It was Corvette against Corvette for the title in the closing seconds of the Rolex Sports Car Series at Watkins Glen International on Sunday.
Joao Barbosa, in the No. 9 Action Express Racing Corvette DP, rallied to take a narrow victory in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, nipping Alex Gurney and the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Corvette DP.
“It was so competitive,” Barbosa said. “Everybody had such a good pace and I saw an opportunity. I had to push a little bit. I saw an opportunity, the No. 99 got hold on traffic I thought it’s now or never. I went for the move. It was really clean racing. I’m really proud to be fighting with some of these drivers now-a-days. I’ve been unlucky in the past few races, but what can I say, the Corvette was awesome during the whole race over six hours. These guys did an amazing job. Action Express put together a car that was unbelievable.”
Barbosa caught Gurney with 20 minutes left and then used lapped cars to his advantage down the stretch run, winning by just .238 seconds.
Barbosa and teammate Darren Law combined to average 102.827 mph to pick up their second victory of the season, while Gurney and teammate Jon Fogarty continue to look for their first win.
“I wouldn’t say the monkey is gone,” Gurney said despite his team’s narrow loss. “I feel like it’s still there. That was pretty disappointing because the car was so good. I just caught a GT (car) at precisely the wrong point and Joao put a nice move on and that was it.”
The win gives Action Express Racing a two-point lead over Starworks Motorsports with one race left in the inaugural three-race North American Endurance Championship, which consists of the Rolex 24 Hour at Daytona, the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, and the July 27 Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis. The winner will earn a $100,000 prize.
In the GT class, the action also went down to the wire with Robin Liddell holding off second place finisher Bill Auberien (BMW M3) by 1.340 seconds to give the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro GT.R co-driven by John Edwards its first victory of the season.
Chevrolet Racing Road Racing Program Manager Jim Lutz said it was a great day for Chevrolet in both classes.
“Congratulations go out to Action Express Racing, GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing, and Stevenson Motorsports,” Lutz said. “The Six Hours of The Glen is always an exciting and challenging race for our teams in both Daytona Prototype (DP) and Grand Touring (GT), and today’s race was no exception. There is always drama (laughs) during the six hours. The No. 99 GAINSCO Corvette DP had electric power steering issues that the team was able to work around and still hold off the field for a solid second place finish. And in the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GT was able to beat several strong cars, which demonstrated their great execution with no errors to go the distance. We’re very pleased with the winning results of all our Team Chevy efforts in both classes.”
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