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Ford Sweeps GTLM at Watkins Glen

Ford Chip Ganassi Racing sweep GT Le Mans at Watkins Glen…

Photo: Vincent Wouters

Photo: Vincent Wouters

Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe scored their second consecutive IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans class win in the No. 67 Ford GT in Sunday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, with Joey Hand making it a 1-2 sweep with an impressive late-race charge.

On the heels of its dominating Le Mans showing, the Ford GT once again proved to be the fastest car of the field, with Westbrook and Hand’s No. 66 Le Mans-winning chassis putting in some blistering pace in a caution-filled final hour of the race, even improving upon yesterday’s new qualifying record.

It also marked Westbrook’s third consecutive win at The Glen, following overall victories with the Visit Florida Racing Corvette DP the last two years.

While the No. 67 car was in control for most of the race, it was the sister No. 66 car that fought back from outside the top-five with a quick final pit stop and overtakes on the No. 68 Scudaria Corsa Ferrari 488 GTE and No. 25 BMW Team RLL M6 GTLM.

Hand’s final pass around the outside of Bill Auberlen’s BMW in the closing laps that was the hardest, with the Californian running wide outside the track for second.

Following their struggles with the new WEC-spec Michelin tires at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, BMW bounced back with a third place class finish as the M6 GTLM was effectively to only car to match the pace of the Ford GT.

The No. 68 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari looked to be on course for a podium finish, but lost out to Hand’s Ford and Tommy Milner in the No. 4 Corvette C7.R to finish fifth in the end.

While the C7.R lacked the ultimate lap times, Corvette still had a solid showing with Milner and Oliver Gavin finishing fourth in the No. 4 car.

They maintain their championship lead, as Westbrook and Briscoe move up to second in the standings, only eight points behind.

Porsche, meanwhile, struggled, with both cars finishing at the rear of the field.

GT Daytona honors went to the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 of Jeff Segal, Christina Nielsen and Alessandro Balzan, with the latter keeping the hard-charging Magnus Racing Audi R8 LMS of Andy Lally behind.

The turbocharged Ferrari bounced back after dropping down one lap in the third hour, due to a lengthy pitstop to replace an engine sensor.

The No. 23 Heart of Racing/Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R completed the podium, as Jeroen Bleekemolen’s No. 33 Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper GT3-R lost two positions in the final minutes to come home fourth in class.

The No. 9 Stevenson Motorsports Audi that had led for most of the race fell back in the final hour due to a slow pitstop and a drive-through penalty for jumping a restart, resulting in only a sixth place finish for Lawson Aschenbach and Matt Bell.

A number of other contenders, including the No. 6 Stevenson Audi and No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3, dropped back with tire failures attributed to new curbing and debris.

RESULTS: Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen

Vincent Wouters (@VinceWouters) is a Belgium-based sports car racing reporter, providing coverage primarily of the Blancpain GT Series.


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