Brian Henderson and Robert Noaker score their first IMSA victory
Scott Smithson and Ryan Eversley takes checkers in second, but penalized for technical infraction
Second consecutive win for Honda TCRs in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge
WATKINS GLEN, NY (July 2, 2021) The Atlanta Speedwerks team drove to victory for the second week in a row at Watkins Glen International Raceway, with Brian Henderson and Robert Noaker taking the win for Honda in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge series.
Henderson qualified his #84 Honda Civic Type R TCR second on the grid, and took the lead with one hour and 24 minutes left in the two-hour Sahlen’s 120 at the Glen, leading all but two of the remaining laps before a late-race restart with inside of five minutes to go.
Light rain and intervening GS traffic caused Noaker to lose the lead briefly in the closing stages of the race, but he was able to execute a pass with two to go to put his Honda Civic Type R TCR back in the lead and into victory lane.
The sister #94 Atlanta Speedwerks car qualified in the 10th position in the hands of Scott Smithson. Smithson methodically worked his way through the TCR field and got up to fourth before the pit sequence. During the cycle, Smithson led two laps in his Honda Civic Type R TCR before handing over to teammate Ryan Eversley.
Eversley took advantage of the late-race restart to move up to the second position. However, the #94 was moved to the back of the field following post-race inspection, when their car was determined to be eight pounds underweight.
The VGMC team showed speed during practice with their new driver lineup of Jon Miller and Lance Bergstein. However, the team suffered a cut tire late in the event, leading to their retirement.
Sahlen’s 12 at The Glen Race Results
1st TCR – #84 Robert Noaker and Brian Henderson, Atlanta Speedwerks Honda Civic Type R TCR
11th TCR – #88 Jon Miller and Lance Bergstein, VGMC Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR
15th TCR – #94 Ryan Eversley and Scott Smithson, Atlanta Speedwerks Honda Civic Type R TCR
Todd Lamb (#84 Atlanta Speedwerks Honda Civic Type R TCR), team owner, on back-to-back wins for the team: “This is a dream as a team owner, for sure. Last week [winning with Ryan Eversley] was great, but in a way this week is even better! I couldn’t ask for a better couple of weeks. I’ve got to thank Lemons of Love, Honda, and Michelin, this has been just incredible. Our drivers are doing a fantastic job. We were a little concerned heading into this weekend, as we had 40 kilograms [weight] added to us [after winning last week] and were thinking that was going to set us back a little bit. But we just dug a little bit deeper, didn’t give up, and found a way to make it happen!”
Brian Henderson (#84 Atlanta Speedwerks Honda Civic Type R TCR), winner TCR: “It feels amazing! My first IMSA win, after all of 2019 and a few races last year, it feels really good to finally be here, where I feel we should be. With the weight change, the car was definitely different from last weekend, but the Atlanta Speedworks guys did a great job, as did Honda. We really got the car dialed in during practice and qualifying. In the race, the car was pretty good so hopefully we’ll continue our success at the next one.
Robert Noaker (#84 Atlanta Speedwerks Honda Civic Type R TCR), winner TCR: “First things first, thanks Honda and the team. Our pit stop was phenomenal, we got in and out in record time. With the [weight change] this week, we had to be a little more conservative with our tires, but I’m glad I saved them [for the finish]. With the [late-race] caution, I was able to get back up to speed, get through traffic, and win the race! It doesn’t feel real, but man, it feels great!”
After the pair of back-to-back races at Watkins Glen, the MICHELIN Pilot Challenge takes a week off before resuming at Lime Rock Park July 16-17 for the Lime Rock Park 120 . The race will be streamed live on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.
HPD has three ready-to-race Civic models for touring car competition. The line starts with the affordable and reliable Civic Si TCA race car, then leads to the Civic Type R TC racer that puts legendary Type R performance on track, and culminates with the no-compromise, championship-winning Civic Type R TCR race car. Our unparalleled trackside support at every level from HPD engineers is a unique benefit that no other manufacturer can offer. Find out more about these cars and our touring programs at: https://hpd.honda.com/Motorsports/Touring
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