A late-race restart was all that Richard Westbrook needed on Alex Brundle, as the Spirit of Daytona Racing driver broke through to claim victory in Sunday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.
The No. 90 Corvette DP powered by Brundle’s OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan on the second-to-final restart with 12 minutes to go, which immediately went back to yellow following an accident by Scott Pruett and Renger van der Zande.
It set up a green/white checkered with 8 seconds left on the clock, but Brundle’s P2 car wasn’t a match for the power of the DP, which dashed away at the restart again. Despite Brundle’s valiant effort, Westbrook edged out a 0.877 gap at the checkered flag.
The GM factory driver and Michael Valiante scored their first TUDOR United SportsCar Championship victory and the first for the Troy Filis-led organization since Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in 2012.
Brundle and co-drivers Ho-Pin Tung and Gustavo Yacaman, which all led at portions of the race in a breakout performance for the French squad, had to settle for second, largely due to the power deficit in P2-based cars.
The No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP of Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi completed the podium in third, with the sister No. 9 Action Express entry of Burt and Brian Frisselle and Jon Fogarty in fourth.
Brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor and Max Angelelli rebounded for a top-five after a mid-race penalty due to Angelelli existing a closed pit. It put the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP one lap down and unable to challenge for the win.
Prototype Challenge class honors went to CORE autosport’s Colin Braun, Jon Bennett and James Gue, which continued their undefeated record in the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup.
The No. 54 Oreca FLM09 didn’t miss a beat throughout the race, which saw the trio finish an impressive sixth overall and only five laps behind the overall race-winning Spirit of Daytona entry.
It marked the Morgan Brady-led CORE squad’s fourth class victory in five races, including wins at Daytona and Sebring, while also extending Braun and Bennett’s lead in the PC championship standings.
The No. 88 BAR1 Motorsports entry of Doug Bieldefeld, David Cheng and Martin Plowman scored a surprise season-best second place result, in what turned into a race of attrition for the remainder of the class.
Plowman made up considerable ground in the closing stages following a mammoth 3.5-hour stint and benefitted from late-race accidents for Van der Zande’s No. 8 Starworks Motorsport entry, which lost its brakes, and the No. 08 RSR Racing entry of Alex Tagliani, who collided with Tracy Krohn.
The No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports duo of Gunnar Jeannette and Frankie Montecalvo completed the podium in third after leading the race early until suffering a broken steering arm after contact with a GT car.
RESULTS: Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen