Jon McAvoy is no stranger to the front of the Spec 3 field. In fact, he won the Championship in 2015 at Virginia International Raceway. For 2016 at Watkins Glen, McAvoy started from third on grid behind Robin Sparrow in first and Wayne Moubray in second.
Whether anyone knew it or not beforehand, the Group E race was abbreviated due to a full-course caution under which the race finished. That mean early race moves were more important than usual and McAvoy had the right stuff. When the green flag dropped, McAvoy took off and had the preferred line by Turn 1. From there, McAvoy did what he had done the previous two years and led the field for six laps until the double-yellow came out, which meant McAvoy would go on to win.
“I don’t know if I had a good start or the first two guys didn’t get a good jump, but I managed to get alongside them by Turn 1 where I had the inside,” McAvoy said after the race. “So I got a little lucky in that sense, and was able to hold it. Robin Sparrow and I were never more than a car or two apart. He seemed to have a much better run going through the Uphill Esses and I was left having to block him going into the inner loop repeatedly, so obviously I’ve got something to work on there. But I managed to get lucky and hold the lead. I’ve got to thank the Spec E46’s in the back of the pack. I know they have more horsepower than us, but they were really generous in letting us come through when were racing one another and I really appreciate that.”
Sparrow, who finished third at the 2015 Eastern States Championships, couldn’t quite get by McAvoy and took home second place.
“I got a bad start. I missed a gear, and then Jon took advantage of that,” Sparrow said. I did have a little something on him going up through the Uphill Esses and we were nose to tail all the way to the Bus Stop. Again, I would like to reiterate what Jon said. The Spec E46 guys letting us through was really, really classy. It’s just too bad ending the way it did over here but it was a great fight. We were having a ton of fun.”
Wayne Moubray finished less than two seconds behind the leaders.
“I just tried to hang on. I didn’t have a whole lot for them today, but it was clean and I had a good time,” he said. “After the yellow, I closed up, but I didn’t have anything for them. I’m down on power, and I did the best I could.”