Mazda triumphs on fuel conservation strategy at Watkins Glen; IMSA results, points

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IMSA points, results Watkins Glen: Mazda scored its second consecutive victory at Watkins Glen International as Harry Tincknell stretched the final tank of fuel in the No. 55 for more than 45 minutes Sunday to win the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.

Tincknell, who was teamed with Oliver Jarvis and Jonathan Bomarito, ran out of fuel on the cooldown lap and needed a ride to victory lane (while the Mazda needed a tow).

It was the first victory this season and sixth victory in DPi for Mazda Motorsports, and its second at Watkins Glen (where its 2019 victory started a three-race winning streak). The road course in upstate New York canceled its 2020 race because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“I’ve got a great team behind me, and they just kept giving me the (fuel) numbers on the radio, and they kept coming down to the point where i was oh my goodness, this is crazy now,'” Tincknell told Parker Kligerman on NBCSN.

“I’m lifting halfway down the straights to make it around corners that I was braking. Incredible team effort. They said on the last lap you have enough fuel to make it to the finish line. They were correct on that. But they forgot about the in lap.

“Unbelievable job for Mazda. Thirty years ago this week, they won Le Mans in 1991. Thirty years on, to get another victory here where this program really took off in 2019 is absolutely fantastic.”

The manufacturer has announced its exit from IMSA’s top division after this year.

Mazda DPi drivers Jonathan Bomarito (top left), Oliver Jarvis (top middle) and Harry Tincknell, celebrate in victory lane at Watkins Glen International with Mo Murray of Mazda (IMSA).

“We knew (Tincknell) could do it,” Jarvis told Kligerman. “The pace was incredible with the amount of fuel save. Thankfully everybody had to save (fuel). It’s just been amazing weekend. This was a real team effort. This is a special one. This has been a good year so far, but we need to put wins on the board if we want to win the championship, and that’s what we’ve done.”

Tincknell finished 0.965 seconds ahead of Olivier Pla in the No. 60 Acura (with co-driver Dane Cameron). Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque in the No. 10 Acura rounded out the podium.

The Action Express No. 31 Cadillac (of Felipe Nasr, Pipo Derani and Mike Conway and the No. 48 Ally Cadillac of Jimmie Johnson, Kamui Kobayashi and Simon Pagenaud rounded out the top five.

Kobayashi gained two spots on the final lap to cross the line in fourth but was penalized a spot for avoidable contact on Kevin Magnussen.

“It was a fuel-saving race for everyone,” Kobayashi said. “We managed to save fuel quite well. I think we were OK. Unfortunately, we got a penalty for a collision with Magnussen. I think he was low on fuel, maybe. I tried to overtake him on the inside, and when I moved to the inside under braking, he moved, too. He moved to the inside and I just couldn’t avoid (hitting Magnussen). I don’t know what I could have done if he’s low on fuel.”

GTLM: Antonio Garcia, co-driving the No. 3 C8.R with Jordan Taylor, fended off a charge from the BMW of John Edwards to deliver Corvette Racing its 116th career victory and first at Watkins Glen since 2014.

“It was tough,” Garcia, who had his 24th career victory, told NBCSN’s Dillon Welch. “I knew we had traffic and though it would be OK because we had a little more pace, but as you find out the last five laps, we found DPis, the GT3s, some LMP3s, everyone packed up and had John coming on me the last few laps. Intense, but the C8.R worked perfect today. Happy to bring home a victory.”

GTD: Bill Auberlen extended his IMSA record with his 64th career victory, taking the No. 96 Turner Motorsports BMW M6 to victory lane on a fuel conservation strategy with co-drivers Robby Foley and Aidan Read. It was Turner Motorsports’ second victory this season and 23rd overall (fourth at Watkins Glen).

“We don’t always have the fastest car, but this BMW M6 is awesome, and it’s the team, they put us in position to win every weekend, and you can’t ask for more than that,” Auberlen told Welch after his fourth Watkins Glen victory.

LMP2: Tristan Nunez carried the pole-sitting No. 11 of WIN Autosport to its first victory. Co-drivers Steven Thomas and Thomas Merrill earned their first victories.

LMP3: The No. 74 of Riley Motorsports scored its third victory this season and maintained its streak of finishing on the podium of every race with drivers Felipe Fraga, Scott Andrews and Gar Robinson.

RESULTS: Click here for the final overall finishing order and here for the class breakdown.

