By Christopher DeHarde, Staff Writer
The 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship heads to Watkins Glen International this weekend for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, the third of four races in the Michelin Endurance Cup.
The scenic 3.4-mile road course has 37 cars on the entry list compared to 38 for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, so let’s take a look at the differences. With this being a shorter endurance race, many teams are not opting to use a third driver in their endurance racing lineups. Acura Team Penske, Wayne Taylor Racing and Juncos Racing are not using a third driver in DPi while no GTLM teams are using a third driver either.
The normal 11 cast of characters are in DPi with Mazda and Acura each having two entries, CORE Autosport representing Nissan while Cadillac has the remaining six entries. Performance Tech Motorsports and PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports fill out LMP2 while GTLM has the standard eight cars with two each from BMW Team RLL, Ford Chip Ganassi Racing, Corvette Racing and Porsche GT Team.
GTD has the sole change in the entry list. GRT Grasser Racing Team is not racing their Lamborghini Huracan GT3 and P1 Motorsports withdrew from the IMSA championship earlier this year. Black Swan Racing also has entered for Watkins Glen, having skipped Sebring earlier this year.
The No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi of Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani has Eric Curran joining them for Watkins Glen as the championship leaders are coming off of a runner-up finish at Detroit to the No. 6 Team Penske ARX-05 DPi of Juan Montoya and Dane Cameron. Montoya and Cameron are second in the championship in DPi.
This is the first GTLM race since Mid-Ohio in early May. The class skipped the recent Chevrolet Grand Prix at Belle Isle since those teams were preparing for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor in the No. 912 Porsche lead the class over the No. 3 Corvette of Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia.
GTD is currently lead by the No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo of Mario Farnbacher and Trent Hindman. The duo finished second at Mid-Ohio to winners Jack Hawksworth and Richard Heistand who are third in the class standings behind the team car of Frank Montecalvo and Townsend Bell. The AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 entries are looking to get the luxury arm of Toyota their first endurance race win since entering IMSA competition with the RC F.
The race begins Sunday morning at 9:45 ETand can be viewed live on the NBC Sports App. The race will air on TV on NBCSN at 7:00 p.m. ET in a three hour condensed broadcast.