Hartley & Mayer Break Through In Wisconsin
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Opportunity knocked for Brendon Hartley and the young New Zealander made the most of it on Saturday at Road America, joining Wisconsin driver Scott Mayer in winning the VISITFLORIDA.com Sports Car 250.
It was the first Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series victory for both drivers of the No. 8 Starworks Motorsport BMW/Riley. Hartley had shown flashes of brilliance through his rookie season – with the 23-year-old Formula One simulator development driver nearly winning at Circuit of The Americas before a late-race mistake.
“This was an emotional win for me,” Hartley said. “I’m not going to lie – I had a lot of flashbacks to COTA. But I knew we had it covered, so I just brought it home.”
The turn of events that put Hartley and Mayer – of Franklin, Wis. – in victory lane began with misfortune for Starworks teammates Ryan Dalziel and Alex Popow, who won the Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis in the No. 2 Soloson BMW/Riley. Dalziel lost his engine exiting the pits after a stop with one hour remaining and came to a stop at the exit of Turn 1 – bringing out the first caution of the race. Most of the remaining leaders pitted during a later caution – putting Hartley ahead to stay.
Hartley and Mayer completed 70 laps in the two-hour, 45-minute race on the 4.048-mile circuit, averaging 102.974 mph.
Action Express Racing finished second and third. Joao Barbosa finished 4.290 seconds behind Hartley in the No. 5 Corvette DP started by Christian Fittipaldi. Brothers Brian and Burt Frisselle took the final podium position in the No. 9 Corvette DP.