The IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge raced at Watkins Glen a second time in six days and the Atlanta Speedwerks team encored last week’s victory on the New York State circuit. After Ryan Eversley and Todd Lamb drove their #94 Honda Civic Type R to win last Saturday’s 4-hour race, this time it was the pair of Robert Noaker and Brian Henderson who emerged victorious in the 2-hour race at the wheel of the #84 Civic.
During the final moments, Noaker navigated traffic to win a back-and-forth duel for the victory in the TCR class. With two minutes left on the clock, Jonathan Morley drove his Road Shagger Racing Audi RS 3 LMS past Noaker’s Honda, but seconds later Noaker retook the lead.
It was the first victory for Noaker and Henderson and it looked like a 1-2 finish for Atlanta Speedwerks until the #94 Honda that Eversley shared with Scott Smithson was moved to the rear of the finishing order when it didn’t meet the minimum weight standard in post-race technical inspection.
That elevated Morley and co-driver Gavin Ernstone to second place, while third went to the Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Veloster N shared by Taylor Hagler and Michael Lewis after the Copeland Motorsports Hyundai Veloster N of Tyler Maxson-Tyler Gonzalez that would have moved up to third was found to be underweight as well.
Everlsey’s penalty meant that he lost the leadership in the standings, slipping 130 points behind Hagler and Lewis.
The sixth round of the season will take place at Lime Rock on July 17th.
Watkins Glen – Race
1. B. Henderson/R. Noaker (Atlanta Speedwerk, Honda Civic Type R), 56 laps
2. J. Morley/G. Ernstone (Road Shagger Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS), 3.159
3. M. Lewis/T. Hagler (Bryan Herta Autosport, Hyundai Veloster N), 7.242
4. M. Filippi/A.J. Muss (Copeland Motorsports, Hyundai Veloster N), 22.006
5. M. Johnson/M. Simpson (M. Johnson Racing, Hyundai Veloster N), 22.282
1. M. Lewis/T. Hagler 1500 pts; 2. R. Eversley 1370; 3. P. Chase 1350
Picture: IMSA/Richard Dole