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Watkins Glen Post-Race Notebook

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

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

***IMSA issued the provisional results from Sunday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen on Monday afternoon, confirming that nine cars have been moved to the back of their respective classes due to drive-time infractions. It came in addition to the No. 25 Team RLL BMW M4 GT3 and No. 59 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo, which had finished first on the road in GTD Pro and GTD, respectively, before getting penalized post-race.

***The sanctioning body adjusted the minimum drive time for LMP2, LMP3, GTD Pro and GTD from 1 hour and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 17 minutes. Several teams, including the LMP2 class-leading DragonSpeed Oreca 07 Gibson at the time, pitted to change drivers during following the resumption of the red flag. DragonSpeed was among the cars not penalized for drive-time.

***The one-hour long red flag came out due to weather in the area with roughly 90 minutes to go. Additionally, the clock was stopped for 9 minutes and 34 seconds prior to track action resuming, which caused some confusion. The clock stoppage, however, was not utilized for the purposes of drive time calculation, according to IMSA.

***Wayne Taylor Racing scored its first win at Watkins Glen International since 2011, with Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque re-taking the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship DPi points lead in the process. Taylor was also part of the 2011 victories at The Glen, driving alongside Max Anglelli in a Dallara-Chevrolet DP.

***Albuquerque and Taylor are now 17 points ahead of Meyer Shank Racing’s Oliver Jarvis and Tom Blomqvist, who scored their fourth consecutive second-place finish after Albuquerque’s late-race pass on Blomqvist on the final restart.

***IMSA race director Beaux Barfield came onto the radio in the second hour, issuing a stern warning to LMP3 competitors, which had caused the majority of the incidents and full-course cautions in the opening stages of the race. Following Lars Kern’s massive accident, the race ran green for nearly two and a half hours until Jeff Westphal’s accident that was triggered by contact between two LMP2 cars.

***Third place finisher Sebastien Bourdais was critical on the DPi Balance of Performance post-race, in a weekend that saw Acura ARX-05s sweep every session, including a 1-2 in the race. Bourdais told Sportscar365: “I think it’d be good if they could recognize in the series that the Acuras really have an advantage in the quick tracks like this, but they don’t seem to do anything about it. So, it is what it is.”

***PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports notched up its third Watkins Glen win in an unlikely fashion after its No. 52 Oreca 07 Gibson was running sixth in class at the time of the red flag. Scott Huffaker moved into the class lead courtesy of several pit stops and a drive-through penalty for the DragonSpeed entry for leaving pit equipment attached during a pit stop previous to the red flag.

***Silver-rated driver Scott Huffaker had to take the Wynn’s-sponsored Oreca to the finish and fended off reigning European Le Mans Series champion Louis Deletraz for the class win by 0.107 seconds. “Usually I’m not the guy finishing,” he said. “They told me I had to do the job I was a bit nervous but I ended up okay.”

***Felipe Fraga, who broke his recent bad luck streak with a win in LMP3, explained post-race that the No. 74 Riley Motorsports Ligier JS P320 Nissan would not have had to make a late-race pit stop for fuel had the clock not been stopped. The team still won the race by one-lap, however, over the No. 54 CORE autosport Ligier of Jon Bennett, Colin Braun and George Kurtz.

***Fraga’s co-driver Kay van Berlo picked up the LMP3 class victory in addition to sweeping the weekend in Porsche Carrera Cup North America presented by The Cayman Islands competition. 

***The drivers of the eventual GTD Pro class-winning No. 23 The Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 admitted post-race that their changes of a podium seemed unlikely during the red flag while running in sixth at the time. 

***Alex Riberas said: “The biggest question was to whether to get changed to my street clothes or to keep my suit on because I didn’t have much hope for a podium finish.” Gunn added: “I didn’t think we had much of a chance either so I had a can of Coke [during the red]. I was not sure the race would restart.”

***The Heart of Racing became the first team to sweep both GTD Pro and GTD classes in the same race, with the No. 27 Aston of Roman De Angelis, Maxime Martin and team principal Ian James finishing ahead of the GTD Pro class-winning car, another first in IMSA competition.

***De Angelis became a four-time WeatherTech Championship winner, although it was the Canadian’s third victory to be decided following a post-race decision. “I think it’s pretty unheard of to have three of your four wins be [decided] post-race,” he said.

***The No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 was out front in GTD Pro during the red flag, with Daniel Serra ultimately forced to pit for fuel with 4 minutes and 30 seconds to go. The Brazilian was followed in by fellow GTD Pro entries from Pfaff Motorsports and Vasser Sullivsn as well, all which were on a different fuel strategy to the eventual class-winning No. 23 Aston.

***Corvette Racing’s race unraveled when Antonio Garcia suffered a puncture after contact from the No. 25 BMW of John Edwards on the final restart, leading to an unscheduled stop. It came after Jordan Taylor was forced to serve a drive-through penalty for exceeding track limits multiple times. The Corvette has provisionally finished sixth in class after the post-race penalty for the BMW.

***In addition to the Corvette, both the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW and No. 23 Heart of Racing Aston also received drive-through penalties for track limits violations. 

***The No. 32 Team Korthoff Motorsports Mercedes, which entered the weekend as the GTD leaders, spent time behind the wall in the third hour after Dirk Mueller had contact with the No. 02 CGR Cadillac of Alex Lynn, resulting in right-front suspension damage. It marked the team’s first incident of the season. 

***Bryan Sellers returned to the wheel of the No. 1 Paul Miller Racing BMW after the car accidentally dropped on his right foot during a driver change with 1 hour and 40 minutes to go. Sellers was visibly in pain after the incident. The car was ultimately retired due to damage with less than five minutes to go after contact from the No. 59 Crucial Motorsports McLaren 720S GT3.

***The Michelin Efficient Performance Award was handed out to Wayne Taylor Racing (DPi), High Class Racing (LMP2) and Team Korthoff Motorsports (GTD) pre-race. The mid-season award, handed out in each class, is calculated based on the number of laps completed and number of Michelin slick race tires used in a race. It included a $5,000 tire credit. 

***The status of the No. 13 AWA Duqueine D08 Nissan and No. 39 Carbahn with Peregrine Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo cars are unclear following separate massive accidents in the race that appeared to cause chassis damage. Both entries are listed to take part in this weekend’s Chevrolet Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

Jonathan Grace contributed to this report

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

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