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


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


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).

Ford unveils a new Mustang for 2024 Le Mans in motorsports ‘lifestyle brand’ retooling

Ford Mustang Le Mans
Ford Performance

LE MANS, France — Ford has planned a return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans with its iconic Mustang muscle car next year under a massive rebranding of Ford Performance aimed at bringing the automotive manufacturer “into the racing business.”

The Friday unveil of the new Mustang Dark Horse-based race car follows Ford’s announcement in February (and a ballyhooed test at Sebring in March) that it will return to Formula One in 2026 in partnership with reigning world champion Red Bull.

The Mustang will enter the GT3 category next year with at least two cars in both IMSA and the World Endurance Championship, and is hopeful to earn an invitation to next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. The IMSA entries will be a factory Ford Performance program run by Multimatic, and a customer program in WEC with Proton Competition.

Ford CEO Jim Farley, also an amateur sports car racer, told The Associated Press the Mustang will be available to compete in various GT3 series across the globe to customer teams. But more important, Farley said, is the overall rebranding of Ford Performance – done by renowned motorsports designer Troy Lee – that is aimed at making Ford a lifestyle brand with a sporting mindset.

“It’s kind of like the company finding its own, and rediscovering its icons, and doubling down on them,” Farley told the AP. “And then this motorsports activity is getting serious about connecting enthusiast customers with those rediscovered icons. It’s a big switch for the company – this is really about building strong, iconic vehicles with enthusiasts at the center of our marketing.”

Ford last competed in sports car racing in 2019 as part of a three-year program with Chip Ganassi Racing. The team scored the class win at Le Mans in 2016 in a targeted performance aimed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ford snapping Ferrari’s six-year winning streak.

Ford on Friday displayed a Mustang with a Lee-designed livery that showcased the cleaner, simplified look that will soon be featured on all its racing vehicles. The traditional blue oval with Ford Performance in white lettering underneath will now be branded simply FP.

The new mark will be used across car liveries, merchandise and apparel, display assets, parts and accessories and in advertising.

Farley cited Porsche as an automaker that has successfully figured out how to sell cars to consumers and race cars in various series around the world while creating a culture of brand enthusiasts. He believes Ford’s new direction will help the company sell street cars, race cars, boost interest in driving schools, and create a merchandise line that convinces consumers that a stalwart of American automakers is a hip, cool brand.

“We’re going to build a global motorsports business off road and on road,” Farley told the AP, adding that the design of the Mustang is “unapologetically American.”

He lauded the work of Lee, who is considered the top helmet designer among race car drivers.

“We’re in the first inning of a nine inning game, and going to Le Mans is really important,” Farley said. “But for customer cars, getting the graphics right, designing race cars that win at all different levels, and then designing a racing brand for Ford Performance that gets rebranded and elevated is super important.”

He said he’s kept a close eye on how Porsche and Aston Martin have built their motorsports businesses and said Ford will be better.

“We’re going in the exact same direction. We just want to be better than them, that’s all,” Farley said. “Second is the first loser.”

Farley, an avid amateur racer himself, did not travel to Le Mans for the announcement. The race that begins Saturday features an entry from NASCAR, and Ford is the reigning Cup Series champion with Joey Logano and Team Penske.

The NASCAR “Garage 56” entry is a collaboration between Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet and Goodyear, and is being widely celebrated throughout the industry. Farley did feel left out of the party in France – a sentiment NASCAR tried to avoid by inviting many of its partners to attend the race so that it wouldn’t seem like a Chevrolet-only celebration.

“They’re going right and I’m going left – that NASCAR thing is a one-year deal, right? It’s Garage 56 and they can have their NASCAR party, but that’s a one-year party,” Farley said. “We won Le Mans outright four times, we won in the GT class, and we’re coming back with Mustang and it’s not a one-year deal.

“So they can get all excited about Garage 56. I almost see that as a marketing exercise for NASCAR, but for me, that’s a science project,” Farley continued. “I don’t live in a world of science projects. I live in the world of building a vital company that everyone is excited about. To do that, we’re not going to do a Garage 56 – I’ve got to beat Porsche and Aston Martin and Ferrari year after year after year.”

Ford’s announcement comes on the heels of General Motors changing its GT3 strategy next season and ending its factory Corvette program. GM, which unlike Ford competes in the IMSA Grand Touring Prototype division (with its Cadillac brand), will shift fully to a customer model for Corvettes in 2024 (with some factory support in the IMSA GTD Pro category).