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).

Cadillac confirms WEC driver lineup with Chip Ganassi Racing that will race Le Mans in 2023

Cadillac Ganassi Le Mans
Cadillac Racing
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Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing announced their driver lineup for a 2023 entry in the FIA World Endurance Championship, the sports car series that includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The Cadillac V-LMDh entry will be driven by Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn, who were teamed on the No. 02 Cadillac that competed in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship DPi class this season and won the Twelve Hours of Sebring. The third driver will be Richard Westbrook, who will return to Ganassi after helping the team to a GT class win at Le Mans in 2018.

The team also will compete in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the rebranded Grand Touring Prototype premier category, which is designed for crossover between the top prototypes in IMSA and WEC. Ganassi will field a second entry at Daytona with its No. 01 Cadillac that will compete full time in IMSA with Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande.

A Ganassi spokesman said the team hopes to run its second entry in the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans but only its WEC team is confirmed (an AOC invitation would be required for the IMSA team). The team also is exploring options but currently plans to have the WEC’s team base of operations in Indianapolis.

Ganassi is the first American-based prototype team to confirm its entry in the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans. It’s expected that Team Penske, which raced this year’s Le Mans with a full-time WEC entry in LMP2, also will race Le Mans with Porsche’s new LMDh car that is set for IMSA, but the manufacturer has yet to confirm its driver and team lineup.

Next year will mark the return of Cadillac to Le Mans for the first time since 2002.

Before joining Ganassi last year, Lynn made 28 WEC starts since 2016, winning the LMGTE Pro class at Le Mans in 2020.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to continue with Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing,” Lynn said in a release. “It’s a huge honor to drive for Chip in any capacity but certainly on a full factory sports car program, it’s seriously cool. Cadillac has so much heritage as a luxury North American sports car brand, so to be able to represent them is a huge privilege. I’ve had a lot of fun in my first year doing it and to continue that onto the World Endurance Championship stage is fantastic.

“For me, returning to WEC is sort of what I’ve always known and it’s a bit like going into my wheelhouse. This year in IMSA was a bit different with getting to know all-new circuits and a new style of racing so 2023 will be filled with a bit more of what I’m used to with more of a European focus. I think what’s significant about WEC is without a doubt Le Mans. As a sports car race, Le Mans is the crown jewel and everything that we want to win. To be able to take Chip Ganassi Racing and Cadillac back to Le Mans to fight for overall honors is a huge honor and that’s something that I’m going to work tirelessly to make sure we achieve.”

Bamber won the Le Mans overall in 2015 and ’17 with Porsche teams and also was a 2019 GTLM champion in IMSA.

“I am really happy to continue at Chip Ganassi Racing and Cadillac,” Bamber said in a release. “I’ve loved my first season in DPi and now to continue over into the LMDh era and WEC is super exciting. Looking forward to fighting for a world championship and another Le Mans victory.

“The World Endurance Championships gives us the opportunity to race at the world’s biggest race, which is Le Mans, the crown jewel of sports car racing. I’ve been lucky enough to win it before and it’s obviously a huge goal for Cadillac and everyone at Chip Ganassi Racing. To have that goal in sight is really exciting. It’s been great to have Alex as a teammate in 2022. We’ve been able to learn and grow together in the DPi, and we have a really good partnership going into WEC. We know each other really well and believe adding Richard will be a seamless transition.”

Said Westbrook: “After four really good years at Chip Ganassi Racing, I’ve got so many friends there and I’ve always dreamt to come back one day. It just worked so well between 2016 and 2019, and I’m delighted we found a route to come together again. I can’t wait, it’s an exciting era in sports car racing right now.

“I feel like I know Alex and Earl really well. I did Le Mans with Alex in 2020 and I’ve known him for years. It feels like I’m going back with an ex-teammate and exactly the same with Earl. Although I’ve never shared a car with Earl, we’ve always done the same sort of racing be it in WEC or in IMSA. We’ve had lots of battles, including this year in our dueling Cadillacs. We’ve always gotten along quite well, and I can say we’re going to have a great year together.”

The seven-race WEC season, which also includes a stop at Spa, will begin March 17 with the 1,000 Miles of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway in Florida.