Watkins Glen USC: Westbrook denies Brundle in DP/LMP2 battle
|By Charles Bradley||Sunday, June 29th 2014, 22:00 GMT|
A late-race restart changed the course of United SportsCar's Watkins Glen Six Hours, as the Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP's straightline speed advantage over the LMP2 OAK Morgan proved decisive.
Alex Brundle in the LMP2 car and Richard Westbrook in the Daytona Prototype were fighting out a private duel in the final hour of the race, as Brundle needed to establish a gap to make a splash-and-dash pitstop while Westbrook, who had stopped later, could go to the finish.
But a full-course yellow, as Alex Tagliani's PC-class car collided with Ian James's GTD Porsche at the final corner, meant the 'fuel race' between them was over.
Now Brundle's challenge was the restart, as the DP cars carried a huge speed advantage from the startline to the Bus Stop.
He got divebombed into Turn 1 by the lapped Action Express car of Burt Frisselle, who hung Brundle out wide through the opening corners.
This helped Westbrook get a run through the Esses and he powered past Brundle with ease on the run to the Bus Stop, with Brundle visibly shrugging inside the car as he was powerless to stop it happening.
"Unfortunately for Alex, he was a sitting dummy," admitted Westbrook, who shared the winning car with Michael Valiante.
Brundle radioed his ire: "He's just driven past me - this isn't racing."
Another yellow flag quickly came out, which meant that Brundle could not fight back and would have to settle for second with team-mates Ho-Pin Tung and Gustavo Yacaman.
Although the race restarted for a one-lap sprint to the finish, Westbrook held onto his lead by 0.8 seconds over Brundle, with the Joao Barbosa/Christian Fittipaldi Action Express Corvette finishing third.
There was a fierce late GTLM fight between Antonio Garcia's Chevy Corvette and Marc Goossens' SRT Dodge Viper, with Garcia prevailing by 0.185s in the car he shared with Jan Magnussen.
In the PC class, the CORE Autosport machine of Colin Braun/James Gue/John Bennett took victory. The Turner Motorsports BMW of Dane Cameron and Markus Palttala held sway in GTD.
Results - 191 laps: Pos Cl Drivers Team/Car Time/Gap 1. P Westbrook/Valiante SDR Corvette DP 6h01m36.194s 2. P Yacaman/Brundle/Tung OAK Morgan-Nissan +0.877s 3. P Barbosa/Fittipaldi/Frisselle Action Express Corvette DP +1.587s 4. P Frisselle/Frisselle/Fogarty Action Express Corvette DP +36.067s 5. P Taylor/Taylor/Angelelli Taylor Corvette DP -1 lap 6. PC Bennett/Braun CORE FLM -5 laps 7. PC Plowman/Bielefield/Cheng BAR1 FLM -5 laps 8. PC Montecalvo/Jeannette PR1/Mathiasen FLM -5 laps 9. PC Ostella/Hedlund Performance Tech FLM -5 laps 10. PC Fuentes/Bird Starworks FLM -6 laps Other class winners: 11. GTLM Magnussen/Garcia Corvette 6 laps 25. GTD Cameron/Palttala Turner BMW 13 laps