Watkins Glen: SAMAX Motorsport Friday report

The No. 17 SAMAX/ Doncaster Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car will start fourth on the GT grid for the June 3 Rolex Sports Car Series six-hour race at Watkins Glen International. The grid was set by team standings when the Friday qualifying session...

The No. 17 SAMAX/ Doncaster Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car will start fourth on the GT grid for the June 3 Rolex Sports Car Series six-hour race at Watkins Glen International. The grid was set by team standings when the Friday qualifying session was replaced by a practice session to compensate for track time lost on Thursday due to legal issues.

Greg Wilkins will drive the first race stint, followed by Dave Lacey and Mark Wilkins, all of Toronto. With rain in the forecast, the team is preparing for variable weather conditions.

"We're looking to find as much dry speed as we can so that we're ready for a dry race. If it's wet, we'll just soften the car up and run on the rain tires. We've run pretty well here in the rain before, so it's a bit of an equalizer from our point of view," Greg Wilkins said. "Tomorrow we'll spend our time thinking about the strategy because, undoubtedly, it won't be just wet or dry, it will be intermittent, which will make it very interesting for everybody."

bonus

Although many teams were disappointed they weren't able to qualify for the Watkins Glen race, SAMAX Motorsport team owner Peter Baron had a different view. He noted the GT cars were allowed an extra 30 minutes of practice in lieu of qualifying, and the SAMAX/ Doncaster car will start from the second row.

"It's a strange set of circumstances, but we're more than happy to take the additional 30 minutes of practice. With having to cycle three drivers through the car, it's a big help," he said. "Fourth is a great starting position for a six-hour race; the drivers will be able to get into a good groove. So we get the starting position with the added benefit of 30 more minutes of practice time."

Baja-bound

SAMAX chief mechanic Robin Hayes and mechanic Ian Jones will finish the season in off-road racing, working with the All-American Girls Racing team in the Baja 1000 on Nov. 18. The team's drivers include Beccy and Robyn Gordon, sisters of NASCAR driver Robby Gordon. Hayes and Jones met Beccy Gordon in May, when she attended a Rolex Series race at Laguna Seca Raceway. Her boyfriend, Ryan Hunter-Reay, was driving for SAMAX.

Asked the difference between sports-car racing and off-road racing, Hayes' response was succinct: "Dirt."

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Robby Gordon , Peter Baron , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Dave Lacey , Greg Wilkins , Mark Wilkins , Beccy Gordon