Barbosa, Law Take Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen Victory
Posted by paul on 07/01/2012
Barbosa, Law Take Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen Victory, NAEC Points Lead; Liddell, Edwards Earn First 2012 GT Win
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (July 1, 2012) – Six hours of racing came down to a thrilling 20 minutes of racing.
When all was said and done, Joao Barbosa and Darren Law earned their second Daytona Prototype victory of the 2012 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series season, while Robin Liddell and John Edwards celebrated their first GT victory of the season in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. The victories also moved both teams into the lead in the North American Endurance Championship presented by VISITFLORIDA.com (NAEC) point standings.
With 20 minutes remaining, Barbosa worked lapped traffic to perfection and drove his No. 9 Action Express Corvette DP past Alex Gurney’s No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Corvette DP on the inside of Turn 7 to take the lead. Barbosa then spent the final moments of the race with Gurney in his mirrors, keeping him at bay to win by 0.238 seconds.
Barbosa and Law combined to lead 33 laps of the 182-lap race around the 3.4-mile Watkins Glen International Circuit. It was their first victory since the Chevrolet GRAND-AM Detroit 200 on June 2.
“Obviously, I was able to use the traffic a little bit to my advantage,” Barbosa said. “That was enough to be close enough to do the move for the lead and it worked out really, really good.”
The No. 9 Action Express Racing team leads the NAEC point standings for the $100,000 by two points, 28-26, over the No. 8 Starworks Motorsport team. The championship will be awarded following the inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27.
Gurney and co-driver Jon Fogarty matched their best result of the season with a second-place performance. They also finished second at Barber Motorsports Park in April.
Third went to Ryan Dalziel, Enzo Potolicchio and Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 8 Starworks Motorsport Ford/Riley. Dalziel and Potolicchio trail Daytona Prototype points co-leaders Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas by three points, 233-230, in the season-long championship. Pruett and Rojas finished fourth on Sunday in the No. 01 TELMEX BMW/Riley.
The GT race saw eight different cars lead the race, but the No. 57 Stevenson Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro GT.R shared by Liddell and Edwards was a fixture inside the top three virtually throughout the six hours. Liddell took the lead for good when Leh Keen brought the class-leading No. 59 The Brumos Companies Porsche GT3 on to pit lane for the final time on Lap 157.
“Robin ended up crossing the line with half a gallon of fuel left in the tank,” Edwards said. “We were extremely nervous as Robin did that last lap. I don’t think I’ve ever been that nervous in my life. I knew Robin wasn’t going to make a mistake, so I figured we were either going to win or run out of fuel and be stuck on the last of the lead lap. Fortunately, half a gallon stayed in the tank and we were able to come away with the win.”
The No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports team parlayed its victory into the NAEC GT points lead by five, 29-24, over the No. 44 Magnus Racing team, which won the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona but retired from the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen in the first hour with electrical problems.
Bill Auberlen, Paul Dalla Lana and Billy Johnson teamed up to finish second in GT in the No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW M3. GT points co-leaders Emil Assentato and Jeff Segal co-drove the No. 69 FXDD Ferrari 458 Italia to a third-place GT result alongside Anthony Lazzaro. Segal and Assentato lead Liddell by 16 points, 250-234, in the 2012 Rolex Series GT driver standings.
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