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Watkins Glen Thursday Notebook

John Dagys’ Thursday notebook from Watkins Glen…

Photo: Brian Cleary/

***Joerg Bergmeister has been ruled out of this weekend’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen due to a family matter in Germany. As a result, the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R will feature a two-driver lineup of Patrick Lindsey and the team’s Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup driver Matt McMurry.

***A total of 38 cars are set for Sunday’s race, with the No. 8 Starworks Motorsport Oreca FLM09 a no-show. The No. 26 BAR1 Motorsports entry, the only other car with a to-be-announced driver lineup, will feature Derek Jones on its driving strength. Team owner Brian Alder told Sportscar365 that Gustavo Yacaman is likely to drive, with the possibility of Alder completing the lineup.

***Michael de Quesada has been a late addition to the No. 28 Alegra Motorsports Porsche, alongside Daniel Morad and Porsche factory driver Michael Christensen, who returns after missing the last two rounds due to his FIA World Endurance Championship commitments. De Quesada and Morad are listed in the car for next weekend’s round at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

***There have been major crew changes at Paul Miller Racing, with longtime Magnus Racing strategist Lars Giersing having been brought in as its new race engineer, replacing Dave Fullerton. Kyle Kavanagh, also of Magnus, meanwhile, has replaced Bobby Garcia as lead mechanic. 

***Numerous cars are sporting patriotic liveries, in celebration of the Fourth of July, including a stunning red, white and blue flag livery for the No. 33 Riley Team AMG Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Mario Farnbacher. Team owner Bill Riley told Sportscar365 the livery was created by AMG designers in Germany. 

***All cars sporting American flags or patriotic designs took part in a group photo Thursday evening (pictured above).

***Riley has reverted to its spare No. 33 Mercedes chassis following Keating’s race-ending accident at Detroit. Keating and Bleekemolen hold a nine-point lead in the GT Daytona drivers’ championship and will be rejoined by Mario Farnbacher this weekend. Riley told Sportscar365 that the Detroit car is repairable but made it tough given the tight turnaround in the busy month of June for the team.

***The team’s WeatherTech-backed No. 50 Mercedes chassis is also brand-new, having elected to roll out with a fresh car for the second half of the season.

***Stevenson Motorsports’ Audi R8 LMS is supporting “Hope for the Warriors”, a non-profit organization that provides support programs for service members, veterans and military families. The team’s Jacksonville, N.C. shop is only a short drive from Camp Lejeune, where Hope for the Warriors was originated by military families.

***SpeedSource unloaded a third, spare Mazda RT24-P chassis, which team owner Sylvain Tremblay said they recently took delivery of. The Multimatic-Riley-built prototype is complete with an engine, although not having any bodywork.  “This car could be one of our primary cars for next year,” Tremblay told Sportscar365, noting they will likely swap out its current No. 70 race car for the new chassis in 2018.

***Ricky and Jordan Taylor’s fifth consecutive win at Detroit earlier this month tied them with Tom Kristensen and Dindo Capello in the major North American-based sports car series consecutive win record. The Audi duo opened the 2001 American Le Mans Series season with wins at Texas Motor Speedway, Sebring, Donington Park, Jarama and Sonoma Raceway, winning eight of ten events on the combined ALMS/ELMS schedule that year.

***Turner Motorsport has yet to confirm its participation for next month’s rounds at Road America and Virginia International Raceway, with both Justin Marks and Bret Curtis unavailable those weekends, according to team boss Will Turner. “As of right now we are looking for funded drivers to race in the M6 for these events,” Turner said. “We will have to sit those two races out if we cannot fill the open seat.”

***Marks makes his return to the team for the first time since the Twelve Hours of Sebring in March, alongside full-season driver Jens Klingmann.

***PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports is back to full strength this weekend with Olivier Pla and Jose Gutierrez at the wheel of its Ligier JS P217 Gibson. The Bobby Oergel-led team, which is receiving additional engineering support from Onroak Automotive this weekend, will have an all-new lineup in David Ostella and Nick Boulle for next weekend’s round at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

***Scott Pruett was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America Wednesday evening in Daytona Beach. The 3GT Racing Lexus driver joined Steve Kinser, Dick Klamfoth, Terry Labonte, Paula Murphy, Brock Yates and Herb Thomas as this year’s inductees.

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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