Redeeming a hard luck weekend with a run from the rear of the field to the checkered flag, Tristan Herbert, of Reston, Va., took an overall and Touring Car class win on Sunday at Miller Motorsports Park at the Privacy Star Utah Grand Prix Presented by Bondurant. Sage Marie, of Huntington Beach, Calif., grabbed the third Touring Car-B race of the weekend.
Herbert blew a motor in his No. 33 Brimtek/GermanAutoParts.com Volkswagen Jetta GLI earlier in the weekend, relegating him to last-place finishes in both races of Saturday's doubleheader and forcing him to start Sunday's 40-minute race from the back of the field.
The team pulled the engine out of a Volkswagen Beetle Turbo street car, swapped it out on Saturday, and got the No. 33 machine into what they hoped was race condition. Herbert picked off the field one-by-one, and took the checkered flag by 4.360 seconds, averaging 78.338 mph over the 24-lap, 52.8-mile race on the track's 2.2-mile West Course configuration.
It's the second Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car win for Herbert and first since the season opener at St. Petersburg in 2011. The race was also a near sweep of the special awards for Herbert, who was the Sunoco Hard Charger for improving 10 positions, the Optima Batteries Best Standing Start for his opening lap, the Cadillac CTS-V Move of the Race for his pass for the lead over Michael Cooper on Lap 22, and the Kia Turing Point of the Race for his climb through the field.
Herbert also turned the fastest lap of the race, running a 1:39.246 (79.801 mph) once he was on a clear track at the end of the race.
"This was a really tough weekend for us," Herbert said. "These are new cars, it's to be expected and we're fighting new car blues. We're trying to get through it, and we're looking for a really good weekend at [Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca] even though it's a one-race weekend.
"I came into it with the same strategy as St. Petersburg. We started in the back. It was just take your time, don't burn the car down, and let the guys in the front fight and eventually let them come to you and pick them off one by one. It was really easy to go out there and you could feel it around the turns starting to cook the tires, and I knew those guys in the front fighting were going to do it. It was just a matter of time before we were