Watkins Glen: Race summary

Dyson, Weaver take 6 Hours of The Glen Victory; Rand Racing pair Round out overall podium. WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 23, 2002) - Dyson Racing Team dominated the Rolex Sports Car Series 6 Hours of The Glen at the Sports Car Grand Prix today. The...

Dyson, Weaver take 6 Hours of The Glen Victory; Rand Racing pair Round out overall podium.

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 23, 2002) - Dyson Racing Team dominated the Rolex Sports Car Series 6 Hours of The Glen at the Sports Car Grand Prix today. The team's pair of Ford-powered Riley & Scotts started the race on the front row and led the entire 187-lap race, giving the team its sixth win at The Glen in the last eight years.

Polesitter Butch Leitzinger put the #20 Dyson entry out front early and built a strong lead over his former co-driver James Weaver in the team's #16 car. He relinquished the lead to the Englishman briefly during a pit stop and full-course caution, but jumped to the front when the green flag fell, grabbing a 48-second lead before his second pit stop to hand the controls over to team owner Rob Dyson.

Dyson's luck in his #20 machine was not as good as Leitzinger's had been. The Ford began to fall back as it began to leak fluids into the cockpit. Weaver passed for the lead on lap 62, and only a few laps later Dyson brought the #20 car into the pits for repairs. The team refilled the leaking power steering fluids, and Elliott Forbes-Robinson took it back on the track for one lap before he was forced back as the leaking fluids grew worse. The car went behind the wall, but after a long evaluation the crew decided it could not be repaired and retired it from the race.

>From that point on, it was Dyson's son Chris and Weaver's race to lose with their stronghold on the front position. The team's rival, Doran Lista Racing, was sent to the pits early with problems from its new 5.0-liter Judd engine. The #27 Dallara went behind the wall several times for extended periods of time, resulting in its 23rd-place finish overall.

The Miracle Motorsports #6 Ford Riley & Scott was also struck with problems when its right front suspension suddenly failed in the boot part of the race track. Driver Buddy Rice nursed the car back into the pits where the team was able to repair it, but the car suffered additional problems afterwards that kept it from advancing. The car was able to maintain its second-place position in the SportsRacing Prototype class, but slipped to fifth place overall. In its first running of the #64 Porsche-powered Lola, Pegasus Racing took third-place honors in the SRP class.

Rand Racing's pair of Nissan-engined Lolas were able to take advantage of the problems suffered by the SRP competitors and moved up into the second and third positions overall in the fourth hour of the race. The trio of drivers in the #8 Lola led the class the entire race, despite a threat from their teammates in the #7 car that saw the pair running less than a second apart early in the race.

Rand's #8 Lola eventually finished in second place overall, with a three-lap lead over its sister car - the #7 machine. Archangel Motorsport Services' #22 Nissan Lola finished third in the SRPII class and fourth overall.

Absent from the SRPII field was the G&W Motorsports/Momentum Motorcars #07 BMW-engined Picchio. Although the car ran in the morning warm-up, the team was unable to get the engine to fire when race time came. The team worked for hours on the car while their competitors raced, but eventually gave up hope. Its absence secured Rand driver Terry Borcheller's lead in the class point standings, as his closest competitor, Darren Law, was unable to score any points.

Although Law was unable to get into the #07 Picchio, he did slide behind the wheel of a GT car during the race. The 2001 GT driver champion teamed with Brent Martini in G&W Motorsports' #81 Porsche GT3 R, which finished second in the class.

Ferrari of Washington took the top honors in GT for the first time. Cort Wagner and Bill Auberlen piloted the brand-new #33 Ferrari 360 GT in the race. Although the duo had raced a Ferrari at the first three races of the season, the 6 Hours of The Glen was their first time in the newly factory-produced car. The Ferrari finished with a four-lap lead over the second-place G&W Porsche. The Alegra Motorsports/901 Shop #10 BMW M3 finished third in the class.

The GTS class was full of surprises during the 6 Hours of The Glen. The polesitting Park Place Racing #5 Saleen S7R made an early exit from the race after an off-track incident sparked transmission failure. The PharmacyDirectUSA.com Racing #14 Porsche moved into the class lead, but always held a narrow margin over the second-place Jack Lewis Enterprises #72 Porsche.

With only a few laps left in the race, Adam Merzon was piloting the #14 Porsche down the front straight when the windshield collapsed in on top of him. He slammed on the brakes, causing the Porsche to turn into the pit road divider. Despite being covered with broken glass, Merzon was able to limp the Porsche around the 3.4-mile track and back into pit road, where the team removed the broken windshield and returned the car to the race.

However, the slow pace of the #14 Porsche as it made its way back to the pits was enough for the #72 car to pass it for the GTS lead. Racing with cut-up hands and the wind directly in his face, Merzon was unable to catch back up and finished in second place.

Morgan Dollar Motorsports had both a high and a low during the 6 Hours of The Glen. The axle on the team's #46 Corvette broke in the first hour, causing it to slam into the guardrail and bring out the first full course caution of the race. However, the team's new #47 Corvette continued on and captured Morgan Dollar its first Rolex Series victory. The father-son duo of Charles and Rob Morgan were able to move into the lead after the points-leading Flis Motorsports #90 Corvette was plagued with engine woes.

The #90 Corvette was able to finish in third place in the class, despite an accident in the final hour, while Paladin Racing earned its best finish in the series with second place.

The Rolex Sports Car Series will travel next to Daytona International Speedway for the Jani-King Paul Revere 250 on the Fourth of July, part of the Pepsi 400 weekend. Tickets are currently on sale at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at 386-253-RACE. More information on the Rolex Sports Car Series can be found online at www.grand-am.com.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Butch Leitzinger , James Weaver , Bill Auberlen , Rob Dyson , Elliott Forbes-Robinson , Darren Law , Buddy Rice , Rob Morgan , Brent Martini , Adam Merzon , Jack Lewis , Paul King
Teams Dyson Racing , Pegasus Racing