Action Express Racing Goes 1-2 at the WeatherTech Sportscar Sahlen 6 Hours at the Glen!

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Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa (No. 5 Action Express Raciing Mustang Sampling/Cider Tree Corvette DP) won the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen to take their first victory of the season in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The drivers now have the lead in both the WeatherTech Championship and Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup standings after their victory. Barbosa finished 0.709 seconds ahead of Action Express Racing teammate Dane Cameron (No. 31 Whelen Engineering/Team Fox Corvette DP, co-driven by Eric Curran) at the 3.4-mile Watkins Glen International circuit. “It was probably one of the fastest-paced races that I’ve done in a while,” Barbosa said. “They did an amazing job with the repaved surface. We were able to keep up the pace for a long time. We did a few changes after qualifying and we really hit it. The team has been working really hard to get a win for the No. 5 car, and we did it in great style. It was a great race, very hard.” The No. 60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Curb Records/AERO Ligier JS P2 driven by Olivier Pla, John Pew and Ozz Negri finished third, 1.048 seconds behind.

Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe (No. 67 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT) finished ahead of teammates Joey Hand and Dirk Mueller (No. 66 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT) to make it a 1-2 for Ford in the GTLM class at The Glen. The GTLM class battle was between Ford and BMW, as both Porsche and Corvette Racing were relegated to being also-rans due to the BoP numbers. (IMSA didn’t change its BoP specs after Le Mans. Now that it has hard data from The Glen, action is expected to be taken to make the Corvettes and Porsche more competitive.) The win moved the No. 67 teammates to within eight points, 159-151, of GTLM championship co-leaders Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin, (No. 4 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R). Bill Auberlen/Dirk Werner (No. 25 Rahal Letterman Lanigan IHG Rewards Club BMW M6 GTLM) finished third. (Ford announced at The Glen that its factory-supported Ford GT GTLM/GTE PRO racing program will run for a minimum of three more years in both IMSA and FIA WEC competition, through the 2019 season. “We wanted to make sure everyone knows that we are committed to sports car racing globally with WEC and IMSA,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president and chief technical officer. “The stated goal of our Ford GT program was to win Le Mans, and we’re very proud that we were able to do that in our first year. To commit to a full, four-year assault on both the IMSA and WEC championships shows how serious we are about taking Ford GT racing around the world. We are in motorsport to win races and championships, but just as importantly we are using it to develop our engineering expertise and help develop advancements for production vehicles like EcoBoost engines, advanced aerodynamics and lightweight materials that consumers can use in Ford production vehicles going forward.” The first-year program currently consists of two Ford GT race cars in IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship competition, and two Ford GT race cars in the FIA World Endurance Championship.)

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Motor City Mayhem!

VIEW GALLERYJordan and Ricky Taylor (No. 10 WTR Konica Minolta Corvette DP) won Saturday’s 2016 Chevrolet Sports Classic Presented by the Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers on Belle Isle Park in Detroit.

It was the second IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship victory at the circuit for the Taylor brothers. Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa (No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP) finished second, 1.740 seconds behind. Jonathan Bomarito and Tristan Nunez (No. 55 Castrol/ModSpace Mazda Prototype) finished third, giving Mazda Motorsports its first podium finish in IMSA WeatherTech Championship competition.

Renger van der Zande (No. 8 Starworks Motorsport ORECA FLM09, started by Alex Popow) pressured Colin Braun (No. 54 CORE autosport ORECA FLM09, started by Jon Bennett) into making a rare mistake with less than five minutes remaining to win in the Prototype Challenge (PC) class at Detroit for the second consecutive year.

Ben Keating and Jeroen Bleekemolen (No. 33 ViperExchange.com/Gas Monkey Garage Dodge Viper GT3-R) won the GTD class in Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race. Joerg Bergmeister and Patrick Lindsey (No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911) finished second and Alessandro Balzan/Christina Nielsen (No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3) finished third.


Fuel Strategies Play Big Role in Results at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with Split Race WeatherTech Format.

[VIEW FULL GALLERY]Congratulations to Ozz Negri and John Pew in the Prototype class. The Michael Shank Racing team combined stellar pit work and late-race speed to give the No. 60 Curb-Agajanian Honda Ligier JS P2 its first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship victory, with the win in Sunday’s Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix powered by Mazda at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Negri led all but five of the final 31 laps on the 11-turn, 2.238-mile circuit to give the team its first triumph since winning the 2012 Rolex 24 At Daytona.

The No. 67 Ford GT, just four races into its heralded program in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship,  saw Chip Ganassi Racing co-drivers Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe earn a breakthrough GT Le Mans (GTLM) class victory in the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix powered by Mazda at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Westbrook conserved enough fuel saving the team a pit stop, going on to score the win by 12.545 seconds over Alessandro Pier Guidi in the No. 68 Ferrari. It was Westbrook’s ninth career victory in major U.S. sports car racing and his third at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, and was the 12th major U.S. sports car win for Briscoe.

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