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Watkins Glen Pre-Race Notebook

John Dagys’ pre-race notebook from Watkins Glen…

Photo: Vincent Wouters

Photo: Vincent Wouters

***Joao Barbosa led the way in warmup for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, with the Action Express Racing driver reeling off a quick lap of 1:36.824 in the 20-minute session, which ran without incident. Tom Kimber Smith (PC), John Edwards (GTLM) and Lawson Aschenbach (GTD) led their respective classes.

***In addition to the initial GTD class pole-sitting No. 6 Stevenson Motorsports Audi R8 LMS being moved to the back for a ride height infringement, both the No. 33 Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper GT3-R and No. 540 Black Swan Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R will also start from the rear of the GT class field, the Viper for changing tires.

***The No. 50 Fifty-Plus Racing Riley-BMW DP, meanwhile, has been withdrawn, along with the No. 27 Dream Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3, resulting in a 39-car starting field. Click Here for the official grid.

***Balance of Performance, particularly in the GTLM class, has been a major talking point this weekend, with the turbocharged Ford, Ferrari and BMWs holding the upper edge. Corvette Racing’s Tommy Milner was the quickest normally aspirated car in qualifying, recording a time 1.493 seconds slower than class pole-sitter Westbrook.

***IMSA did not issue any BoP adjustments since the last GTLM round at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, despite concerns from manufacturers in the paddock over a potential similar result seen at Le Mans last month. Another area of concern has been an alleged discrepancy in fuel consumption and capacity between some cars.

***As next weekend’s round is already within the seven-day window prohibiting any changes, the BoP for all classes is locked in for Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

***Visit Florida Racing’s Troy Flis said he expects to announce the team’s 2017 Prototype plans later this month. Flis told Sportscar365 that he’s narrowed the decision down to two packages, following multiple meetings at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

***BMW has reached its maximum production capacity of 20 M6 GT3 cars for this year, according to BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt, who told Sportscar365 they could build the same number of cars to meet the demand for 2017. “We have a lot of interest and are planning the number of cars we’ll be building next year,” he said.

***Staying in step with the Fourth of July theme set forth by Watkins Glen, Continental Tire has produced a decal that will be made available to all teams in both series, should they opt for a little red, white and blue flair on their cars. The decals will also be available in the Continental Fan Zone area for fans.

***Continental has brought more than 3,100 total tires (slicks and wets combined) to Watkins Glen to accommodate both the WeatherTech Championship and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge races this weekend.

***Former IMSA driver Kat Teasdale died suddenly on Saturday at the age of 51. The Canadian had enjoyed a diverse racing career that spanned the NASCAR series as well as Indy Lights.

***FOX Sports 1 will carry live flag-to-flag coverage of today’s race, beginning at 10 a.m. IMSA Radio will provide full coverage, with international viewers able to watch the race feed on and on-board cameras for everyone.

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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