Watkins Glen II: Brumos Racing race report

Brumos Racing Takes Fifth Podium Finish and Scores Fastest Lap at Watkins Glen Brumos Racing returned to historic Watkins Glen for the second time this season, planning to extend their streak of strong performances at a racetrack that has long...

Brumos Racing Takes Fifth Podium Finish and Scores Fastest Lap at Watkins Glen

Brumos Racing returned to historic Watkins Glen for the second time this season, planning to extend their streak of strong performances at a racetrack that has long been one of their sentimental favorites. A long overdue victory was not in the cards this time, but another podium finish was, as the Brumos #58 drivers mounted the steps for the fifth time in the last six races. The #59 car finished the day in 12th place, a position not indicative of the competitive efforts put forth.

The true headliner of the race proved to be the unpredictable Watkins Glen weather, as it appeared heavy rains would move into the area right at starting time. The team's strategists faced the dilemma of whether to go with rain tires at the start or stay with dry weather tires in hopes the storms would bypass the track. As the recon laps saw a car go into the gravel, several teams went with the option to start on rain tires for safety. Ultimately, the teams that gambled on dry weather tires prevailed, as the heavy showers failed to materialize.

Brumos' #58 car started the race in 2nd position after another strong qualifying performance by David Donohue. Following much discussion, the decision was made to stay with dry weather tires, a choice that paid off as Donohue stayed with the frontrunners. He commented, "The track seemed to dry out pretty quickly, but when it started to drizzle all bets were off. I decided to stay on slicks for the start, then I was really uncertain when I got reports that several cars were running on rains. But I think it was the right decision, it was just really unpredictable, with the rain only in patches on the track."

He was able to hand the car over to Darren Law in 3rd place, and a fast pit stop put Law back on track in fine form. Law held off aggressive challenges throughout another flawless stint, bringing the car in for third place and extending their streak to seven consecutive top five finishes. Law praised his co-driver, saying, "I was just glad I didn't start that race, it was really rough out there. David had the tough stint, I basically just got in and ran it as hard as I could. At the end, I was trying to catch the #99 car, but it was so even that I couldn't quite get by. We're just happy to be on the podium again."

Starting in the Brumos #59 car, driver J.C. France faced the daunting prospect of keeping the car on track and making up position in the mixed wet-and-dry conditions. Qualifying in 15th, a last-minute decision to go with rain tires put the car at the back of the field as the tire change was made. As the first drops of rain began to fall, it appeared the gamble would pay off. But as showers failed to develop, France was forced to drive cautiously to save the tires.

Joao Barbosa took over driving duties two laps down, with little chance to gain ground as the clock ticked down on the two hour event. In the closing laps of the race, however, he got everyone's attention by passing the race leader, posting the fastest lap of the race in the process and earning respect throughout the paddock. It marked the second consecutive race in which he scored the fastest lap.

After the race, France expressed his wish for a better result, but remained confident, saying, "We fell behind at the beginning and when the rain didn't materialize, we couldn't gain much ground. But we'll just keep trying and look for a better finish in the next race." Barbosa agreed, saying "Going with rain tires was a gamble for us that didn't work out so well, but I was able to get the fastest lap so the team really gave us a good car for the difficult conditions. We still moved up in the team points, so we are ready for the next race and even more determined to get on the podium soon."

After the Watkins Glen race, Team Point Standings place the #58 car in 3rd position, followed by #59 in 4th, trailing by 14 points. Not since the inaugural season of 2003 have both Brumos cars placed in the top five. In Driver Points, the #58 drivers come in 5th, with the #59 in 7th. Also noteworthy is J. C. France's move into first place in the Trueman-Akin Sportsman Award points. As the string of consistent and strong results for both their cars continues, Brumos is seeing their efforts pay off - not only in standings, but in well-deserved respect from fans and competitors alike.

-credit: brumos racing

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Darren Law , David Donohue , Joao Barbosa , J.C. Fra