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Race report
IMSA Watkins Glen

IMSA Watkins Glen: Porsche wins wild, rain-halted six-hour race

Rainstorms lead to multi-car shunts, red flag and a frantic sprint to the finish in endurance thriller

#7 Team Penske Motorsport Porsche 963: Dane Cameron, Felipe Nasr

#7 Team Penske Motorsport Porsche 963: Dane Cameron, Felipe Nasr

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

Porsche’s Dane Cameron and Felipe Nasr won a topsy-turvy, rain-disrupted sixth round of the IMSA SportsCar Championship, The Six Hours of The Glen.

Their Porsche beat the Cadillac of Renger van der Zande and Sebastien Bourdais by 0.7s after a series of rain showers and storms flipped the race order several times in a sometimes bizarre event.

Polewinner Louis Deletraz’s #40 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Acura ARX-06 led the 56-car field to green at the fabled 3.4-mile, 11-turn road course in upstate New York. Van der Zande grabbed the lead entering The Boot section on the opening lap in the #01 Chip Ganassi Racing-run Cadillac V-Series.R.

Phil Hanson’s #85 JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963 passed Jack Aitken’s #31 Action Express-run Cadillac and picked off Deletraz to run second before the first full-course yellow, as Dwight Merriman spun Era Motorsport’s Oreca – which had won both LMP2 races so far – on lap two and got himself stuck in the grass.

At the restart, Hanson barged his way past van der Zande for the lead, banging wheels on the run to the Bus Stop and forging his way to an impressive lead in the customer 963.

The second caution was for George Kurtz (Crowdstrike by APR LMP2) brutally ramming Roberto Lecorte’s Cetilar GTD Ferrari into the fence at Turn 8.

All GTP cars pitted under yellow, and Philipp Eng’s #24 BMW M Hybrid V8 led the restart, having taken a shorter fill of energy, from Aitken. Erstwhile leader Hanson handed over to Tijmen van der Helm, who rejoined third but quickly tumbled back to sixth.

Aitken passed Eng the lead at the start of the second hour with a smart move around the outside of Turn 7.

But after the second round of pitstops, the leading #31 car required an unscheduled pitstop after Pipo Derani, who took over from Aitken, damaged the nose in an off at Turn 1. He also flatspotted the right-front tire, and the lengthy extra stop put him a lap down and out of the frame.

That promoted Nick Tandy’s #6 Porsche Penske Motorsport 963, which he’d just taken over from Mathieu Jaminet, to the lead as Hour 3 began, from Bourdais in the #01 Cadillac. Jordan Taylor powered past Bourdais for second in the #40 Acura he took over from poleman Deletraz.

The third yellow was required when Joao Barbosa shunted the Sean Creech Motorsport-run Ligier LMP2 on the exit of Turn 1. The #7 PPM 963 of Cameron stayed out to lead, as Taylor picked up second from Tandy and Filipe Albuquerque in the #10 Acura – but Albuquerque was given a drive-through penalty for an unsafe release in the pitlane.

On fresher tires, Tandy passed Taylor to make it a Porsche 1-2 by half distance – just before the heavens opened. Cameron missed the pit entry and stayed out for a slow lap on slicks, as Tandy and Taylor pitted for wets.

The fourth yellow arrived soon after, as Gianmarco Levorato’s Proton-run Ford Mustang shunted on the approach to the final corner and Zach Robichon spun his Aston Martin in avoidance.

The second half of the race saw the wet-shod Tandy leading Taylor and Matteo Cairoli in the sole Lamborghini SC63 (which would later be hit by overheating issues). Tandy pitted immediately to switch to slicks, with Cameron rocketing back to the lead. Albuquerque rose to second, ahead of Nick Yelloly’s re-tubbed #25 BMW, which was crashed in practice by Connor De Phillippi and started from the pit lane, and Bourdais.

Heavy rain arrived on lap 101, bringing out another full-course caution that coincided with Sarah Bovy slamming her Iron Dames Lamborghini into the wall on the exit of a dry Turn 10.

Soon after the restart on a damp track, Albuquerque pulled a bold move to Cameron – the pair banging wheels on the back straight – to grab the lead towards the end of Hour 4.

After falling back on strategy, Tandy charged up to the front again, trading paint with Albuquerque in a frantic duel for the lead inside two hours to go. Tandy grabbed the top spot in a wild three-wide move with a backmarker in the chute towards Turn 6.

