Connect with us

WeatherTech Championship

Porsche on Watkins Glen Pole After GTP Qualifying Rained Out

No. 6 Porsche 963 on Watkins Glen pole after GTP qualifying canceled due to rain…

Photo: Rick Dole/IMSA

The No. 6 Porsche 963 from Porsche Penske Motorsport will start the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen from pole position after GTP qualifying was rained out.

Teams were gearing up to tackle the 20-minute session on wet Michelin tires when IMSA confirmed that the session would not take place, with puddles of standing water visible at multiple points on the track.

The sanctioning body stated that the teams’ championship standings will set the grid for the third Michelin Endurance Cup race of the season.

It means the Porsche driven by Mathieu Jaminet and Nick Tandy, who was due to qualify, gained the overall pole with the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac V-Series.R of Alexander Sims, Pipo Derani and Jack Aitken also making the front row.

The second row will consist of the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport Acura ARX-06 and the No. 01 Cadillac run by Chip Ganassi Racing.

The joint LMP2 and LMP3 qualifying session had already been abandoned after the sudden arrival of rain at Watkins Glen International triggered an accident involving three cars.

Those two class grids will also be determined by the teams’ championship points standings, while GTD Pro and GTD were able to complete their session as normal.

The LMP2 and LMP3 session, which was not declared wet, quickly developed into chaos after the arrival of heavy rain before any driver had registered a lap time.

Ari Balogh lost control of the No. 30 JR III Racing Ligier JS P320 Nissan on the straight between Turns 6 and 7 and slid into the barriers. Ben Keating then similarly spun the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca 07 Gibson and struck Balogh’s vehicle.

A third car, the No. 17 AWA Duqueine D08 Nissan of Anthony Mantella, aquaplaned into Keating’s Oreca leaving a significant cleanup operation with three damaged cars.

The session was red-flagged but did not resume due to a time-certain schedule, handing the LMP2 and LMP3 poles to the No. 11 TDS Racing Oreca and the No. 74 Riley Motorsports Ligier respectively.

Spinelli Sets New Lap Record in GTD

The first and only qualifying session to take place saw Loris Spinelli produce a new circuit lap record for all GTD cars with a late flyer in the No. 78 Forte Racing by US RaceTronics Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2.

The Italian driver posted a 1:44.430 to set the pace in GTD and qualify four-tenths clear of GTD Pro pole-sitter Daniel Serra from Ferrari squad Risi Competizione.

Jack Hawksworth, whose 2018 lap record was broken, initially topped the combined timesheets before Spinelli delivered a 1:45.330 in the Lamborghini.

Serra then went second-quickest overall and top of GTD Pro before eclipsing Spinelli with a 1:44.829, but the Forte Racing driver responded with two purple sectors.

Jordan Pepper rose to third overall in the No. 63 Iron Lynx Lamborghini, which qualified second in Pro, while Aaron Telitz ended up fourth in the session ahead of his Vasser Sullivan Lexus teammate Hawksworth and Iron Dames Lamborghini driver Doriane Pin.

The Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen gets underway Sunday at 10:40 a.m. EDT with live coverage starting on Peacock.

RESULTS: Qualifying (GTD Pro/GTD)

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

Click to comment

More in WeatherTech Championship