Mazda Motorsports has won the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen for the second consecutive year.
For much of the race, the battle for the race lead at the head of the field was fought between the two Acuras, which had the pace advantage over some of their rivals.
The #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05 started the race from pole position, but lost the lead on the opening lap to the #60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura driven by Dane Cameron.
The pair of ARX-05s then frequently traded the lead of the race throughout various cautions and pitstop cycles, only briefly losing the lead to the #31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac before gaining it again when Mike Conway had to serve a penalty for speeding in the pitlane.
Eventually, the tide of the race swung towards Meyer Shank Racing and the team looked to be headed for a deserved victory, until a final caution saw Mazda Motorsports make a strategic gamble and pit without fitting new tyres, catapulting it past both Acuras and into the lead of the race.
The #55 Mazda RT24-P, with Harry Tincknell behind the wheel, then built up a gap to Meyer Shank Racing’s Olivier Pla and held off the Frenchman for a number of laps, winning by under a second.
The margins at the end of the race were so close that Tincknell ran out of fuel after reaching the finish.
Tincknell, Jonathan Bomarito and Oliver Jarvis gave Mazda the second win in the six-hour enduro at Watkins Glen in a row, having previously won in 2019.
Pla and Dane Cameron finished second, with Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Alexander Rossi completing the podium in the #10 Acura for Wayne Taylor Racing.
Pipo Derani, Felipe Nasr and Mike Conway finished fourth for Whelen Engineering, with Kevin Magnussen and Renger van der Zande fifth in the #01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi-VR.
The fifth place for Magnussen came under controversial circumstances, as Magnussen was initially run off the track by Kamui Kobayashi, but the #48 Ally Cadillac DPi-VR was given a penalty and demoted from fifth as a result.
WIN Autosport wins from pole
WIN Autosport took the class victory in LMP2 from pole position, although it came after a hard fight with PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports.
Steven Thomas, Thomas Merrill and Tristan Nunez in the #11 ORECA 07-Gibson frequently traded the class lead back and forth with the #52 ORECA 07-Gibson of Ben Keating, Scott Huffaker and Mikkel Jensen.
In the end, the decision came in the final hour when Nunez moved ahead of Jensen and then held off the Dane to win.
Guy Smith, Jim McGuire and Wayne Boyd finished a distant third in the #22 United Autosports, while Tower Motorsport and Era Motorsport retired as the result of a crash and electrical problems respectively.
The Tower Motorsport in particular crew had a race to forget at the New York track. John Farano crashed the car before even reaching the first corner, after which a gearbox failure costs it even more time. Gabriel Aubry then crashed the car hard in the final hour, sealing the team’s fate.
Riley Motorsports plays the long game in LMP3
Riley Motorsports took the race win in LMP3 after most of their top rivals crashed or fell away with issues.
The early battle in LMP3 was between Andretti Autosport and United Autosports, with Riley Motorsports not featuring out front much in the early stages of the race.
Both teams, however, fell away with their own problems. United Autosports got involved in an incident with Meyer Shank Racing’s Olivier Pla and spun into the wall, while Andretti eventually fell away after having to have the nose of their #36 Ligier JS P320 replaced.
It left the way clear for the #74 Ligier JS P320 of Felipe Fraga, Scott Andrews and Gar Robinson to move to the front. The team eventually looked set for a one-two, but the #54 CORE Autosport Ligier JS P320 moved to the front courtesy of a late charge from Colin Braun and took second place.
Fraga was then able to withstand the pressure from Braun, winning the race ahead of Braun, George Kurtz and Jon Bennett.
Jeroen Bleekemolen, Jim Cox and Dylan Murry finished third in the #91 Ligier, with Oliver Askew, Jarett Andretti and Mario Andretti fourth.
Corvette Racing fights off BMW
Corvette Racing continued its strong run of momentum in GTLM by holding off BMW and taking a hard-fought class win in GTLM.
The two C8.Rs were running in a one-two formation for most of the race, but the BMWs mounted a significant challenge as the race moved into the second half.
After briefly losing the lead to the #25 BMW M8 GTE, the Corvettes jumped back ahead during a round of stops, with the #4 Corvette C8.R in the lead of Nick Tandy.
Tandy then encountered issues and was unable to hang on to the lead, which led the #3 Corvette of Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor to capture the lead.
The #24 BMW M8 GTE of John Edwards, Jesse Krohn and Augusto Farfus took second place, while the #25 BMW M8 GTE of Connor de Phillippi, Bruno Spengler and Philipp Eng captured third right at the line.
Tandy and Tommy Milner finished fourth, while the #79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19 retired after catching fire in the opening minutes.
Turner Motorsports win GTD after strategy stroke of luck
Turner Motorsports have taken victory in GTD after striking a strategic goldmine in the closing stages.
The #96 BMW M6 GT3 of Robby Foley, Bill Auberlen and Aidan Read was set up for victory when it found itself in the pits right as the caution, caused by Gabriel Aubry’s crash in the final hour, allowing it to jump right to the head of the class.
Auberlen then held off the #1 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo of Bryan Sellers, Corey Lewis and Madison Snow and managed to win by just a handful of seconds.
Ross Gunn, Ian James and Roman De Angelis finished third in the #23 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3, with Markus Palttala, Jaden Conwright and Don Yount fourth in the #42 NTE Sport Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo.