The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship returns to Watkins Glen International for the sixth round of the 12-race season, the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen on Sunday, July 1. The race also represents the third round of the four-race Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup season.
The entry list for The Glen features 42 cars spread across the three WeatherTech Championship classes. The Prototype class has 16 entries, GT Le Mans — which returns to WeatherTech Championship competition for the first time since May’s Acura Sports Car Classic at Mid-Ohio — has eight entries. GT Daytona has 18 entries.
The Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen will be televised live in its entirety on FS1 beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET, with live IMSA Radio coverage available on IMSA.com, RadioLeMans.com and SiriusXM Radio. Tickets are on sale now at TheGlen.com.
- Of 105 drivers on the provisional entry list, 26 of them have at least one previous victory in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.
- Andy Lally is the driver in the field with the most Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen wins with four, including a victory last year in the GTD class. Lally also is riding a personal streak of five consecutive podium finishes in the Six Hours dating back to a third-place run in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series GT class in 2013 with Magnus Racing. Additionally, Lally has two career poles at the event. The Magnus team has four straight podiums at Watkins Glen from 2013 through 2016. The team did not compete in the race last year.
- Christian Fittipaldi, who is returning to the cockpit of the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R for the first time since March’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts, has three career victories in the Six Hours, including each of the past two years in the Prototype class. He also won in 2013 in the GRAND-AM Daytona Prototype (DP) class.
- No. 25 BMW Team RLL BMW M8 GTE driver Bill Auberlen also has three career victories in the Six Hours of The Glen coming in the GRAND-AM GT class in 2002 and 2004, and the WeatherTech Championship GTLM class last year. He’s also the driver in the field with the most pole positions at the Six Hours with three, having earned the top starting spot in the IMSA GTS-3 class in 1997, USRRC GT3 class in 2008 and the GRAND-AM GT class in 2004. Overall, Auberlen is looking for his 59th career IMSA win, which would put him one behind Scott Pruett, whose 60 victories makes him IMSA’s all-time win leader.
- No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT driver Richard Westbrook snapped a three-race win streak in last year’s Six Hours after taking back-to-back Prototype wins with Spirit of Daytona Racing in 2014 and 2015 and the GTLM class win alongside co-driver Ryan Briscoe in the No. 67 in 2016.
- Other multiple-time winners in this year’s field include No. 63 WeatherTech/Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 driver Jeff Segal, who won the GRAND-AM GT class in 2008 and the WeatherTech Championship GTD class in 2016; No. 24 BMW Team RLL BMW M8 GTE driver John Edwards, who took back-to-back GRAND-AM GT wins in 2012 and 2013; and No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R driver Renger van der Zande, who won the WeatherTech Championship Prototype Challenge (PC) class in 2015 and 2016.
- Ford Chip Ganassi Racing has the most Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen victories among all teams in the field this year with a total of five. The team took four GRAND-AM Daytona Prototype/overall victories in 2004, 2008, 2009 and 2010, and won the GTLM class in 2016. It has two chances to win this year, with Joey Hand and Dirk Muller in the No. 66 Ford GT alongside Westbrook and Briscoe in the No. 67 entry.
- Action Express Racing, which is fielding the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R for Fittipaldi, Filipe Albuquerque and Gabby Chaves and the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R for Eric Curran, Felipe Nasr and Mike Conway, owns four Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen wins: GRAND-AM DP/overall in 2012 and 2013 and the WeatherTech Championship Prototype and overall win in 2016 and 2017. Albuquerque, Curran and Nasr currently are tied for the WeatherTech Championship Prototype class points lead along with Joao Barbosa, who will miss the season’s next two races due to a cycling injury. Chaves, who last competed in the WeatherTech Championship in the 2015 Rolex 24 At Daytona, is substituting for Barbosa.
- Spirit of Daytona Racing is a three-time winner in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, taking the GRAND-AM AGT class win back in 2000 and WeatherTech Championship Prototype/overall wins in 2014 and 2015. It will field the No. 90 Cadillac DPi-V.R for co-drivers Tristan Vautier and Matt McMurry this year.
- Jordan Taylor, who shares the No. 10 Cadillac DPi with van der Zande, is a two-time pole winner at the Six Hours, outqualifying the rest of the field in the GRAND-AM GT class in 2011 and 2012. The Wayne Taylor Racing team for which Jordan Taylor and van der Zande drive, has one win in the Six Hours which came in 2011 courtesy of then-co-drivers Ricky Taylor – who started that race from the overall pole position – and Max Angelelli. Ricky Taylor now shares the No. 7 Acura Team Penske Acura ARX-05 DPi with Helio Castroneves, a three-time Indy 500 winner. Castroneves has three IndyCar pole positions at Watkins Glen and three top fives, but has not won at The Glen
- As is the case at most WeatherTech Championship races, Porsche is the event’s winningest manufacturer with 53 victories, leading its next-closest competitor, Chevrolet, by 35 victories. Ten of the 13 participating manufacturers in this year’s race have won the Sahlen’s Six Hours previously.
- The 2018 Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen will have two drivers who won at last weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans in France. Laurens Vanthoor earned his first victory in the prestigious event in the GTE Pro class and will share the No. 912 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR with Earl Bamber, a two-time overall Le Mans winner. Nicolas Lapierre, who is sharing the No. 22 Tequila Patrón ESM Nissan DPi that he also co-drove to victory in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring this year with Johannes van Overbeek and Pipo Derani, took an LMP2 class win last weekend at Le Mans. It was Lapierre’s third LMP2 class victory at Le Mans.
- Other 2018 Le Mans podium finishers in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen are No. 66 Ford GT co-drivers Hand and Muller, who took third in GTE Pro last weekend, and No. 33 Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 co-drivers Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Luca Stolz, who finished third in the GTE Am class in the No. 85 Keating Motorsports Ferrari 488 GTE.