Moments later, rain hammered down once again, with multiple cars firing off into the barriers on their slick tires – four cars going off at Turn 8, including Loris Spinelli’s GTD Lamborghini ploughing head-on into the barriers, and Hunter McElrea’s LMP2 car slamming the Turn 1 tirewall.

There was also chaos in the Porsche Penske pits, as Jaminet (back in for Tandy) had to reverse around Nasr (in for Cameron) after both cars overshot their pit boxes.

That led to an Acura 1-2, with Deletraz’s #40 leading Ricky Taylor’s #10. De Phillippi snatched third ahead of van der Zande, Jaminet and Nasr. After several laps behind the pace car, the race was red flagged with 1h20m to go.

As the race went back to yellow conditions, as everyone changed to slicks, Deletraz won the race off pit road, as the #10 slumped from second to sixth. Nasr was big gainer, going from sixth to second, with van der Zande retaining third from Jaminet and De Phillippi.

More drama followed as Taylor ground to a halt as his right-rear wheel fell off just as IMSA was preparing to go to green. Team-mate Albuquerque believed the earlier contact with Cameron had caused some issues with that corner.

After a lengthy delay, the race restarted with just 16 minutes remaining. Nasr dived past Deletraz at Turn 1, with van der Zande grabbing second from him going into the Esses, and Jaminet took third from Deletraz at Turn 6.

Van der Zande couldn’t catch Nasr, who sprinted away to extend the #7 car’s points lead.

#88 Richard Mille AF Corse ORECA LMP2-Gibson: Luis Perez Companc, Nicklas Nielsen, Lilou Wadoux Ducellier

#88 Richard Mille AF Corse ORECA LMP2-Gibson: Luis Perez Companc, Nicklas Nielsen, Lilou Wadoux Ducellier

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

AF Corse’s Le Mans winner takes LMP2

In LMP2, poleman PJ Hyett led in AO Racing’s Oreca led from Steven Thomas (TDS Racing) and Daniel Goldburg’s #22 United Autosports. Hyett was given a drive-through penalty, however, for a start infringement – which set a trend for penalties for category frontrunners.

Just before half distance, Tom Dillmann in the leading #52 Inter Europol by PR1 Mathiasen entry was handed a drive-through penalty for a restart violation, as was Felipe Fraga (#74 Riley), who inherited the lead, for passing under yellow.

As the race restarted, overall Le Mans winner Nicklas Nielsen led in AF Corse’s #88 car and survived contact from Fraga at Turn 7, as Ben Hanley’s #2 United Autosports entry got spun around by Colin Braun in the #04 Crowdstrike Oreca.

That gave Nielsen the win just seven days on from his famous Le Mans success with Ferrari, co-driven by Luis Perez Companc and Lilou Wadoux.

#62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3: Daniel Serra, Davide Rigon, #23 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Evo: Ross Gunn, Alex Riberas, #3 Corvette Racing by Pratt Miller Motorsports Corvette Z06 GT3.R: Antonio Garcia, Alexander Sims

#62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3: Daniel Serra, Davide Rigon, #23 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Evo: Ross Gunn, Alex Riberas, #3 Corvette Racing by Pratt Miller Motorsports Corvette Z06 GT3.R: Antonio Garcia, Alexander Sims

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

Aston Martin scores last-lap victory in GTD Pro

Daniel Serra led from pole in Risi Competizione’s Ferrari 296 from Alexander Sims in Corvette Racing’s #3 Z06 GT3.R.

Jack Hawksworth’s #14 Vasser Sullivan’s Pro class Lexus RC F gained the lead after the first round of pitstops from Sims, who had to pit the #3 for new brake rotors in the second hour.

The longtime leading #14 Lexus was given a drive-through just before half distance for ‘not maintaining pace at the third restart, and the class lead changed hands multiple times during the weather interruptions.

After the red flag, Tommy Milner found himself at the front of the GTD Pro field in the #4 Corvette, ahead of Ross Gunn’s Heart of Racing Aston Martin and Marvin Kirchhofer’s Pfaff McLaren 720S – all three having stayed out on slicks in the downpour.

Milner survived scary moments as the GTP leaders caught him and the GTD pack with just minutes remaining but what he couldn’t do was make it to the finish on fuel, and he had to pit at the white flag.

