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Barbosa Edges Out Simpson for Watkins Glen Win

Joao Barbosa edges out Stephen Simpson for 6H Watkins Glen win…

Photo: Brian Cleary/

Action Express Racing has claimed victory in Sunday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, in a late-race duel between Joao Barbosa and Stephen Simpson that went the way of the No. 5 Cadillac DPi-V.R, but only in the closing moments.

Simpson, in the No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports Oreca 07 Gibson, appeared en route for a fairytale overall win after getting around the former IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype champion on the final restart with 23 minutes to go.

Despite stretching out to a nearly two-second lead, the South African lost his gap in traffic, ultimately slipping up with nine minutes remaining, when Barbosa muscled his way past the LMP2 car on the start-finish straight.

He crossed the line 1.183 seconds ahead for the win, marking the Portuguese ace and co-drivers Christian Fittipaldi and Filipe Albuquerque’s first in the new-look Prototype class and also with Cadillac.

It also broke a five-race win streak held by Ricky and Jordan Taylor in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac, which suffered steering and suspension damage at the start and dropped seven laps behind.

The No. 55 Mazda RT24-P of Jonathan Bomarito, Tristan Nunez and Spencer Pigot completed the Prototype podium in third, despite a late charge by the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Ligier JS P217 Gibson of Olivier Pla, who clawed back more than ten seconds in the run to the flag.

The Frenchman, however, was forced to settle for fourth, after suffering two spins and being delayed by fuel filler issues early in the race, with the No. 90 Visit Florida Racing Riley Mk. 30 Gibson of Renger van der Zande and Marc Goossens completing the top-five.

Ricky and Jordan Taylor rallied to a sixth place result, making up four laps through full-course cautions and wave-bys, and also benefiting from issues that struck three contenders.

Both Tequila Patron ESM Nissan Onroak DPis failed to finish after dominating the early stages.

The pole-sitting No. 2 car of Pipo Derani, Scott Sharp and Ryan Dalziel fought back from an accident in the second hour and multiple pit penalties only to suffer throttle issues in the final hour, while the No. 22 car of Bruno Senna stopped on track with no oil pressure.

The No. 31 Action Express Cadillac, which took over the lead after Sharp’s accident, stopped on track with a loose right-rear wheel following a pit stop in the third hour. The car was towed back to the garage and ultimately lost ten laps.

Mazda’s No. 70 entry, meanwhile, was an early retirement with turbo issues.

Performance Tech Motorsports maintained its undefeated streak in Prototype Challenge, despite a late-race scare, with James French, Pato O’Ward and Kyle Masson taking the class win, the team’s fifth of the year.

Masson took the No. 38 Oreca FLM09 to a three-lap win over the No. 20 BAR1 Motorsports entry, which battled issues in the final 90 minutes.

It wasn’t clear sailing for the Brent O’Neill-led team, either, as an air jack failure with less than two hours to go forced the team to double stint their tires and use a manual jack in the final pair of stops.

RESULTS: Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen

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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