Last weekend at Watkins Glen International Starworks Motorsport earned its first double podium finish of the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The No. 8 ORECA, driven by Renger van der Zande and Alex Popow finished first at the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, repeating their 2015 win. The No. 88 Popcorn Sutton ORECA picked up its first podium of the season, driven by full time entry Mark Kvamme and new additions Remo Ruscitti and Richard Bradley.
Riding the momentum from a win at the Detroit Grand Prix last month, both cars performed strong leading up to the qualifying session, with van der Zande putting the No. 8 on pole position in the PC class. Kvamme qualified the No. 88 in seventh, with six full hours of racing to work though the field. Usually the race-closing driver, van der Zande started the race strong off the line, gaining a 22 second lead over the field in 20 minutes. The first full course caution of the event came within the first hour, minimizing van der Zande’s lead. Kvamme pitted from fifth position, passing the No. 88 on to Ruscitti. Van der Zande continued to lead until the end of his next stint, pitting to have Popow take over and rejoin in second.
As the field approached the halfway point, Popow and Ruscitti ran second and third, and shortly after, Ruscitti pitted to have Bradley turn his first laps of the race in third. With just under two and a half hours remaining, van der Zande resumed driving duties for the No. 8, rejoining behind teammate Bradley in third. Laying down flying lap times, van der Zande passed his teammate with two hours left on the clock, then moments later, he was again leading the race. In the final hour, the No. 88, having completed its final stop, ran fourth with Bradley and a series of cautions brought him to third for an intense battle with the No. 85 of Stephen Simpson. With mere minutes to go, Bradley made the pass for the final podium stop, celebrating with the team as the No. 8 took home the win.
Remo stated at the end of the weekend, “It was an awesome weekend for Starworks Motorsports with a double podium. Great to be here, only my second weekend in a PC car, and it couldn’t have gone much better. Much appriciation to Peter, Mark, Tom and everybody who was on the car this weekend. I’m happy we were able to fight at the end and make it up on the box.”