Stevan McAleer entered the Bus Stop trailing Bill Auberlen. He exited in the lead.
McAleer used the famous Bus Stop, a right-left-right chicane on the backstretch, to pass Auberlen with 3 minutes, 38 seconds remaining Saturday and win the Tioga Downs Casino Resort 240, a four-hour IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race at Watkins Glen International.
It was the third win at WGI for McAleer, who lives a short drive from the circuit.
“This place is not easy,” McAleer said. “It’s tough on cars coming over the Bus Stop. It’s very easy to cut a tire. … This race was tough. I’m excited. I’m glad we put this notch on the belt.
“I told the team (over the radio) I was going to put it all on the line,” McAleer continued. “I’m sure I scared the hell out of them.”
More like the opposite effect. It helped put the No. 23 Notlad Aston Martin Vantage GT4 carrying a livery inspired by late Hall of Fame guitarist Eddie Van Halen’s famed “Frankenstein” guitar and co-drivers McAleer and Patrick Gallagher in victory lane by just 1.073 seconds over the No. 95 Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 M co-driven by Auberlen and Dillon Machavern.
Spencer Pigot brought the No. 3 Motorsports In Action McLaren 570S GT4 he co-drove with Sheena Monk home in third place.
While McAleer was making late passes to take the Grand Sport (GS) class and overall victory, Ryan Eversley was having a slightly easier time, winning the Touring Car (TCR) class by 6.435 seconds over Ryan Norman to score Atlanta Speedwerks’ first victory in TCR.
“We definitely had a fast car this weekend, but we were on the other side of the foot all of last year,” said Eversley, who teamed with Todd Lamb in the No. 94 Atlanta Speedwerks Honda Civic FK7 TCR for the victory. “We had like nine races where he just sat there watching podiums not be possible.”
Following Norman and Parker Chase in the No. 98 Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian Hyundai Elantra N TCR were Michael Lewis and Taylor Hagler in the No. 77 BHA Hyundai Veloster N TCR, who recovered from an early off-track excursion into a gravel trap to finish third.
The NBCSN telecast of Saturday’s race airs at 5 p.m. ET Wednesday.
The Michelin Pilot Challenge gets a very short break before Friday’s Sahlen’s 120 at The Glen, which will be shown live on NBC Sports Gold’s TrackPass at 2:35 p.m. ET.
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