Continuing their breakneck pace through the hot summer months, GT America powered by AWS competitors saddle up and send their teams East for the series’ first appearance at New York’s Watkins Glen International on September 17th to 19th.
Having competed at The Glen in 2019, many GT World Challenge and GT4 America competitors saw the scheduled 2020 events folded into triple-header weekends at other venues due to the severity of the global pandemic’s effects.
Now, many of those drivers return with an eager eye pointed toward running the 3.37-mile, 11-turn circuit in the lush greenery of upstate New York’s Seneca Lake region. Experience will definitely be a factor for some competitors, as will the local weather that as of late has been unseasonably hot and characteristically damp.
Masters and Commanders Run SRO3
Expected to defend his lead in the Driver standings this weekend, Charlie Luck is taking on contenders old and new for the SRO3 Championship. The No. 45 Wright Motorsports Porsche driver will have to hold off a fellow Masters-class contender, Jeff Burton, who has collected five podium appearances in the past six races in his No. 191 Rearden Racing Lamborghini to land the second place spot with a bullet. Also closing in on the Driver’s championship contention circle is Zelus Motorsports driver Jason Harward; he will have to continue to find pace and a spot on the podium in the No. 88 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 as he tries to navigate his twin-series championship bid.
Also running a dual-series campaign, George Kurtz and his No. 04 DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 unit are scheduled to appear on the Watkins Glen ticket, as are Brendan Iribe and the inception racing team; Iribe’s run at The Glen can count as a sort of homecoming as the McLaren 720-S GT3 driver once called the New York area “home.”
Recent addition to the paddock Andy Wilzoch hopes to repeat and extend his Round 10 win into a streak; the Flying Lizard Motorsports pilot is will return to his No. 460 Porsche 911.1 GT3 R. Former TC America alum CJ Moses (No. 58 DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG) also enters the Watkins Glen competition to continue his quest for racing hardware.
John Megrue, who made his season debut at Road America, will pilot the No. 10 TR3 Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3. Another late-season entry into the SRO3 category, and another SRO3 Masters competitor to shake up and contest the podium sub-class.
Single-Driver GT4 Reunion
The 2019 Watkins Glen weekend marked the last time a GT4 single-driver competition was run by SRO America at The Glen. With the GT4 single-driver class now competing under the GT America umbrella, the upcoming weekend will mark a return to that familiar fan-favorite type of racing.
Sean Quinlan and the Stephen Cameron Racing team have figured out the secret to consistent race-winning, and they are guarding that secret tightly.
The No. 119 BMW M4 GT4 driver currently sits first in the Driver standings and has signed on to maintain that lead for the Watkins Glen doubleheader weekend.
Jason Bell has put in the work all season and the payoff is showing in dividends. Bell and his No. 2 Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 are now second in the driver standings and continually closing. Look for him to make another honest run at the hardware this weekend.
Robb Holland might currently be down one spot, but not out. Sitting at just three points behind Bell, watch for Holland to take his No. 99 Rotek Racing Ford Mustang GT4 as far up the mountain as possible in the quest for the Championship title.
Two drivers have a single race win to their names so far this season – both Alex Welch and Ross Chouest – and will see if either or both can repeat the feat this weekend at The Glen.
Adam Adelson will continue his GT4-class campaign in the No. 120 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS MR for Premier Racing, looking to notch more points in his full-season tally. So, too, will Gray Newell, driving the No. 25 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 in another two-series, GT4-based campaign, and Alain Stad, competing in the No. 619 Stephen Cameron Racing Porsche 718 Cayman Clubsport.
Closing out the competitor contingents for Mercedes-AMG, McLaren, Aston Martin AMR and Porsche are: New Yorker Christopher Gumprecht (No. 79 RENNtech Motorsports), Thomas Surgent (No. 26 Prive Motorsports/Topp Racing), Paul Kiebler (No. 09 Automatic Racing) and Scott Noble (No. 49 NOLASPORT). Finally, running in the pack with the rest of the field at The Glen will be two Invitational drivers; Dexter Racing’s Matt Rivard and TR3 Racing’s Caesar Bacarella.
GT America powered by AWS competitors suit up and hit the track for official practice on Friday, September 17th, at 9:20 am EDT. Catch each race of the double-header weekend streaming live on the GTWorld YouTube channel, with audio simulcasts on SiriusXM Satellite Radio channel 392 (992 on the web app). Local fans can buy General Admission tickets for the weekend starting at $20; tickets are available at https://bit.ly/gttheglen