United SportsCar Watkins Glen: Westbrook and Valiante take win

Richard Westbrook and Michael Valiante stayed clear of trouble in a frantic, rain-interrupted six-hour Watkins Glen race to become the Tudor United SportsCar Championship's first repeat winners of 2015

United SportsCar Watkins Glen: Westbrook and Valiante take win

Westbrook brought the Spirit of Daytona car home first after a late fuel stop by Ganassi's Joey Hand and then a yellow flag finish gifted them the win and the championship lead.

Hand still finished second with Scott Pruett but will rue the stop, which came just before the final caution.

Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa finished third for Action Express Racing to extend their North American Endurance Cup lead.

The Action Express pair led the Prototype field away when officials ruled that teams would start in championship order, because of a cancelled wet qualifying session.

They pulled away initially, with the second Action Express car of Dane Cameron and Westbrook entertaining with a brilliant battle for second.

Cameron's eagerness got the better of him though on the hour mark when he collided with a Prototype Challenge car and sustained a puncture.

Ganassi had a spell in the lead thanks to brilliant pit timing, calling Hand in just as the course went yellow, while Wayne Taylor Racing also moved into contention.

Approaching the halfway mark, Jordan Taylor led from Barbosa and Scott Pruett, before Barbosa made sure Action Express took the mid-race NAEC bonus points when he swept past Taylor at the inner loop; the Wayne Taylor driver cutting the chicane mid-battle.

The lead Action Express pair then led again until the final two hours, pitting at the first sight of rain.

Taylor stayed out on slicks; this was decisive as the WTR Corvette came out ahead of Pruett and Fittipaldi in brother Ricky's hands.

He then built up a 25s lead, but it was shortlived as low visibility in the ever wetter conditions meant first a yellow, then a red flag.

The race was restarted for a 30-minute shootout, and Taylor crashed at the penultimate corner and also damaged Hand's car when trying to pit.

Hand still pulled away but needed to pit for fuel, which handed the lead to Westbrook. A finish under the yellow flags meant that the SDR team's win was secure.

GTLM: FALKEN PORSCHE UPSTAGES WORKS CARS

Falken Porsche driver Wolf Henzler prevailed in tricky conditions to claim his first win in the USC alongside Bryan Sellers.

Patrick Pilet took the lead early on as many in the GTLM class struggled to get the power down on the initially damp track.

Oliver Gavin spun his #4 Corvette, tagging the second works Porsche of Le Mans winner Earl Bamber in the process and forcing repairs at the 911's first stop.

Around the hour and 20-minute mark, Pilet came under pressure from John Edwards in the RLL BMW.

Pilet was firm in his defence but was powerless to deny Edwards diving up the inside into the inner loop.

But two hours later it all went wrong for Edwards as, having just taken the wheel back from Lucas Luhr, he locked up on cold tyres at Turn 6 and crashed out of the race.

After the restart, the class settled down again with the second Corvette of Tommy Milner leading for a couple of hours save for pitstops.

Henzler was second and Bill Auberlen in the other BMW was third when the red flag came out.

In a frantic run to the finish after the restart, Milner crashed in the wet and handed Henzler a lead he would not lose.

Bamber fought back to second while Auberlen slipped to third.

Renger van der Zande, Mike Hedlund and Alex Popow of Starworks Motorsport won in PC and in GT Daytona Marc Goossens won for Riley Motorsports alongside Cameron Lewis and Al Carter.

RESULTS - 160 LAPS:

Pos Class Driver Team Car Gap
1 P R.Westbrook, M.Valiante visitflorida.com Racing Corvette/Chevrolet 6h00m59.464s
2 P J.Hand, S.Pruett Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Riley/Ford 11.351s
3 P J.Barbosa, C.Fittipaldi Action Express Racing Corvette/Chevrolet 15.045s
4 PC R.van der Zande, M.Hedlund, A.Popow Starworks Motorsport ORECA/Chevrolet 2 Laps
5 PC M.Guasch, T.K.-Smith, A.Palmer PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA/Chevrolet 2 Laps
6 PC M.Plowman, D.Burkett, M.McMurry BAR1 Motorsports ORECA/Chevrolet 2 Laps
7 PC J.Bennett, C.Braun, J.Gue CORE Autosport ORECA/Chevrolet 2 Laps
8 P E.Curran, D.Cameron, M.Papis Action Express Racing Corvette/Chevrolet 2 Laps
9 PC M.Goikhberg, R.Mitchell, C.Miller JDC-Miller Motorsports ORECA/Chevrolet 2 Laps
10 GTLM B.Sellers, W.Henzler Team Falken Tire Porsche 3 Laps
11 GTLM J.Bergmeister, E.Bamber Porsche North America Porsche 3 Laps
12 GTLM B.Auberlen, D.Werner BMW Team RLL BMW 3 Laps
13 GTLM J.Magnussen, A.Garcia Corvette Racing Chevrolet 3 Laps
14 GTLM P.Kaffer, G.Fisichella Risi Competizione Ferrari 3 Laps
15 GTLM N.Tandy, P.Pilet Porsche North America Porsche 3 Laps
16 GTD A.Carter, C.Lawrence, M.Goossens Riley Motorsports Dodge 8 Laps
17 GTD J.Potter, A.Lally, M.Seefried Magnus Racing Porsche 8 Laps
18 GTD C.Haase, D.von Moltke, B.Miller Paul Miller Racing Audi 8 Laps
19 GTD B.Sweedler, T.Bell Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 8 Laps
20 GTD C.MacNeil, L.Keen, A.Davis Alex Job Racing Porsche 8 Laps
21 GTD B.Keating, J.Bleekemolen Riley Motorsports Dodge 8 Laps
22 GTD I.James, M.Farnbacher Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing Porsche 8 Laps
23 GTD M.Snow, J.Heylen Wright Motorsports Porsche 8 Laps
24 GTD M.Marsal, M.Palttala Turner Motorsport BMW Not running
25 GTD C.Nielsen, K.Wittmer TRG-AMR Aston Martin Not running
26 GTD P.Lindsey, S.Pumpelly Park Place Motorsports Porsche Not running
27 P T.Long, J.Miller, B.Devlin Speedsource Mazda 16 Laps
28 P R.Taylor, J.Taylor, M.Angelelli Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette/Chevrolet Not running
29 GTLM O.Gavin, T.Milner Corvette Racing Chevrolet Not running
30 PC B.Junqueira, C.Cumming RSR Racing ORECA/Chevrolet 50 Laps
31 PC J.French, J.Mee, C.Daly Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA/Chevrolet 55 Laps
32 P J.Pew, O.Negri Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Ligier/HPD Not running
33 P M.Rojas, K.Legge Claro / TracFone DeltaWing Racing DeltaWing/Elan Not running
34 GTLM J.M.Edwards, L.Luhr BMW Team RLL BMW Not running
- P T.Nunez, J.Bomarito, S.Tremblay Speedsource Mazda Withdrawn


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