Connect with us

GT World Challenge America

Watkins Glen Weekend Notebook

Sportscar365’s weekend notebook from SRO America action at Watkins Glen International…

Photo: Fabian Lagunas/SRO

***The No. 70 Inception Racing McLaren 720S GT3 is again a no-show, resulting in a 15-car Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS field for this weekend’s rounds at Watkins Glen International. The entry list initially had 17 cars, prior to the withdrawal of the No. 04 DXDT Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo of George Kurtz and Colin Braun.

***The No. 10 TR3 Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo sat out the majority of the day’s track action after undertaking a precautionary engine change triggered by contact from a GT4 car in Friday morning’s Bronze test session. Bill Sweedler was at the wheel of the time of the incident.

***TR3 has expanded into a three-car Lamborghini operation with the addition of the No. 90 entry for Caesar Bacarella in GT America action. The Florida-based team’s two other Lambos compete in GTWC America, with John Megrue set to again pull double-duty between both series.

***Zelus Motorsport only has a single Lamborghini it is utilizing this weekend across GTWC America and GT America powered by AWS competition after its accident at Road America. The team expects to return to a two-car operation for next month’s season finale at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

***While three of its four drivers are again new to the circuit, K-PAX Racing held a test at Watkins Glen immediately following last month’s round at Road America to help acclimate Andrea Caldarelli, Jordan Pepper and Giovanni Venturini to the 11-turn, 3.4-mile track.

***In a unique twist, Mario Farnbacher is on-site coaching the No. 93 Racers Edge Motorsports Acura NSX GT3 Evo entry of Taylor Hagler and Jacob Abel. Last weekend, Farnbacher shared the wheel of Compass Racing’s Acura with Abel in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

***While not taking part this weekend due to a previous commitment, Memo Gidley is slated to be back behind the wheel of Flying Lizard with TKO Motorsports’ Bentley Continental GT3 for the final two GT America events of the year at Sebring International Raceway and Indy.

***Flying Lizard is still fielding the No. 460 Porsche for Andy Wilzoch this weekend, with the team pulling double duty between The Glen and its two entries in the Yokohama Drivers Cup at Utah Motorsport Campus. Both Rick Mayer and Nathan Bonneau have been drafted in to help support the team’s SRO America program this weekend.

“Having our operations split between two different events on either end of the country can be difficult but both operations have a great crew on-site to ensure a smooth weekend, and we’re looking forward to celebrating the continued success of our customers this weekend as they contest for their respective wins,” said program manager Darren Law.

***The overall GT America field has been reduced to 17 entries from its pre-event 22-car entry list, with Kurtz and fellow DXDT driver CJ Moses among those who have dropped off. An Aston Martin Vantage GT4 from Zelus Motorsport, has been added at the last-minute, with Sean Whalen as the driver.

***The Pirelli GT4 America grid is down two RENNtech Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4s after both were totaled at Road America. The No. 79 entry of Christopher Gumprecht and Kyle Marcelli is the lone-remaining entry from the team this weekend, although Ross Chouest and Aaron Poveledo have moved over to a brand-new Aston Martin Vantage GT4 this weekend under the 3R Povoldeo Racing banner.

***A total of 32 cars are entered this weekend for the pair of 60-minute GT4 America races.

***Trent Hindman makes his series return in a RS1 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport alongside Charlie Belluardo, while the No. 35 Conquest Racing West Mercedes sees Colin Mullan in again for the second consecutive event.

***Mullan made a 6.5-hour drive to the track from The Ohio State University where he completed his physics lab on Thursday morning.

***Longtime GT4 America entrant ST Racing is missing its first SRO America event in recent history, with neither of its BMW M4 GT4s present this weekend. Sportscar365 understands this is due to logistics reasons and the Canadian team’s full-season focus on Creventic’s 24H Series, which it is currently leading with multiple class wins.

***Operation Motorsport has partnered with SRO America for Patriot Day activities this weekend, in honor of the victims, families and survivors of the Sept. 11 attacks. Active-duty service members, veterans, first responders and supporters are invited to join the Patriot Car Corral, while active-duty military can enjoy limited free admission for the race weekend with $40 discounted tickets.

***There could be a change in the driver lineup for K-PAX at the Indianapolis 8 Hour with Caldarelli currently entered in two cars. Sportscar365 understands that should the Italian and co-driver Pepper clinch the Pro class championship ahead of the season finale, Caldarelli will likely be part of Orange 1 FFF Racing Team’s Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli entry and K-PAX would surrender any GTWC America points from the race in its No. 3 car.

***Either way, Lamborghini is expected to supply additional factory drivers to complete the three-driver lineups in both the Nos. 3 and 6 cars for the race.

***GMG Racing has purchased an extensive array of new pit equipment, estimated to be nearly $30,000 worth, for its planned slate of upcoming races for its Porsche 911 GT3 R. Team principal James Sofronas is entered in next weekend’s WeatherTech Championship race at Long Beach while the team also plans to contest the Indianapolis 8 Hour with Kyle Washington’s chassis.

***The first race for GTWC America is set to get underway Saturday at 1:45 p.m. ET with live coverage on the SRO’s GT World YouTube page. Other action on tap for Saturday includes GT4 America Race 1 (11:30 a.m..) and GT America Race 1 (5:20 p.m.).

***Race 2 for GTWC America will be broadcast live on CBSSN Sunday at 1 p.m. ET, with streaming options also available.

Ryan Myrehn 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

Click to comment

More in GT World Challenge America