Mazda Takes Six Hours at The Glen Event; Auberlen Adds to All-Time Wins Record

Getting a lift to the pits in a safety car usually isn’t a good sign for a racecar driver. In Harry Tincknell’s case on Sunday, it was pure joy.

Tincknell won the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International with a car so low on fuel that it ran dry on the cool-down lap, leaving Tincknell to wait for a ride to victory lane to greet co-drivers Oliver Jarvis and Jonathan Bomarito.

He’s been driven back to the pits after a race, Tincknell said, but never after winning.

“I’ve never been driven straight to victory lane,” Tincknell said after the celebration subsided.

Tincknell and the Mazda Motorsports strategists used a short fill in the pits during a pit stop under caution with 50 minutes left in the six-hour race to take the lead. That let his No. 55 Mazda Motorsports Mazda DPi RT24-P pass Olivier Pla, who had built a 15-second lead before the caution in the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Acura ARX-05 that he shared with Dane Cameron.

Knowing he was dangerously low on fuel, Tincknell tried to save as much as possible while staying ahead of Pla, a former Mazda teammate who won the 2019 Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen with Tincknell and Bomarito in 2019.

Tincknell managed to hit the required fuel numbers and reached the finish line 0.965 seconds ahead of Pla. He made it a few more turns around the 3.4-mile circuit before the Mazda coughed to a stop, its fuel tank dry. Tincknell applauded the work of the engineers and strategists atop the No. 55’s pit box, who calculated it right down to the last drop.

“They had their numbers absolutely spot on,” Tincknell said. “To be honest, a perfect race car is the one that crosses the line and then breaks down. They did a fantastic job there.”

The victory pushed Tincknell and Jarvis closer to season points leaders Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque, who finished third Sunday with Alexander Rossi in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura. Tincknell and Jarvis are now 31 points behind Taylor and Albuquerque after the fifth of 10 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races for the Daytona Prototype International (DPi) class.

GTLM

Antonio Garcia had to be patient – and super-fast – to navigate his Corvette through a major traffic jam and nab the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) class victory Sunday in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.

“It was a flat-out fight,” Garcia said. “All the classes got together with two laps to go. Fortunately, there were no crashes, no yellows and (I) managed to stay ahead and bring Corvette another victory here. It’s been a long time since the last one.”

Garcia, who raced the bright yellow No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R from the GTLM pole, nipped a hard-charging John Edwards in the No. 24 BMW Team RLL BMW M8 GTE by 0.845 seconds. It was Corvette’s first win at Watkins Glen International since 2014 and the 116th IMSA triumph for the storied racing marque.

The victory by Garcia and teammate Jordan Taylor pushed them to an unofficial 81-point lead in the GTLM driver standings over Edwards and No. 24 teammates Jesse Krohn and Augusto Farfus. Garcia drove the opening stint in Sunday’s hot and steamy conditions. Taylor was in the car for two and a half hours in the middle of the race, before Garcia closed it out for their second win of the season.

The victory gave Taylor the career grand slam of IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup races, with previous victories in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts and Motul Petit Le Mans.

“This one has been high on my list,” Taylor said. “Every year it seems like something goes wrong.”

The No. 25 BMW, wheeled by Connor De Phillippi, Philipp Eng and Bruno Spengler, rounded out the GTLM podium.

GTD

Bill Auberlen was not going to be denied victory at The Glen in the GTD class Sunday after settling for second place in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race the day before.

“They were like carbon copies of each other,” Auberlen said of the races staged on back-to-back days. Auberlen was leading near the end of the Pilot Challenge race but was passed for the win.

“It was such a great move, I would have high-fived him if I could reach out the window,” he joked, but Sunday the all-time IMSA wins leader provided a different ending to the script and finished off his record-extending 64th win in IMSA’s top-tier series.

Auberlen, who was co-driving the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 with Robby Foley and Aidan Read, said the late full-course caution created incredible track position for his car.

“Are there five guys ahead of me? Are they all going to the pits?” Auberlen recalled thinking as the pits were opened under the yellow. “It was like the parting of the seas. They all went in and we became the leader. I saw Bryan Sellers (No. 1 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3) behind me, but luckily, I got through traffic. The BMW M6 may not be the ultimate fast car, but it is good through traffic.”

Sellers, driving with Madison Snow and Corey Lewis, took second place followed by the No. 23 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 piloted by Roman De Angelis, Ross Gunn and Ian James. Along with Audi, Mercedes-AMG, Lexus and Porsche, the top seven GTD finishers Sunday each represented a different manufacturer.

Leading them all after four races in the season championship are Auberlen and Foley in the No. 96 BMW. They enjoy a 61-point advantage on De Angelis and Gunn.