Dylan Murry charged to the lead in the final ten minutes in drying conditions to take a dramatic victory for Riley Motorsports in Saturday’s IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Tioga Downs 240 at Watkins Glen.
The late-race drama was set up by a yellow with 35 minutes remaining for the stricken No. 57 Winward Racing/HTP Mercedes-AMG GT4 of Christian Hohenadel, just as rain hit the Upstate New York circuit.
Several contenders went to pit lane but the decision between wet weather Michelins and their dry weather counterparts was split throughout the top-10.
Corey Fergus delivered the opening salvo on wets when the race restarted, driving from seventh to the lead in a single lap in mixed conditions in the No. 69 Motorsports In Action McLaren 570S GT4.
As the track dried out, cars that opted to stay on dry Michelins came to the fore, led by the No. 35 Mercedes-AMG GT4 of Murry, James Cox, and Jeroen Bleekemolen.
Murry overtook Fergus for the lead with just over five minutes remaining and cruised to the team’s first victory in Pilot Challenge competition.
Devin Jones and James Clay took second after dominating much of the race in the No. 82 BMW M4 GT4 for BimmerWorld Racing, followed by the No. 39 Carbahn Motorsports Audi of Jeff Westphal and the No. 7 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport of Trent Hindman.
Robin Liddell turned in an impressive drive on wet tires to charge to fifth before the checkered flag in the Rebel Rock Racing Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R.
LA Honda World Wins Race of Attrition in TCR
LA Honda World survived a wild race in the TCR class with Mat Pombo and Mike LaMarra teaming to take the class win despite a crash in the final hour.
Pombo slid the No. 73 Honda Civic TCR into the tire wall, narrowly avoiding Hohenadel’s Mercedes-AMG which had done the same just seconds before, contributing to bring out the final yellow of the race.
Pombo was able to reverse out of the tire barrier and remain on the lead lap, then drove to the lead around the No. 98 Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Veloster N TCR of Mark Wilkins to take the class win.
The No. 61 Audi RS3 LMS TCR of Gavin Ernstone and Jon Morley completed the podium for Roadshagger Racing by eEuroparts after the No. 37 Honda of Tom O’Gorman ran out of fuel on the final lap.
O’Gorman and Shelby Blackstock, who entered the weekend as the points leaders in the TCR class, settled for a fifth place finish in class, behind the No. 12 Audi of Russell McDonough and Ryan Nash who also went by coming to the checkered flag.
The win for the LA Honda World team, run by the same LAP Motorsports operation that previously ran MINIs in the series, is the third consecutive class win for the Brownsburg, Ind.-based team at Watkins Glen in IMSA competition.
RESULTS: Tioga Downs 240