Fittipaldi, Barbosa, Albuquerque win at Watkins Glen
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (AP) Christian Fittipaldi, Joao Barbosa and Filipe Albuquerque teamed to win the six-hour race at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, while brothers Jordan and Ricky Taylor's bid for a sixth straight IMSA SportsCar Championship victory ended on the first lap.
Barbosa took the lead in the No. 5 Action Express Racing Cadillac with nine minutes remaining, taking advantage of slower traffic to pass Stephen Simpson in the No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports ORECA prototype. Barbosa held off Simpson by 1.183 seconds.
''I knew if traffic could play a role in the race, I could take advantage of it,'' Barbosa said. ''Coming into the last corner, (Simpson) had to check-up on a GT car, so I got to pull a little bit of a move into Turn 1. He gave me just enough room to go around. It was really a fun race. We raced really, really hard. The mentality going into every race is to get the win. We keep believing it.''
Ricky Taylor started the race in father Wayne Taylor's entry, and the No. 10 Cadillac was damaged by contact with Oliver Pla in the No. 52 Ligier LM P2 just a few turns in. The Taylors lost six laps because of the damage, but rallied to finish three laps down in sixth place.
Barbosa and Fittipaldi, the 2014 and 2015 series champions, each raced to their seventh series victory, and helped give Albuquerque his first. It was Barbosa's fourth Watkins Glen six-hour victory, the third for Fittipaldi and their second in a row.
In the GT Le Mans class, Bill Auberlen raced to his 56th major U.S. sports car race victory, co-driving the No. 25 BMW for Team RLL with first-year racer Alexander Sims. Auberlen is second on the career sports car victory list, four behind Scott Pruett. Pruett was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America last week and finished sixth in the GT Daytona on Sunday.
Katherine Legge and Andy Lally won the GTD class in the No. 93 Acura for their second consecutive class victory. They also won last month at Detroit's Belle Isle Park.
The Prototype Challenge (PC) class victory went to James French, Pato O'Ward and Kyle Masson in the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports entry. The team has won all five PC races this season.