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.)