Action Express Racing capitalized on strategy and changing track conditions to take its first victory of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season in Friday’s weather-affected WeatherTech 240 at The Glen.
Felipe Nasr drove his No. 31 Cadillac DPi-V.R to a 1.473-second win over a hard-charging No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac of Renger van der Zande following a stop-start race that was marred by a 45-minute red flag for lightning in the area.
While the pole-sitting No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05 of Ricky Taylor led from the green, an off-sequence pit strategy put the Whelen Engineering-sponsored Cadillac of Derani up front just prior to a caution for the stricken No. 19 Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo of Franck Perera.
The yellow ultimately turned into a red and was restarted with 49 minutes remaining on the clock, when the DPi leaders all pitted for their final stops.
Nasr managed to re-take the lead in the pits, courtesy of a shorter full fuel load time due to the team’s earlier strategy, and held the position through two restarts and to the checkered flag.
It marked the Brazilian duo’s first win since the Sebring sprint race in July 2020.
Van der Zande and Kevin Magnussen, who made opening lap contact with the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura of Olivier Pla, finished second, with Albuquerque getting by the No. 5 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac of Tristan Vautier late in the running to keep their podium streak alive.
While initially slipping back on the final restart, Oliver Jarvis passed the Dane Cameron to take fifth in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen-winning Mazda RT24-P.
PR1/Mathiasen, Riley, Corvette Take Class Honors
The LMP2 class win went to the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca 07 Gibson of Mikkel Jensen and Ben Keating, after missing out on top honors last weekend at the six-hour.
Keating, who started on pole, bridged out a 40-plus second gap during his stint over the No. 11 WIN Autosport Oreca and No. 8 Tower Motorsport by Starworks entry, which finished second and third in class, respectively.
Riley Motorsports scored its third consecutive LMP3 victory, with Felipe Fraga and Gar Robinson taking top class honors in an equally commanding run.
It was a Riley 1-2 result with the team’s No. 91 entry of Dylan Murry and Jim Cox finishing runner-up.
Corvette Racing ended up with a sweep as well in GT Le Mans, led again by the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R of Antonio Garcia and Tommy Milner.
Garcia finished 1.895 seconds ahead of the No. 4 Corvette of Tommy Milner, with the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19 finishing on the lead lap in third.
Vasser Sullivan Lexus Sweeps GTD
Vasser Sullivan Racing broke through to claim its long-awaited first class victory of the season, in a 1-2 run for the pair of Lexus RC F GT3s.
Jack Hawksworth took his No. 14 Lexus to the win ahead of teammate Zach Veach despite having lost a piece of his car’s headlight box.
Veach’s co-driver Frankie Montecalvo led early in the No. 12 Lexus and held it through the red flag although Hawksworth passed Veach for the class lead shortly after the race’s restart.
Hawksworth shared top class honors with Aaron Telitz in the WeatherTech Sprint Cup-only round for GTD competitors.
The No. 23 The Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 of Ross Gunn and Roman De Angelis scored another podium finish in third ahead of the No. 39 CarBahn with Peregrine Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo in fourth.
Alegra Motorsports’ Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo completed the top-five in class.
The No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 hit trouble early with a broken power steering belt, sending the car behind the wall for repairs.
It was one of three cars not to be running at the end of the race, the two other being the No. 84 Dawson Racing Ligier and No. 1 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini.
RESULTS: WeatherTech 240