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Watkins Glen USC: Westbrook denies Brundle in DP/LMP2 battle

Richard Westbrook and Michael Valiante, Spirit of Daytona, win Watkins Glen United SportsCar 2014

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
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