Photo Credit: Brian Cleary
Starworks Motorsport scored back-to-back Rolex Sports Car Series victories, but this time it was the team’s No. 8 entry of Brendon Hartley and Scott Mayer that claimed top honors in Saturday’s VisitFlorida.com Sports Car 250 at Road America.
A decision to leave the No. 8 Riley-BMW out during the second and final full course caution with just under 1 hour to go proved to be pivotal, as Hartley took over the lead and stretched his gap over the competition in the closing stages of the 2-hour and 45-minute contest.
From there, it was clear sailing for the open-wheel turned sports car racing standout, who crossed the line 4.290 seconds ahead of the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette of Joao Barbosa for he and Wisconsin native Mayer’s first career GRAND-AM victories.
It was a redeeming race for the 23-year-old New Zealander, competing in his first season of U.S. racing, after throwing away a likely win at Circuit of The Americas in March after colliding with a lapped car in the closing stages.
This time, Hartley got the job done, and in impressive fashion.
“This is a really emotional win for me,” Hartley said. “After COTA, there were tears of disappointment and today was tears of joy… I’m not going to lie; I had some flashbacks.
“There were a few moments where I thought about that and I just got my head down and did the job. I think we had the two cars covered on pace and just brought it home.”
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