After a day of gorgeous weather for Friday’s opening practice, rain greeted competitors at Watkins Glen International for Saturday morning’s final one-hour practice for Sunday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.
After 30 minutes of steady rain, conditions began to improve for the final half hour, allowing times to pick up on the fast 3.4-mile circuit — with all of the best times set in the final five minutes.
Oliver Jarvis led the session, running 1m43.279s in the No. 77 Mazda Team Joest RT-24P, followed by Will Owen, 1m46.738s in the No. 50 Juncos Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R, and Renger van der Zande, 1m46.909s in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R.
“We were very happy with the car yesterday,” said Olivier Pla, whose co-driver Harry Tincknell led Friday’s morning’s opening session with a lap of 1m30.690s in the No. 55 Mazda RT-24P. “But it’s the same for everyone — you have to take what you have. This morning we want to make sure we have the car set up for qualifying in the wet. Hopefully, it will be dry in the race tomorrow.”
Lance Vanthoor was quickest in GTLM, 1m54.280s in the No. 912 Porsche GT Team 911 RSR, followed by John Edwards in the No. 24 BMW Team RLL BMW M8 GTE and Patrick Pilet in the No. 911 Porsche.
“When Earl [Bamber] was driving in the beginning it was quite wet,” Vanthoor said. “Then, it gradually dried out. There was starting to be some dry lines, but not enough for slicks. All in all, there wasn’t much to learn that session because the weather changed all the time. We tried to get the tire pressures dialed in and learn something in case it rains for qualifying. In general, the car felt good from the beginning.”
Jack Hawksworth paced GTD, at 1m57.445s in the No. 14 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3, followed by Parker Chase in the Starworks/Vertical Bridge Audi R8 LMS GT3 and Aaron Telitz in the No. 12 Lexus.
Conditions are expected to be dry for this morning’s qualifying, although thunderstorms are on the horizon for the Michelin Pilot Challenge four-hour race that starts at 1:55 p.m.
Sunday’s forecast is variable; currently, the best chance of rain is doing the early hours of the race, with conditions clearing for the final three hours.
The No. 19 Moorespeed Audi that was badly damaged in a Friday practice incident was officially withdrawn from the event.
Not participating in the morning session were the No. 54 CORE autosport Nissan Ligier JS P217; the No. 33 Wynn’s Mercedes-AMG; and both LMP2 ORECA Gibsons.
UP NEXT (all times ET): GTD qualifying begins at 11:35 a.m., followed by a 15-minute session for GTLM at noon. The DPi /LMP2 qualifying starts at 12:25 p.m. to set the grid for Sunday’s race, which takes the green flag at 9:45 a.m.