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Jun 30, 2014 - 07:37 AM
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Oak Racing Comes Up Short In Bid For First American Victory
Posted by: ASkyler on Jun 30, 2014 - 07:32 AM
Feature Articles
Oak Racing Comes Up Short In Bid For First American Victory


Staff Report, IMSA Wire Service

OAK Racing - running its first season in North American competition - brought a pair of newcomers to Watkins Glen as Alex Brundle and Ho-Pin Tung joined Gustavo Yacaman in the No. 42 Morgan/Nissan.

Despite limited practice, Brundle won the pole and was leading late before getting passed by race winner Richard Westbrook on a late-race restart. He joined his teammates in a solid performance that came up only 0.877 seconds short of victory.

"I gave it my absolute best," Brundle said. "I think we can go away happy, but we did kind of snatch defeat from the jaws of victory a little bit. It’s been a tremendous effort from my team and both teammates, but I really wanted to win here this weekend."

The result was the best finish to date for the Le Mans, France-based team, and its second-consecutive podium finish. Yacaman and Olivier Pla took third earlier this month at Detroit Belle Isle.

Wittmer: Passing Up Le Mans Paid Dividends For SRT Vipers

 

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Earlier this season, SRT Motorsports decided to pass on competing in the 24 Hours of Daytona to concentrate on the TUDOR Championship. Sunday, team driver Kuno Wittmer felt the move paid off as Dodge Viper SRT GTS-Rs finished second and third in GTLM.

"This is definitely the highlight of the season, to have both cars on the podium," said Wittmer. "The fact that we opted not to go to the world’s biggest race at Le Mans and take that month break to focus on the TUDOR Championship was an important decision. Now that we’ve taken that month and done our homework we’re showing we can do something here."

Long Green Flag Runs Hurt Lapped Teams

After nearly two hours of green-flag racing, Sunday’s race was slowed by a pair of yellows that occurred back to back. This was followed by a green-flag stretch longer than three hours prior to the pair of cautions in the closing minutes.

That was bad news for teams that fell a lap down - and then waited the final three hours, 38 minutes for the opportunity to regain a lap during a caution period.

"This race is so clean and so professional - with so few yellows - we can’t get our lap back," said Bill Auberlen, whose No. 55 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE was called to the pits after on-track contact.

WGI Reports Record Sports Car Crowd, Near-Record Field

The first TUDOR Championship visit to Watkins Glen International brought out sunny skies and a record sports car turnout to the circuit, with Saturday visitor Governor Andrew M. Cuomo among the visitors.

"The earlier reports that we received from our ticket department show that we are up between 40 and 45 percent over last year," said Watkins Glen International President Michael Printup. "We are really excited about that."

The race saw the largest field for a six-hour race at Watkins Glen since 1984, when 57 cars competed in the IMSA Camel Continental. Sunday’s race saw 53 of the 55 entries take the green flag.


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