Joao Barbosa and his Action Express #5 Cadillac emerged victorious after six hours of racing at Watkins Glen International, following a late-race battle with Stephen Simpon’s #85 JDC Miller Motorsports Oreca.
After a full-course caution with little under half an hour of the race remaining, Simpson got the jump on Barbosa at the restart, slicing past down the start/finish straight as Barbosa squeezed him up against the wall.
Just laps later, however, Simpson was held up in traffic at the final corner, compromising his exit and allowing Barbosa to make a pass on the outside of turn one.
Barbosa used traffic to his advantage to make the move stick, and held onto the lead until the chequered flag.
Completing the podium in the Protoype category was the #55 Mazda DPi of Jonathan Bomarito, with Olivier Pla’s Ligier coming home fourth and the Multimatic/Riley LMP2 of Renger Van Der Zande finishing fifth, albeit two laps down on the race-winning Cadillac.
In Prototype Challenge, Kyle Masson and Performance Tech Motorsports dominated to take the win by three laps from Buddy Rice in the BAR1 Motorsports entry.
Third position went the way of Gustavo Yacaman in the #26 Oreca FLM09, last in class and 19 laps off class-winner Masson.
In the GT Le Mans class, Alexander Sims took the win in the #25 BMW M6 from Richard Westbrook’s #67 Ford GT after taking the lead on the restart.
It looked as though Gianmaria Bruni was set to take a podium on his debut for Porsche in GTLM, but this was shortlived after the #912 machine was forced to pit with what appeared to be a left-front puncture.
This pit stop handed a podium to the #3 Corvette of Antonio Garcia, with Joey Hand and Tommy Milner finishing fourth and fifth respectively.
Andy Lally took a popular maiden win for the #93 Acura NSX GT3 for Michael Shank Racing after a tense battle in the final laps of the race.
Finishing second, just 0.592 shy of Lally, was Alessandro Balzan in the #63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 with Jens Klingmann completing the GTD podium in the #96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3.
Next was Shane Van Gisbergen in his #50 Mercedes, who finished just three tenths ahead of Jack Hawksworth’s #15 Lexus RCF GT3.
The completion of today’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen means the next North American Endurance Cup round is the series finale at Petit Le Mans, taking place on 04-07 October.
The next round of the championship takes place next weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park from 07-09 July, with a 2hour 40 minute race taking place at the legendary Mosport circuit.
Featured image: Credit to IMSA