Watkins Glen International
Brumos Racing Scores First GT Win at the Glen
Brumos Racing headed into Round 6 of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series full of confidence, with the momentum of the previous week’s first podium finish behind them. Brumos has long been known for their years of success in sports car racing, but the new team of 2011 was ready to give their fans more to celebrate than just those past successes. Eager to deliver their first win for the new Brumos GT program, they didn’t disappoint, as the #59 Brumos Porsche won the Six Hours of the Glen in a finish that was both dramatic and emotional.
The team had little time to celebrate their first podium at Lime Rock before traveling straight to Watkins Glen, where the crew put in long hours on the road, making all the preparations needed for a six hour endurance race. Their hard work paid off as improvements were made in each pre-race practice session. Andrew Davis continued in his role as qualifying driver and started the race from 7th place on the grid. Rain began to fall just minutes before the start, creating hazardous conditions on track and slowing the pace of the field. As the rain tapered off and the track began to dry, Davis was able to advance several positions in his opening stint. Keen settled in after Davis handed the car off to him and kept the #59 on a steady pace near the front.
Things proceeded according to plan as Davis drove a flawless second stint before pitting for the final driver change. Keen clearly proved his talent as a closer, taking the lead on lap 144 and holding it for the win. Despite all efforts at fuel conservation it became apparent that the #59 could not make it to the end without a splash of fuel. Just as the team readied for the stop, some good luck came their way as the final full course caution of the race was called. Keen was then able to pit under yellow for fuel without sacrificing the lead. He went on to take the checkered flag, waved in by the young Honorary Starter and Brumos fan, Nolan Crowley, who gave the #59 a big thumbs-up as it crossed the finish line for the win.
The race marked the first trip to Victory Lane for Brumos since 2003, when David Donohue codrove to win in the DP class debut race at the Glen. Donohue and his fellow Action Express driver J. C. France were among the first to congratulate their former teammates. “I really can’t say how happy we are as a team to see Brumos win this race at a track that meant so much to Bob Snodgrass and to that organization, There is just something very right with a #59 Brumos Porsche winning the 6 hours at Watkins Glen,” Donohue said. France added, “I want to congratulate Brumos first and foremost on their first win in the GT class. This was Bob Snodgrass’ home turf and he must have been looking down on them. I couldn’t be happier for them.”
Andrew Davis described the win as an emotional one, saying, “Growing up watching Hurley race and seeing Brumos win championships, I always dreamed of being able to win the Six Hours of the Glen, one of the crown jewels of sports car racing. To follow in Hurley’s footsteps and to be a Brumos driver in the #59 Brumos Porsche means the world to me.” Davis was quick to give credit to his team, adding, “We couldn’t have done it without our crew. Each and every member of this team has worked tirelessly – days, nights, in the shop and on the road. For our new Jacksonville-based squad to win a race this quickly, it just shows how dedicated and hard-working this group really is. I have to thank Dan Davis and everyone at Brumos, and also all of our fans who believe in us and keep pushing us along. I am so happy to get that #59 Brumos Porsche here in Victory Lane!”
I knew we had a car that could win here.
Leh Keen also has good reason to love Watkins Glen, now with four wins at the historic track. Keen, who led the race for 22 laps, also found this victory an emotional one. “I started my career in a Porsche, so now to be in a Brumos #59 Porsche and win here at the Glen is really special,” he said. “This is one of the biggest races of the year, so to get our first win for Brumos and our GT program today in the Six Hours of the Glen – that’s as good as it gets! After we ran at Lime Rock, I knew we had a car that could win here. This #59 Porsche is fast and it does everything right. We came here and had a good car off the truck, and Skip and the guys worked really hard to make it even better. In the race the car just came alive – the team was already alive – they nailed it every time. I only realized I was in the lead in the closing lap, I was focusing on conserving fuel and never realized we were in front! The full course caution really played in our favor, so we had a little bit of luck and a whole lot of talent from a great team to get us here.”
The victory boosted Brumos to 2nd place in Team Championship points, putting them within three points of the lead as they make preparations for their next race, which will take place at Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI, on June 25th.