Connect with us

WeatherTech Championship

Watkins Glen Post-Race Notebook

John Dagys’ post-race notebook from Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

***Fans returned to the grid for the first time since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic prior to Sunday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. The paddock was also opened for the entire weekend of action, marking the second consecutive IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race where spectators were able to interact with teams amid the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

***Harry Tincknell and Oliver Jarvis have closed to within 31 points of DPi championship leaders Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque following Mazda’s win. The margin in the new-for-2021 format equates to less than the maximum allocated points awarded for qualifying on pole.

***Tincknell, who is doing simulation work for ABB FIA Formula E World Championship Audi customer squad Envision Virgin Racing, credited his time in working on energy management skills as a key to victory on Sunday.

***The No. 55 Mazda RT24-P ran out of fuel on the cool-down lap in Turn 7, requiring a tow to victory lane.

***Kamui Kobayashi lost fourth place in the race after making contact with the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R of Kevin Magnussen on the final lap, sending the Detroit-winning DPi entry into the gravel trap and out of the race. The Toyota LMH driver was handed a 35-second post-race penalty, equivalent to a drive-through penalty, for incident responsibility.

“I think [Kevin] was low on fuel, maybe,” Kobayashi said. “I tried to overtake him on the inside, and when I moved to the inside under braking, he moved too. He moved to the inside and I just couldn’t avoid it [hitting the No. 01]. He couldn’t go anymore because he was out of fuel. I don’t know what I could have done if he’s low on fuel.”

***There was confusion during the the final yellow between Magnussen and the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05 of Filipe Albuquerque, who passed Magnussen under yellow. Albuquerque eventually surrendered the position before the race’s restart with no penalty incurred.

***The No. 5 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac dropped out of contention after Loic Duval was forced to serve a drive-through penalty for running a red light at pit-out after a strategic call to top up on fuel late in the final yellow. The Sebring winning entry finished one lap down in seventh.

***Steven Thomas credited WIN Autosport’s double pit stop while under the final yellow as being key to their LMP2 class victory after a fierce late-race battle between co-driver Tristan Nunez and the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca 07 Gibson of newly signed Peugeot factory driver Mikkel Jensen.

***Nunez said the win, his first in LMP2 competition, was “poetic” considering his former employer, Mazda, also won on Sunday.

***Jensen and full season co-driver Ben Keating now hold only a narrow two-point lead over Thomas and Nunez heading into Friday’s WeatherTech 240.

***The No. 74 Riley Motorsports Ligier JS P320 Nissan has all but locked up the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup class title with its second win out of three endurance races this season. Gar Robinson and Scott Andrews will need to only start the season finale at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta to clinch the title.

***Robinson and Andrews’ co-driver, Felipe Fraga, won his second consecutive LMP3 race, maintaining his 100 percent win streak in prototype machinery.

***Marco Andretti, in his WeatherTech Championship debut, suffered contact with a DPi car that damaged the floor of his No. 36 Andretti Autosport Ligier LMP3 in the fourth hour, which ultimately knocked it out of contention after leading early on.

***Andretti only turned his first laps of the weekend in Sunday morning’s warmup after arriving in Watkins Glen International following a fourth place finish in the SRX series at Eldora Speedway in Ohio.

***The No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports Ligier LMP3 is in search of another engine after dropping out of Sunday’s race with engine failure. The Brent O’Neill-led team only received its repaired powerplant from Mid-Ohio last week and was forced to install it on-site at Watkins Glen prior to opening practice.

***The tight turnaround to Friday’s WeatherTech 240 leaves a number of teams with work to do, including the No. 8 Tower Motorsport by Starworks Oreca 07 Gibson, which crashed heavily in the hands of Gabriel Aubry in the final hour.

***Cooper MacNeil accepted blame for his opening lap accident in the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19 that ended in a fire. “I exited the last corner and got into the wall and something broke in the rear and that’s when the fire started. Big apologies to the team, it is 100 percent my fault.”

***It’s currently unclear if the Proton Competition-run team will revert to its second GTE-spec Porsche chassis it has on-site for Friday night’s race.

***Nick Tandy felt “something strange on the car” in the closing laps of the race, which ultimately relegated the No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R to a fourth place class finish in GT Le Mans after leading.

***A fuel issue for the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 ultimately extended its pit stop. Bill Auberlen, who extended his all-time IMSA win tally to 64, believed they would have had to complete the race on one fewer stop than the competition had the final yellow not come out.

***Both Auberlen and co-driver Robby Foley received warnings from race control for exceeding track limits, although it did not result in a penalty.

***Other cars to retire over the course of the race included the No. 18 Era Motorsport Oreca (electrical), No. 44 Magnus Racing by Archangel Acura NSX GT3 Evo (power steering), No. 19 Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo (accident) and No. 75 SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo (voluntarily, after repairing suspension damage).

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

Click to comment

More in WeatherTech Championship