That allowed Gunn and Alex Riberas to scoop the class honors, ahead of the Pfaff McLaren and Antonio Garcia in the #3 Corvette he shared with Sims.

Philip Ellis led the pro-am class in Winward Racing’s Mercedes, having also slithered around on slicks – almost going off at Turn 6 as he did so. Ellis fended off an attack from Parker Thompson’s #12 Lexus at the Bus Stop in the closing moments to win along with Russell Ward and Indy Dontje.

   
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1
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2
   
Cla Drivers # Chassis Laps Time Interval Pits Points Retirement
1 United States D. Cameron Brazil F. Nasr Porsche Penske Motorsport 7 Porsche 963 148

-

  7    
2 Netherlands R. van der Zande France S. Bourdais Cadillac Racing 01 Cadillac V-Series.R 148

+0.749

0.749

0.749 8    
3 United Kingdom N. Tandy France M. Jaminet Porsche Penske Motorsport 6 Porsche 963 148

+2.819

2.819

2.070 8    
4 United States J. Taylor Switzerland L. Deletraz Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti 40 Acura ARX-06 148

+22.455

22.455

19.636 8    
5 Finland J. Krohn Austria P. Eng BMW M Team RLL 24 BMW M Hybrid V8 148

+22.924

22.924

0.469 9    
6 United States C. de Phillippi United Kingdom N. Yelloly BMW M Team RLL 25 BMW M Hybrid V8 148

+23.820

23.820

0.896 12    
7 Italy G. Bruni Netherlands B. Viscaal Proton Competition 5 Porsche 963 147

1 lap

  11    
8 Brazil P. Derani United Kingdom J. Aitken United Kingdom T. Blomqvist Whelen Cadillac Racing 31 Cadillac V-Series.R 147

1 lap

  9    
9 Argentina L. Perez Companc Denmark N. Nielsen France L. Wadoux Richard Mille AF Corse 88 ORECA 07 147

1 lap

  7    
10 United States G. Kurtz United States C. Braun United Kingdom T. Sowery Crowdstrike Racing by APR 04 ORECA 07 147

1 lap

  9    
11 United States G. Robinson Brazil F. Fraga Australia J. Burdon Riley 74 ORECA 07 147

1 lap

  8    
12 Poland J. Smiechowski United States N. Boulle France T. Dillmann Inter Europol by PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports 52 ORECA 07 146

2 laps

  10    
13 Denmark D. Andersen
S. Lucas
United States S. Huffaker MDK by High Class Racing
20 ORECA 07 146

2 laps

  10    
14 D. Goldburg United Kingdom P. di Resta
B. Garg United Autosports USA
22 ORECA 07 146

2 laps

  11    
15 Canada J. Farano United States M. Dinan Ireland C. Eastwood Tower Motorsports 8 ORECA 07 146

2 laps

  12    
16 United States P. Hyett France P. Chatin Australia M. Brabham AO Racing 99 ORECA 07 146

2 laps

  11    
17 United States B. Keating United Kingdom B. Hanley Chile N. Pino United Autosports USA 2 ORECA 07 146

2 laps

  10    
18 Netherlands T. van der Helm United Kingdom R. Westbrook United Kingdom P. Hanson JDC/Miller Motorsports 85 Porsche 963 146

2 laps

  8    
19 United Kingdom R. Gunn Spain A. Riberas Heart Of Racing Team 23 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Evo 139

9 laps

  6    
20 Germany M. Kirchhofer United Kingdom O. Jarvis Pfaff Motorsports 9 McLaren 720S GT3 EVO 139

9 laps

  6    
21 Spain A. Garcia United Kingdom A. Sims Corvette Racing by Pratt Miller Motorsports 3 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R 139

9 laps

  7    
22 United Kingdom J. Hawksworth United Kingdom B. Barnicoat Vasser Sullivan 14 Lexus RC F GT3 139

9 laps

  10    
23 United Kingdom H. Tincknell Germany M. Rockenfeller Ford Multimatic Motorsports 64 Ford Mustang GT3 139

9 laps

  6    
24 Germany L. Heinrich
S. Priaulx AO Racing
77 Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) 139

9 laps

  8    
25 United States R. Ward Switzerland P. Ellis Netherlands I. Dontje Winward Racing 57 Mercedes AMG GT3 139

9 laps

  5    
26
A. Adelson
E. Skeer Belgium J. Heylen Wright Motorsports
120 Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) 139