POINTS: Click here for the unofficial standings after Watkins Glen l Endurance Cup standings


STATS PACKAGE FOR THE SAHLEN’S SIX HOURS OF THE GLEN:

Fastest laps by driver

Fastest laps by driver after race (over the weekend)

Fastest laps by driver and class after race

Fastest lap sequence

Leader sequence

Lap chart

Race analysis by lap

Stint analysis

Best sector times

Race distance and speed average

Time cards

Pit stop time cards


ROUND 1: Points and results from the Rolex 24 at Daytona

ROUND 2: Points and results from the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring

ROUND 3: Points and results from Mid-Ohio

ROUND 4: Points and results from Detroit

NEXT: The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will return to Watkins Glen International for the IMSA Weather Tech 240, a two-hour, 40-minute race on July 2 (6 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

The road to the 2023 Daytona 500 is not paved for Travis Pastrana, he’ll attempt the DIRTcar Nationals

Pastrana DIRTcar Nationals
Jacy Norgaard / World of Outlaws
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Travis Pastrana will attempt to make his first NASCAR Cup series race on February 19 with the grandaddy of them all, the Daytona 500, but his road to get there will not be paved and his car will have only two fenders as he tackles Florida Speedweeks and the DIRTcar Nationals.

In mid-January, it was announced Pastrana will attempt to qualify a third car from 23XI Racing that fields fulltime entries for Bubba Wallace and Tyler Reddick. Sponsorship will come from Black Rifle Coffee, who approached him during the offseason to ask what kind of “really cool stuff” he would like to do. Pastrana replied, “the Daytona 500” with a characteristic laugh in his voice.

“It’s good,” Pastrana said in a press release. “We’re going to go down, we’re going to go hangout with [NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion] Matt Crafton, one of [Black Rifle’s] drivers, we’ll go to Modified races and watch all the Late Models. We’ll watch the racing, and we’ll bring [United States military] veterans down and hangout with [Steve] Arpin.”

But there is a saying among dirt track fans that goes, ‘asphalt is for getting to the track; dirt is for racing’ – and Pastrana is taking that to heart.

After racing on the snow in Nitro Rallycross February 4-5 in Calgary, Alberta, the original plan was to head to Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Florida to watch the modified and late model races. Until Crafton called him out for not racing.

Pastrana relayed the conversation: “I told Crafton [I was coming to watch] and he goes, ‘Ah, too much of a sissy to drive?’ I called Arpin, and said, ‘So, Longhorn, I heard you guys have vehicles that can kick the crap out of Crafton’s vehicle.’ [Arpin] said, ‘Yeah, if you don’t suck, you can beat him.’ I said, ‘Alright, I’m in.’”

The DIRTcar Nationals run from February 6-18. The first week features six UMP Modified Mains each night they run, on Monday (Feb. 6), Friday (Feb. 10), and then the prestigious Gator Championship race on Saturday (Feb. 11). Pastrana hopes to run every night in one of Arpin’s cars, also with sponsorship from Black Riffle Coffee.

And this is not just for bragging rights; there is money on the line. Pastrana and Crafton have a $1 bet on who has the best finish.

While Pastrana is accustomed pitching his car sideways on a combination of left and right turns in a rally car – he won the Nitro Rallycross race at ERX Motorsports Park in Minneapolis, Minnesota last October and became the first two-time winner in the 2022/23 season at Wild Horse Pass in Phoenix, Arizona in November – the DIRTcar Nationals will be an entirely different proposition.

It took a day for Pastrana to get comfortable in the modified. And it took a little coaching from Arpin, who has experience in both dirt modifieds and rally cars to make him fast.

“[Arpin] showed up the second day after hearing how bad the first day was,” Pastrana said, which is confirmed in the Instagram post embedded above. “But he just told me, until you commit, it’s not going to work. Once I committed, it started making a lot of sense. But coming in, if you’re lifting off the gas while trying to turn, it just doesn’t turn and all your natural instincts say, ‘Don’t get on the gas.’ So, yeah, I feel like it should suit my driving style because I’m more of an aggressive sideways type of driver, but it was very difficult. Turning and sliding, I’m fine. Getting it there is not the easiest.”

Pastrana has one previous start in a dirt late model that came in the 2010 Prelude to the Dream. He finished 23rd in the 27-car field and was three laps off the pace. He wasn’t the only driver having difficulty getting a feel for the car that night; Jeff Gordon finished on the same lap, only one position ahead of him.

Travis Pastrana will race one of Steve Arpin’s dirt modifieds during Florida Speedweeks as he prepares for the 2023 Daytona 500. – Jacy Norgaard, World Racing Group

The price of the weekend could well exceed the dollar he may lose to Crafton.

“It’s going to be an expensive weekend,” Pastrana said. “Not everything is covered. If I crash anything, it is going to be all on me. This is one of those things where I want to come down and have fun. I want to hang out with the crowd, I want to sign autographs and give high fives. Especially for the Modified crew, that’s the grassroots racing that I love and some of my friends are involved with. We’ll be camping down there with Arpin and all the Longhorn guys, just hanging out. I feel like that’s a great opportunity for us to bring a lot of [US] veterans and bring people that are into racing and aren’t into racing, friends and family, and just have an awesome time.”

And it’s not out of the question that Pastrana could add another top-10 to his record book in the DIRTcar Nationals. After the rocky first day, Pastrana gained speed. Enough so that Arpin’s confidence was raised.

“We’re pretty confident Crafton is going to have to run hard to keep his dollar,” Arpin said.