Richard Westbrook said Sunday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen was a “soul destroying” experience after being unable to match Porsche and Corvette on outright pace.
The Englishman and co-driver Ryan Briscoe claimed a third place finish in GT Le Mans following an up-and-down race that saw Westbrook lead early but tumble down the running order after several setbacks.
An issue with the steering column saw the No. 67 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT drop to fourth in class, prior to a slow driver change to Briscoe that lost further ground in the second hour.
While put in prime position by staying out during the race’s fourth and final full-course caution with 1 hour and 24 minutes to go, Westbrook said he didn’t have anything for the No. 3 Corvette C7.R of Antonio Garcia or the class-winning Porsche 911 RSR of Nick Tandy in the end.
“The guys did a great strategy and got me into second,” Westbrook told Sportscar365. “Somehow the Corvette jumped us in the pits.
“I still don’t understand how that happened because we were four or five seconds clear of Garcia and then came out for our last splash and he was three seconds in front. That was a bit weird.
“The others just seem to be faster. We weren’t fast enough.
“This is our best track so god knows what it’s going to be like in Mosport. I don’t know if there’s going to be any [BoP] adjustment, probably not after this race.
“That was soul-destroying. This is our track. We had nothing for them.”
Westbrook, who claimed class honors at Watkins Glen in 2016, prior to teammate Joey Hand and Dirk Mueller’s victory there last year, has expressed concern about their pace for the remainder of the season.
“At this track, if we’re not clearly fast enough, then we’re in trouble for the rest of the year,” he said.
“I don’t want to rely on BoP because this is not the way this organization goes racing. We want to fight fair and square.
“But I fear the worst going into Mosport. That’s not a great track for us.”
Westbrook described his freak issue with the steering column that dropped him out of the class lead early on.
“I came through the Bus Stop and it moved up,” he said. “We have an adjustable column for the driver changes. It went [up].
“But then the problem was coming around the left-hander. It moved so far I got stuck in second gear. I had to pull it down, get it in third [gear].”