2nd July 2019
Mike Conway secured a sixth-place finish at the 6 Hours of Watkins Glen, New York, this past weekend, as Mike marked his return to IMSA racing.
Making his first IMSA appearance of the season, Mike Conway put in an impressive performance to secure a sixth-place finish in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Conway joined forces with Filipe Albuquerque and Joao Barbosa combined in the #5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi V.R for the six-hour endurance classic.
The weekend began with qualifying on the 3.4-mile circuit, where Filipe Albuquerque posted the team’s quickest time - 1:31.170. This rewarded the team with a start on the third row from sixth position.
Sunday saw the green flag drop for the start of the race and Filipe Albuquerque took the first stint for the team as the #5 car looked to improve on its recent strong record at the circuit.
However, barely two laps of green flag racing were completed before the caution was thrown again, as the #31 Whelan Engineering car of Felipe Nasr suffered a left-rear puncture approaching the Boot. The Brazilian lost control of his car and took the #5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac of Felipe Albuquerque into the gravel. Albuquerque managed to save the car and continue the race for the team, while Nasr required outside assistance.
With the early incident writing off the plans the team had, along with the front-runners setting a relentless pace, the team was hoping for a caution to reset the field, but that break never materialised in a race dominated by long stretches of green-flag running.
Fighting to stay on the lead lap on multiple occasions, the Mustang Sampling Racing entry moved into sixth on lap 57, and stayed in that position all the way to the checkered flag.
"The first initial problem that we had came when Felipe's (Nasr in the No. 31 Cadillac) tire blew out, causing us to pit as well.” said Conway. “That threw us off sequence, which continued when we had to pit again - knocking us a lap down. We went into managing what we could do and fighting to get our lap back.”
“It's always great to be back in the Mustang Sampling Cadillac! It has been a while and great fun to drive it around Watkins Glen. The AXR team gave a great effort today. It was my first time racing the car on Michelin tires. It is a different compound, but the car was dialled in and hooked up. We just didn't have the pace to keep up today."
Image courtesy of José Mário Dias