WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. - The Heart of Racing drivers Mario Farnbacher (Germany) and Ian James (Phoenix) finished seventh in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship GTD class in today's Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International.
Farnbacher started fifth in the No. 23 Heart of Racing Porsche. His place on today's starting grid was determined by Championship points because yesterday's GTD qualifying was cancelled due to weather. Starting on slick tires, despite the wet conditions, Farnbacher did not waste any time putting the No. 23 Alex Job Racing-prepared Porsche in the top three. In fact, he spent his entire first two stints in the top three as the track continued to dry out.
Under caution on lap 40, Farnbacher was running second when came to pit lane for a fuel, tires and a driver change. That's when James got into the car for his double stint. James spent most of his stint near the top five.
Farnbacher got back into the car on lap 103 for his final double stint with about two hours to go. By now, it was raining pretty hard. Undeterred by the weather, Farnbacher was the fastest GTD car on the track. He was running lap times almost three seconds faster than anyone else. This determination helped him put the No. 23 machine in second with under 10 minutes remaining. That's when misfortune struck.
On lap 149, the race just went full course yellow because the No. 007 Aston Martin made contact with the tire wall scattering debris on the track. Just as the yellow flag flew, Farnbacher went off at Turn Seven. Unfortunately, he dropped from second to seventh, which is where he finished.
"The car was awesome today," Farnbacher said. "We were running some of the fastest lap times. The conditions were a bit tricky. But, it was fun.
"I was fourth before the really long yellow. I'm not sure why it was so long. Leh [Keen] got by Andy Lally [for second] and then Leh went off and I was third. We had another yellow. I passed Lally for second when the race went green again. Then, we had another yellow and I wasn't paying attention to be honest. I locked it up and went straight off. We had an easy second place [finish] and some easy points. It was just stupid."
"Today, we saw the highs and lows of motor racing," James said. "Mario drove great and got us back up to second place in the rain. [He] just had a lack of concentration when the race went yellow and slid off. It's very easy to do. The sister car did it earlier. But, we'll bounce back at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park."
"Mario was knocking on the door, running second, when he went off in exactly the same corner Leh [Keen] went off earlier," Job said. "Unfortunately, Mario went from second to seventh, which was disappointing. But, that car was in contention all day. I'm not sure any car had anything for the No. 93 Viper. They ran really strong all day. But, we still have a long way to go in the championship. So, we'll keep after it."
The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship next heads to Canada for the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Hawk Performance July 10-12 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
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