With first practice at the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen underway, the Michelin-shod GTLM teams are ready for a stacked schedule around one of America’s most iconic natural terrain road courses.
Friday’s 11:05 AM and 3:30 PM IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice sessions are followed by a third session at 8:00 AM Saturday. GTLM qualifying is 12:05 Saturday to set the grid at Watkins Glen International for Sunday’s 10:10 AM race time.
It was Fords up front in 2016 with the No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT with Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook taking the win in 2016 ahead of the sister No. 66 Ford GT.
Ford and their U.S. manufacturer—and IMSA GTLM Championship—rivals Corvette both brought home podium finishes from France at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but are angling for the top step this weekend. It won’t be an easy feat, as Porsche and BMW will be trying to prevent them from getting there every step of the way. It may be an endurance race, but all six hours are sure to be stacked with competition.
“It will be good to get back to the U.S. with Corvette Racing at Watkins Glen,” said Jan Magnussen, driver of the No. 3 Corvette.
“We still are disappointed with the finish at Le Mans, but there is still the matter of the GTLM championship for Antonio and I.
“Watkins Glen is the type of track I really enjoy – fast with great flow and quick corners. We have had success there in the past so hopefully we can have another strong result and earn maximum points.”
Whether Ford can repeat their 2016 1-2 likely will be dependent on weather during the weekend. Scattered thunderstorms and high heat throughout the three days will push teams beyond the already strenuous endurance race.
The 3.4-mile, 11-turn road course in upstate New York is a driver and fan favorite, with a storied history dating back 1956. In addition to playing host for IMSA’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, Watkins Glen features NASCAR and IndyCar events throughout the year and previously hosted Formula 1 Grands Prix.
The six-hour IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship endeavor will be aired on Fox Sports 1 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM, with continuing coverage on Fox Sports 2 from 1:00 to 4:30 PM. International audiences can watch the live stream on www.imsa.com.