podium for the second race running in the No. 76 Elantra, after initially starting near the rear of the TCR field.

LP Montour suffered a puncture on the opening lap after leading from the class pole in his No. 6 Montreal Motorsport Group Honda Civic FL5 Type-R TCR, dropping the Canadian to the rear of the field.

The drop of the green flag was delayed after a he No. 89 HART Honda FLK TCR of Tyler Chambers collided with William Tally’s No. 5 KMW Motorsports with TMR Engineering Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR as it was attempting to reassume its starting grid position after a delayed start on the formation lap.

The race’s first and second yellows were brought out for the recovery of the No. 09 and No. 9 Automatic Racing Aston Martins, which stopped on track 15 minutes apart with electrical issues.

A third caution flew following a hefty impact for the Chase Jones, who was running in third aboard the No. 80 Victor Gonzalez Racing Team Hyundai.

The second half ran entirely green, allowing the field to battle uninterrupted for the final 60 minutes.

RESULTS: The Esses 120 at The Glen

Jonathan Grace is the host of Sportscar365's Double Stint Podcast and a contributor to the web site's IMSA-sanctioned race coverage.

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