WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – Christian Fittipaldi held off a last-lap charge from Michael Valiante to give the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP its second consecutive Grand-Am Rolex Series victory Sunday in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen Int’l.
It was also the second consecutive win for Action Express Racing and Fittipaldi’s co-driver Joao Barbosa in the six-hour race, as Barbosa teamed with Darren Law for the victory one year ago. Fittipaldi was treated and released from the infield care center for dehydration following the event.
With the win, Action Express has taken the lead in the North American Endurance Championship (NAEC) presented by VISITFLORIDA.com. The three-race “championship within a championship” concludes with the Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26.
“Last year was quite close (in the closing laps) too, but I was in the car,” Barbosa said. “It’s hard to be on the outside watching. The initial strategy was for me to get in the end, but that’s not how it worked out. That’s what we had to do to not lose any track position.”
Driving the No. 3 8Star Motorsports Corvette DP he shared with Stephane Sarrazin and Enzo Potolicchio, Valiante eliminated most of a five-second deficit to Fittipaldi throughout his final stint, eventually finishing just 0.265 seconds short of the victory in the second-closest finish in Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen DP-class history.
Brendon Hartley finished third in the No. 8 Starworks Motorsport Ford/Riley after having to pit to top off on fuel with 13 minutes remaining. Hartley’s co-drivers were Scott Mayer and Pierre Kaffer.
Robin Liddell led the final 11 laps of the race to win in the GT class, the fourth win in five races for him and co-driver John Edwards in the No. 57 Stevenson Automotive Group Chevrolet Camaro GT.R. With the win, Liddell and Edwards move to within six points (199-193) of John Potter and Andy Lally in the standings.
“There were probably five or six cars easily that could have won this race in GT,” Liddell said. “Everybody played a key part in terms of strategy and pit stops. I thought John (Edwards) showed great maturity to just hang on.”
Leh Keen finished second in the No. 69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD Ferrari 458 alongside Emil Assentato and Anthony Lazzaro, with Lally and Potter finishing third in the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche GT3 they shared with co-driver Richard Lietz. Scuderia Corsa driver Alessandro Balzan finished sixth and is tied for second with Liddell and Edwards in the GT standings.