Spirit of Daytona Grabs Glen Win

R.Westbrook

Richard Westbrook held off pole sitter Alex Brundle in a tense final lap Sunday to win the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International. (Photo: Getty Images)

Prototype Results / PC ResultsGTL / GTD

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. - Sunday's Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International came down to a late duel between British drivers Richard Westbrook and Alex Brundle.

Westbrook drove his No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Racing Corvette past Brundle’s No. 42 OAK Racing Morgan/Nissan prototype following a restart with 12 minutes remaining, and just before another full-course caution came out for an incident between Scott Pruett and Renger van der Zande.

That full-course yellow ended just in time for a one-lap chase to the checkered flag.  Westbrook pulled away at the drop of the green flag.  Brundle closed the gap over the second half of the 3.4-mile lap, but his charge came up 0.877 seconds short - giving Westbrook and co-driver Michael Valiante the team's first victory since September 2012 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

"It’s a massive relief for us.  It’s been a bit of a dry spell," Westbrook said.  “We’ll take that win, for sure."

"Richard's and my approach for the last couple races was to keep the car safe and in a position that would allow us to take a podium or possibly the win," said Valiante.  "It's worked for us the last two races."

The team was coming off a second-place finish in Detroit.  Sunday's win was it's fourth, with the first three all registered in 2012.

Brundle started from the pole, and wound up second with co-drivers Gustavo Yacaman and Ho-Pin Tung.

"It's been a tremendous effort from my team and both teammates," Brundle said.  "We made a step forward in pace, understanding the car and understanding the tire.  I think we can go away happy, but we did kind of snatch defeat from the jaws of victory a little bit."

Brundle grabbed the lead on Lap 170 after Valiante pitted for tires, fuel and a driver change with 48 minutes remaining in the race.  An accident between Alex Tagliani and Ian James brought out a full-course caution, giving Westbrook the opportunity to catch and pass Brundle.

The pole sitter had one last chance to track down Westbrook when Pruett was spun by van der Zande with just 10 minutes remaining.  Safety crews hurried to clean the track and Westbrook then prevailed in a one-lap dash to the checkered flag.

"I'm proud of the team," Yacaman said of OAK Racing's runner-up effort.  "The guys worked really hard on the car last night.  They stayed up until 1 a.m. making some updates to the car and getting it ready to race.  Every race we've started, we've been consistent.  We keep moving up the ladder on the podium.  We need that win, we're looking for that win.  We'll keep working hard until we get it."

After winning back-to-back Six Hours of The Glen in 2012 and last year, No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette co-drivers Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi finished third on Sunday.

They retained the lead in the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup standings – the "championship within a championship" that rewards the top-performing teams in IMSA’s four endurance races: the Rolex 24 at Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring, Six Hours of The Glen and the 10-hour Petit Le Mans which closes the season in October.

Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen picked up their third consecutive GT Le Mans class victory Sunday in the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R.  Dane Cameron and Markus Palttala dominated the GT Daytona class on their way to victory in the No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW.

And for the fourth time this season, Colin Braun spearheaded a Prototype Challenge class victory in the No. 54 CORE autosport ORECA FLM09 with co-drivers Jon Bennett and James Gue.  Braun, Bennett and Gue also won endurance races at Daytona and Sebring, while Braun and Bennett won a sprint race at Kansas Speedway earlier this month.

Race Center

Lone Star Le Mans

@ Circuit of the Americas
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Radio Start:
MRN, 12:30 p.m. (ET)

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