United SportsCar: Westbrook, Valiante Victorious In Monterey
Photo: Motorsport

The weather was perfect for a sports car race on one of the most recognizable circuits across the United States. Just as perfect as the weather was the day for the No. 90 Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototype of VisitFlorida.com Racing. Piloted by Richard Westbrook and Michael Valiante, the No. 90 beat the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing entry to the checkers by 1.351 seconds. 

Westbrook was in the car to close it out, winning for his first time since Watkins Glen in 2014. 

"We worked really hard for this," he said. "We got our moji back in Long Beach and I'm so pleased to get a win with this awesome team."

The points lead of the Prototype class is now in the hands of his team after Sunday's win in Monterey, California. 

In third was the No. 60 Honda Ligier JS P2 Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian entry with its best finish of the season. Fourth was the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Action Express Corvette Daytona Prototype, the car that won the 12 Hours of Sebring. Joao Barbosa closed out the race in the No. 5 after the car was handed to him by Christian Fittipaldi who started the race. 

In GTLM (GT Le Mans), taking the top two spots on the podium were the two BMW Z4 GTLM cars fielded by BMW Team RLL. The winning car, the No. 24 driven by John Edwards and Lucas Luhr, beat the No. 25 of Dirk Werner and Bill Auberlen who won the last round on the streets of Long Beach. 

"The team is working really well together," said Edwards. "It's important to try to run mistake-free."

In the PC (Prototype Challenge) category, the polesitting car of Chris Cumming and Bruno Junqueira went on to win, with them dominating the entire race in the RSR Oreca FLM09 No. 11. Finishing second was Colin Braun and Jon Bennett in the CORE Autosport No. 54 car. 

The GTD (GT Daytona) win went to Spencer Pumpelly and Patrick Lindsey in the No. 73 Park Place Motorsport Porsche 911 GT America. Having been leading on the last lap and running out of gas last year in this race, this was a great finish for Pumpelly. Second place in GTD were Cristopher Haase and Dion von Molte in the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS and third place went to the No. 23 Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America of Ian James and Mario Farnbacher - the winning car at Sebring in the most recent race for the GTD class.

A pleasant surprise for the race was the absence of full course cautions, even though all four classes ran at once (rather than the two split races like last year). There were only two cautions during the 2 hour 45 minute race: lap 20 for debris, and lap 27 for the No. 45 Flying Lizard Audi that had spun into the Turn 5 gravel trap. A collision between the Turner Motorsport No. 98 BMW and the WeatherTech Porsche saw them slide off the track and toward the wall with eight minutes remaining in the race, but no third caution flag came out. Additional cautions during the race would've meant the cars being more tight on the track allowing the front runners more time with a clear track before reaching traffic, but this was not the case. 

The next round for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship will be in Detroit, Michigan for The Chevrolet Sports Car Classic at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park on May 29 and 30. 

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