9 laps

  12    
27
M. Franco
A. Costa
Monaco C. Sbirrazzuoli Conquest Racing
34 Ferrari 296 GT3 139

9 laps

  9    
28 United States J. Potter United States A. Lally United States S. Pumpelly Magnus Racing 44 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Evo 139

9 laps

  8    
29 United States F. Montecalvo Canada P. Thompson United States A. Telitz Vasser Sullivan 12 Lexus RC F GT3 139

9 laps

  5    
30 United States R. Foley United States P. Gallagher
J. Walker Turner Motorsport
96 BMW M4 GT3 139

9 laps

  10    
31 Turkey S. Yoluc Portugal R. Andrade Australia S. Andrews Lone Star Racing 80 Mercedes AMG GT3 139

9 laps

  11    
32 France S. Mann France F. Heriau Spain M. Molina Af Corse 21 Ferrari 296 GT3 139

9 laps

  6    
33 Canada O. Fidani United Kingdom M. Bell Germany L. Kern AWA 13 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R GTD 139

9 laps

  7    
34
K. Li
Denmark A. Fjordbach Austria K. Bachler MDK Motorsports
86 Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) 139

9 laps

  9    
35 O. Triarsi
C. Scardina
Italy A. Rovera Triarsi Competizione
023 Ferrari 296 GT3 139

9 laps

  7    
36 United States J. Andretti Colombia G. Chaves Canada S. Hargrove Andretti Motorsports 43 Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) 139

9 laps

  8    
37 United States T. Milner Netherlands N. Catsburg Corvette Racing by Pratt Miller Motorsports 4 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R 139

9 laps

  9    
38 United States M. Skeen Canada M. Grenier United States K. Koch Korthoff/Preston Motorsports 32 Mercedes AMG GT3 139

9 laps

  7    
39 United States B. Iribe Switzerland F. Schandorff United Kingdom O. Millroy Inception Racing 70 McLaren 720S GT3 EVO 139

9 laps

  6    
40 United States B. Sellers United States M. Snow United States N. Verhagen Paul Miller Racing 1 BMW M4 GT3 139

9 laps

  11    
41 Canada K. Marcelli Costa Rica D. Formal
G. Doyle Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti
45 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 138

10 laps

  9    
42
S. Monk
Colombia T. Calderon United Kingdom S. McAleer Gradient Racing
66 Acura NSX GT3 137

11 laps

  10    
43 United States R. Taylor Portugal J. Barbosa Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti 10 Acura ARX-06 134

14 laps

  10    
44
F. Perera
South Africa J. Pepper Iron Lynx
19 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 131

17 laps

  18    
45 United States S. Thomas Denmark M. Jensen
H. McElrea TDS Racing
11 ORECA 07 125

23 laps

  8    
46 United States J. Hand Germany D. Muller Ford Multimatic Motorsports 65 Ford Mustang GT3 124

24 laps

  13    
47 United States E. Lux Sweden R. Lindh
N. Varrone DragonSpeed
81 ORECA 07 122

26 laps

  7    
48 Brazil D. Serra Italy D. Rigon Risi Competizione 62 Ferrari 296 GT3 122

26 laps

  5    
49 Canada M. Goikhberg Italy L. Spinelli Canada D. DeFrancesco Forte Racing 78 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 117

31 laps

  6    
50 Italy M. Cairoli Italy A. Caldarelli Lamborghini Iron Lynx 63 Lamborghini SC63 107

41 laps

  7    
51 Switzerland R. Frey Denmark M. Gatting Belgium S. Bovy Iron Dames 83 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 94

54 laps

  5    
52 Canada R. De Angelis Canada Z. Robichon United Kingdom I. James Heart Of Racing Team 27 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Evo 83

65 laps

  5    
53
G. Levorato
United States C. Lewis United States R. Hardwick Proton Competition
55 Ford Mustang GT3 82

66 laps

  3    
54 Portugal J. Barbosa United Kingdom J. Edgar United States L. Willsey Sean Creech Motorsport 33 Ligier JS P217 65

83 laps

  2    
55 Italy R. Lacorte Italy G. Sernagiotto Italy A. Fuoco Cetilar Racing 47 Ferrari 296 GT3 15

133 laps

  1    
dnf United States D. Merriman United Kingdom R. Dalziel
C. Zilisch Era Motorsport
18 ORECA 07 1

147 laps

      Retirement

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