Action Express Racing has claimed victory in Sunday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, with Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi leading a 1-2 for the Corvette DP squad in an action-packed race.
Barbosa crossed the line 0.709 seconds ahead of teammate Dane Cameron, who held off a late charge by Olivier Pla in the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ligier JS P2 Honda.
The third round of the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup was turned upside down in the final hour, following retirements for both the No. 55 Mazda Prototype and No. 2 Tequila Patron ESM Ligier Honda, which both led.
Despite a series of late-race yellows, it gave clear sailing to the pair of Corvette DPs, with the defending IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Champions picking up their first win of the season.
Additionally, Barbosa and Fittipaldi take over sole leadership of the Prototype championship standings.
The No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP of Ricky and Jordan Taylor and Max Angelelli was fourth, ahead of the lone-remaining No. 70 Mazda, which completed the top-five overall.
Engine trouble struck two of the contending P2 cars, with Pipo Derani stopping at the Bus Stop with 1 hour and 10 minutes remaining with no oil pressure, after overcoming power steering issues earlier in the race.
Derani and co-drivers Scott Sharp and Johannes van Overbeek were seeking their third consecutive Patron Endurance Cup win, but still managed to score crucial points by leading at the halfway mark of the race.
Forty minutes after ESM’s misfortunes, the Mazda was also out of the race with engine failure in the hands of Jonathan Bomarito.
It came after standout drives by Tristan Nunez and Spencer Pigot, who both put the throwback-liveried No. 55 car in the lead in what was undoubtedly Mazda’s strongest race to date.
Starworks Motorsport, meanwhile, scored back-to-back wins in Prototype Challenge, both at The Glen and in the 2016 season, with Renger van der Zande and Alex Popow.
Van der Zande edged out the No. 38 Performance Tech Oreca FLM09 of Kyle Marcelli by 9.821 seconds, in what was another dominant run in the final 90 minutes for the Peter Baron-led team.
The Dutchman took over the lead following the second-to-final round of pit stops from the Performance Tech entry, which paced the field in the hands of both James French and Kenton Koch.
Starworks’ sister No. 88 car completed the class podium in third, thanks to a late-race pass by Richard Bradley on the No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports entry of Stephen Simpson.
The class again had its share of incidents, highlighted by a heavy crash by Johnny Mowlem in the opening hour, after making contact with French in the backstraight.
Mowlem was OK but it triggered the first of six full-course cautions, including four in the final 90 minutes of the race.
RESULTS: Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen