Racing survives wet weather for Watkins Glen win

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WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – The No. 90 Racing pairing of Richard Westbrook and Michael Valiante won their second race of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season, Sunday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen held in primarily wet and frequently changing conditions.

Westbrook took the lead in the final 15 minutes when Joey Hand made a final splash for fuel in the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Riley-Ford, which took the car he and Scott Pruett shared out of the lead.

“We had plenty in the tank actually,” Westbrook said. “When Michael pitted the last time when he came in under his own, I knew we’d be in good shape and that was it until the end.

“It was super fun out there, especially when it was raining out there and we were on slicks. I think the officials did a great job today, with the red flagging and the standing water. They made some great tough calls today.”

It dropped that pairing down to second, while Action Express Racing finished third overall with the No. 5 Corvette DP of Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi.

Hand survived a near miss when Ricky Taylor spun the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP on the wet track exiting Turn 10 in the final hour, then smacked a barrier. There was slight damage to the Riley-Ford but not enough to take it out of contention.

Fuel mileage was also a storyline in the GT Le Mans class, with the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR car making it home on fumes to score an emotional first victory of the year.

The win, achieved by Bryan Sellers and Wolf Henzler, occurs in the first race since it was announced in mid-May that Falken would be withdrawing its support of the Walker Racing program at year’s end. It leaves all in a position knowing they’ll have to find new work at the end of the year.

Starworks Motorsport (Prototype Challenge, Renger van der Zande, Mike Hedlund, Alex Popow) and Riley Motorsports (GT Daytona, Al Carter, Cameron Lawrence, Marc Goossens) won the other two classes.

All except GTD will be in action at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in two weeks, while GTD returns with PC at Lime Rock Park at the end of July.