WATKINS GLEN - Mazda Team Joest broke through for its first victory of the season in dominating fashion, finishing one-two and leading for a combined 183 laps at Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen Sunday.
“To get the win today is just absolutely incredible,” said No. 55 co-driver Jonathan Bomarito. “We did it with 1-2, the 77 car did an amazing job as well. They are right up here with us. All three drivers and that whole crew. It’s been a long time coming, but to be up on the top step is absolutely so special.”
Mazda secured its first IMSA Weathertech victory since Sept 3, 2011.
“It's been a long time coming,” said John Doonan, director of motorsports at Mazda. “We made a commitment that we wanted to put Mazda on the top step of the podium. It’s been a crazy journey, so many close, ‘You’re almost there [moments]’ -- so many people rooting us on. Really, we did it for one group of people, and that’s the Mazda family.”
After the No. 77 and No. 55 Mazdas were the class of the competition for the first five hours of the race, the winner of the previous two WeatherTech Championship races, Juan Pablo Montoya, took a lead in the final hour.
Harry Tincknell seized an opportunity with 45 minutes to go, passing Montoya in the heel of the “boot” and coming away with the lead.
“I had to attack and it was difficult to pass,” Tincknell said. “I tried once around the outside and he kind of had a little bit of ‘Rubbin’ is racin’,’ and kind of pushed me off, so I knew it was going to have to be a super bold move. In those circumstances you’re better off committing 100 percent. It’s the 95-percent-commitment move that causes the crash, so I think I was probably 110 percent committed going into that corner, a little bit of ‘Rubbin’ is racin’,’ at the apex, and luckily we came out unscathed.”
Ticknell executed the move flawlessly and was followed by Oliver Jarvis in the No. 77 a couple of minutes later, cruising at 1-2 for the remaining 20 minutes and securing a 12-second victory.
It was Tincknell’s first IMSA victory, third for co-driver Olivier Pla and the seventh for Bomarito.
Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet earned their second victory of the season in the GTLM class after a victory at Sebring in the Porsche 911 RSR. This is the fourth consecutive win this year for the Porsche GT team.
The team held off Corvette Racing in the final minutes to get the victory.
“We’ve never won at The Glen, so this is a really special one for us and the team,” said Tandy.
Mario Farnbacher, Trent Hindman and Justin Marks took home a victory in the GTD class in the Acura NSX GT3 for Meyer Shank Racing and Curb/Agajanian, and Matthew McMurry, Gabriel Aubry and Eric Lux placed first in the LMP2 class for the Mathiasen Motorsports team.