IMSA: Spirit of Daytona takes Watkins Glen overall win

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The No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette Daytona Prototype, driven by Richard Westbrook and Michael Valiante, has taken the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship win at the Sahlen’s Six Hours at the Glen, the third round of the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup. It’s the team’s first win of the season.

Westbrook made the winning move on Alex Brundle in the polesitting No. 42 OAK Racing Morgan Nissan after the second-to-last restart inside the final 10 minutes. Westbrook’s Corvette followed another Corvette DP, driven by Burt Frisselle, through before the Bus Stop chicane. Frisselle had taken the opportunity to unlap himself in the No. 9 Action Express entry just previous.

Contact between Alex Tagliani in the No. 08 RSR Racing Oreca FLM09 and Ian James in the No. 23 Team Seattle/AJR Porsche 911 GT America at the final corner with less than a half an hour remaining put the race under its third full course caution, prior to the Westbrook overtake.

There was a one-lap green flag shootout after another accident between the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Ford EcoBoost Riley (Scott Pruett) and No. 8 Starworks Motorsport Oreca FLM09 (Renger van der Zande) at the entrance to the Boot.

Although the race went back to green, given the Corvette’s torque and power advantage compared to the better aero for Brundle, the Morgan never really stood a chance at getting back around. Brundle, Gustavo Yacaman and Ho-Pin Tung finished a hard luck second.

Corvette not only won overall but also took its third straight win in the GT Le Mans category, with the No. 3 of Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen on top.

CORE autosport (PC, Colin Braun, Jon Bennett, James Gue) won its fourth race of five this season and Turner Motorsport (GT Daytona, Dane Cameron, Markus Palttala) won its second race of the year.

Rebellion confirms LMP1 return, all-star line-up for WEC super season

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Rebellion Racing has confirmed it will return to the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship for the 2018/19 ‘super season’ with an all-star line-up featuring Le Mans winners Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer.

Rebellion raced in LMP1 as a privateer between 2009 and 2016 before stepping down to LMP2 for the most recent season, capturing the class titles at the first attempt.

Following a push from the WEC and Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) to make LMP1 more appealing to privateer teams, Rebellion announced on Wednesday it would return to the premier class for the 2018/19 season with a two-car effort.

WEC LMP2 champion Bruno Senna will return with Rebellion next year, as will Mathias Beche, with the pair set to be joined by four new faces.

The most notable arrivals are Porsche factory drivers Lotterer and Jani, both of whom were left without an LMP1 drive following the closure of the German manufacturer’s program at the end of the season.

American racer Gustavo Menezes will also join Rebellion, stepping up after two years in LMP2, while outstanding 2017 rookie Thomas Laurent completes the Swiss team’s line-up.

“I am looking forward to coming back where my endurance career started nine years ago,” said Jani.

“Rebellion Racing played a huge role in my career and also helped me become a factory driver for Porsche. When Porsche stopped in LMP1, it was clear for me that I wanted to race again for Rebellion.

“With the new regulations, I hope we can reach the overall podium at Le Mans and with a bit of luck, maybe we can even grab some wins during the super season of WEC.”

“I am very happy to join the champion Rebellion team,” added three-time Le Mans winner Lotterer.

“The LMP1 project is very exciting and to be able to go on with the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA WEC challenge is something I did not want to miss.

“I am motivated and looking forward to have a great time with great people there.”