WATKINS GLEN - Joao Barbosa held off Stephen Simpson in the final nine minutes for a repeat win at the IMSA WeatherTech Shalen's Six Hours of The Glen at Sunday at Watkins Glen International.

The win marked the first win on the tour this season for Barbosa and co-drivers Christian Fittipaldi and Filipe Albuquerque.

“The Mustang Sampling Cadillac did a great job. We’ve been doing a lot of work to see where we’re lacking in some of the pace with the other cars,” Barbosa said. “We still weren’t the fastest car out there, but the Action Express performed perfectly as a team so we were able to overcome the pace.”

Things looked bleak for Barbosa, as Simpson was able to pass him with just outside 20 minutes left following a caution flag.

“I didn’t think I had any time,” said Barbosa. “20 minutes goes by pretty quick. So I was definitely trying to get the gap and get by as soon as possible.”

“Once the car started to come in, I was able to just be the same speed or better, so I knew I was going to have to push really really hard. It’s not easy to over-take so I was just waiting on the right opportunity to get by and it worked out really really well.”

Simpson tried to take back the lead in the last nine minutes and had a couple chances to do so, but the prototype was blocked by slower cars on the track.

Smart and clean driving gave Barbosa and the Cadillac DPi the 1.183 second victory, after a .708 win a year ago.

“By no means we were the fastest car out there,” teammate Christian Fittipaldi said. “It was a photocopy of last year. Race craft. That’s how I think we won the race. We stopped at the right times, and when we needed to step up the risks at the right situations we did. And then Joao made the big move the end it payed off.”

For Barbosa and Fittipaldi, it was their seventh series victory and was the first for Albuquerque. It was Barbosa’s fourth Watkins Glen six-hour victory, the third for Fittipaldi and the second consecutive for both drivers.

Finishing third were No. 55 Mazda RT24-P co-drivers Tristan Nunez, Jonathan Bomarito and Spencer Pigot and brothers Ricky Taylor and Jordan Taylor finished sixth on their quest for a sixth straight Weathertech SportsCar Championship win.

Pole winner Pipo Derani in the No. 2 Tequila Patrón ESM Nissan DPi, built a healthy lead early in the race before Scott Sharp made contact with the tire barrier in an incident with Boris Said in the No. 75 SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 and wasn’t able to recover.

Other winners included New York native Andy Lally and Katherine Ledee in the GTD class and James French, Kyle Masson and Patricio O’Ward took home first place in the PC class.

In the GTLM class, Alexander Simms and co-driver Bill Auberlen held off Richard Westbrook for BMW’s first win in the class since 2015.

The win was Auberlen’s 56th win in the series, which is second all time to Scott Pruett’s 60.

“I’m counting those wins, come on Scott, retire,” said Auberlen. “We finally get the win we’ve been hunting for with this M6 GTLM since it came out last year. We came here and tested and found our way.”