Mazda ends long wait for IMSA victory with one-two at Watkins Glen

Harry Tincknell, Jonathan Bomarito and Olivier Pla finally claimed Mazda's first IMSA Sportscar Championship victory, leading a one-two for the manufacturer in the six-hour Watkins Glen race

Mazda ends long wait for IMSA victory with one-two at Watkins Glen

The #55 Team Joest RT24-P shared by the trio dominated much of the race, but lost the lead with an hour remaining to the #6 Team Penske Acura of Juan Pablo Montoya.

Along with the sister #77 Mazda, Tincknell hounded Montoya following a late caution, eventually grabbing the lead back with an assertive move at the Boot.

The #77 also leapfrogged back past the Penske Acura at the final round of pitstops to ensure a Mazda lock-out.

The #6 car had dramas from the beginning, with Montoya's team-mate Dane Cameron having to start from the pitlane after discovering a cut tyre on the grid.

The race got off to a chaotic start and only three corners were completed before the first full-course caution period, caused by a heavy crash for the #4 Corvette of Tommy Milner.

Slight contact with the #912 Porsche 911 RSR of Laurens Vanthoor at the Esses tipped the Corvette across track and into the outside barriers.

Milner was then collected by the #33 Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Ben Keating, with both retiring on the spot.

Barely two laps of green flag racing were completed before the caution was thrown again, this time for the Daytona Prototype international points leading #31 Whelan Engineering Racing Cadillac of Felipe Nasr suffered a left-rear puncture approaching the Boot.

The Brazilian lost control of his car and took the #5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac of Felipe Albuquerque into the gravel. Albuquerque continued, while Nasr required outside assistance.

Oliver Jarvis led the early stages in the #77 Mazda once the race began properly but was usurped at the top by Tincknell, who held a narrow three-second advantage at the one-hour mark.

Having dominated from the start, the Mazdas then split their strategies after two hours, with Timo Bernhard staying out on track in the #77 while Bomarito pitted as Stephen Simpson (#84 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac) brought out the third caution of the day.

Simpson made contact with the #44 Lamborghini Huracn GT3 of John Potter after being momentarily squeezed by the recovering #31 Cadillac at Turn 5.

The order in the DPi class remained unchanged until the start of the final hour as a full-course yellow was shown when Andrew Evans stopped the #38 car at the exit of the Boot.

A few laps earlier, Evans tagged GTLM leader Patrick Pilet at the Bus Stop chicane and spun into the path of the oncoming Team RLL BMW of Tom Blomqvist, who hit the ORECA head on.

This forced the leading trio of Tincknell (#55), Jarvis (#77) and Montoya (#6) into the pits, with quick work for the Penske crew shuffling Montoya to the front - only for the two Mazdas to fight back past.

Matthew McMurry came out on top in LMP2 in the #52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA, but was not without his own dramas, after collecting the then third placed #7 Penske Acura of Helio Castroneves at Turn 1 in the closing stages.

The battle for GT Le Mans supremacy went right down to the wire, with Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet taking victory for the #911 Porsche GT Team by just half a second from Antonio Garcia in the #3 Corvette.

Garcia was the early leader following the sister #4 car's retirement, but Richard Westbrook took the #67 Chip Ganassi Ford - shared with Australian Ryan Briscoe - to the lead ahead of the two-hour marker.

Westbrook then lost the lead following a steering column issue, handing back the initiative to the Porsche of Tandy.

After the final caution, Garcia hounded Tandy, with the Brumos-liveried Porsche just hanging on to win with Westbrook recovering to finish third.

GT Daytona was decided in equally thrilling fashion as Mario Farnbacher edged Bil Auberlen's BMW Turner Motorsport BMW to the line by just 0.676s.

Farnbacher had been running second heading into the final 15 minutes, but made a late lunge round the outside of leader Ryan Dalziel (Starworks Audi R8) at the chicane to claim victory for Meyer Shank Racing Acura.

Result - 211 laps

Pos Class Driver Team Car Gap
1 DPi J.Bomarito, H.Tincknell, O.Pla Mazda Team Joest Mazda 6h00m07.332s
2 DPi O.Jarvis, T.Nunez, T.Bernhard Mazda Team Joest Mazda 0.353s
3 DPi J.P.Montoya, D.Cameron Acura Team Penske Acura 11.783s
4 DPi R.van der Zande, J.Taylor Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R Cadillac 24.837s
5 DPi R.Taylor, H.Castroneves Acura Team Penske Acura 38.684s
6 DPi J.Barbosa, M.Conway, F.Albuquerque Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac 2 Laps
7 DPi F.Nasr, E.Curran, P.Derani Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac 3 Laps
8 DPi W.Owen, R.Binder Juncos Racing Cadillac 5 Laps
9 DPi S.Trummer, S.Simpson, C.Miller JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac 7 Laps
10 LMP2 M.McMurry, G.Aubry, E.Lux PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA/Gibson 10 Laps
11 DPi M.Goikhberg, T.Vautier, J.Piedrahita JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac 12 Laps
12 GTLM P.Pilet, N.Tandy Porsche GT Team Porsche 16 Laps
13 GTLM J.Magnussen, A.Garcia Corvette Racing Chevrolet 16 Laps
14 GTLM R.Briscoe, R.Westbrook Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford 17 Laps
15 GTLM J.Hand, D.Muller Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford 17 Laps
16 GTLM J.Krohn, J.M.Edwards BMW Team RLL BMW 17 Laps
17 GTLM E.Bamber, L.Vanthoor Porsche GT Team Porsche 17 Laps
18 GTD M.Farnbacher, T.Hindman, J.Marks Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Acura 23 Laps
19 GTD B.Auberlen, R.Foley, D.Machavern Turner Motorsport BMW 23 Laps
20 GTD C.MacNeil, T.Vilander, J.Westphal Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 23 Laps
21 GTD K.Legge, C.Nielsen, A.Beatriz Heinricher Racing with Meyer Shank Racing Acura 23 Laps
22 GTD R.Heistand, J.Hawksworth, P.Frommenwiler AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus 23 Laps
23 GTD S.Hargrove, Z.Robichon, L.Kern Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 23 Laps
24 GTD J.Potter, A.Lally, S.Pumpelly Magnus Racing Lamborghini 23 Laps
25 GTD C.Mies, R.Feller, D.Morad Montaplast by Land-Motorsport Audi 23 Laps
26 GTD F.Montecalvo, T.Bell, A.Telitz AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus 23 Laps
27 GTD M.Miller, M.Seefried, D.Werner Black Swan Racing Porsche 25 Laps
28 GTD B.Gdovic, D.Yount, J.Eidson Precision Performance Motorsports Lamborghini 26 Laps
29 GTD P.Chase, R.Dalziel, M.Skeen Starworks Motorsport Audi 26 Laps
30 LMP2 C.Cassels, A.Evans, K.Masson Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA/Gibson 30 Laps
31 GTLM T.Blomqvist, C.De Phillippi BMW Team RLL BMW Not running
32 DPi J.Bennett, C.Braun, R.Dumas CORE Autosport Nissan Not running
33 GTD P.Lindsey, P.Long, N.Boulle Park Place Motorsports Porsche Not running
34 GTD B.Sellers, R.Hardwick, C.Lewis Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Not running
35 GTLM O.Gavin, T.Milner Corvette Racing Chevrolet Not running
36 GTD B.Keating, J.Bleekemolen, F.Fraga Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports Mercedes Not running
- GTD A.Davis, A.Riberas, W.Hardeman Moorespeed Audi Withdrawn

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