MSR Acura leads Watkins Glen at halfway

Richard Dole/Lumen

MSR Acura leads Watkins Glen at halfway

IMSA

MSR Acura leads Watkins Glen at halfway

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Oliver Jarvis, having been handed the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura by polesitter Tom Blomqvist, led the Sahlens Six Hour of the Glen at the halfway point, but had Renger van der Zande in hot pursuit in the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing he took over from Sebastien Bourdais. The No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura, with Ricky Taylor now at the wheel, was running fifth at halfway but has led much of the race; but having gone on an alternate strategy, had to pit just before the three-hour mark.

“That was a long stint,” said Blomqvist after he came out of the No. 60. “I’m pretty tired to be honest. So many yellows; so many incidents out there. So many cars on a small and, I would say, difficult track, It was pretty intense, and being hot as well doesn’t make your life any easier. The car is quick. Surprising — the Cadillacs look super strong. As expected, a four-way battle all the way to the end.”

The polesitting No. 25 BMW Team RLL BMW M4, now in the hands of Augusto Farfus, went on an alternate pit strategy to get into clean air, and seems to be well positioned in the lead of GTD PRO.

“I think we’re in pretty good control,” said Connor De Phillippi, who started the car. “If the balance changes toward the end, we have some tools with the rollbars to adjust in the pits, but so far this car has been fantastic to drive. It’s early in the race, but once everybody cycles through, I think it will be a hard fight between us, the Aston and the Lexus.”

The No. 3 Corvette was looking in good position in GTD PRO until Jordan Taylor received a drive-through penalty for exceeding track limits on multiple occasions. The No. 14 VasserSullivan Lexus appears to be in the best position to challenge the BMW.

Several GTD contenders have struck trouble, including the polesitting No. 32 Team Korthoff Motorsports Mercedes-AMG. Dirk Muller turned into the No. 02 CGR Cadillac at the bus stop, cutting a tire and breaking the suspension. Repairs have been made and the car is back in the race, several laps down. The No. 12 VasserSullivan Lexus has also received a drive-through for track limits.

Those issues have left the No. 1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3 in the GTD lead, but the No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG and the No. 27 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage are in contact.

LMP2 is still anyone’s battle, with Dennis Andersen in the No. 20 High Class Racing ORECA in the lead at halfway. The No. 30 Jr III Racing Ligier led LMP3 at halfway, but the No. 74 Riley Motorsports Ligier of Gar Robinson, Felipe Fraga and Kay van Berlo has been out front for most of the race.

At halfway, the race was in its longest run of green-flag racing, the last yellow having ended 54 minutes earlier. The first two hours were punctuated by multiple cautions, with LMP3 car at the heart of most of the incidents. The first was for Anthony Mantella in the barriers in the No. 7 Forty7 Motorsports Duqueine in the barriers. Others were for the No. 6 Muehlner Motorsports America Ligier blowing up spectacularly with Dillon Machavern at the wheel, and for Lars Kern crashing the No. 13 AWA Racing Ligier.

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