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Jun 25, 2013 - 04:27 PM
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IMSA Returns to Watkins Glen International for 100th GT3 Cup Challenge Race
Posted by: newsla on Jun 25, 2013 - 04:26 PM
Sports Cars
IMSA Returns to Watkins Glen International for 100th GT3 Cup Challenge Race

The IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama participants heading to Watkins Glen International this weekend for Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen will be just as busy on-track as they are off-track. On the heels of Porsche's 100th class victory at the Legendary Le Mans 24 Hours, IMSA will celebrate its 100th IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge race with interactive and fan-friendly activities such as a tech panel, autograph session and silent auction the same day drivers take the track for the centennial race.


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But even before on-track activity begins Thursday with testing, a handful of drivers will make an appearance at the Golisano's Children's Hospital in Rochester, N.Y. Up to 75 children will have a chance to meet the drivers dressed in full race gear, with helmets in hand.

Saturday's centennial festivities begin bright and early with the 9 a.m. "Tech Panel" located adjacent to the IMSA trailer in the Series paddock. Yokohama, Porsche and IMSA representatives will answer any questions related to the iconic Porsche 911. Car club participants and fans are encouraged to attend to learn more about what it takes to master the skill of driving the GT3 Cup car, the mechanics behind it, and how they can become future series participants.

After fans learn the ins and outs of the GT3 Cup car, they make their way over to the midway area at 10:30 a.m. for the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama autograph session. Fans will have up close and personal access to the drivers with the opportunity to take home an autographed Series poster.

The grand marshal and honorary starter for the 100th race during Sahlen's Six Hours of Glen were selected in an online contest, with the same honorary positions for the 101st race selected from participating fans track-side. In keeping with the theme of integration, the Trophy Presenters for each race will be also be chosen from the fan hospitality area in the great room in the media center.

And while the 100th race celebration and off-track activities are sure to be memorable to the fans, tied Platinum Cup points leaders Madison Snow and Ashley Freiberg will promise to make the on-track performance just as notable as they go head-to-head to tip the points balance in round five of the 2013 season.

Snow with Snow Racing/Wright Motorsports grabbed back-to-back wins at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca May 10-11, and Freiberg kept him in her sights as she found her way to the podium for the second time this season at the Monterey, Calif. track to tie up the point standings. She looks to continue her momentum at her favorite track, The Glen, just over four hours from her Bondville, VT home.

NGT Motorsport's Angel Benitez Jr., has won two races this season, just as Snow has, and will look to bounce back and gain ground after after being unable to finish round three at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, earning him the third position in the overall standings. Freiberg and EFFORT Racing as well as Snow and Snow Racing/Wright Motorsports have only a mere four-point lead over NGT Motorsport, promising tight competition for the historic race.

In the Platinum Masters Championship, driver Daniel Duerson has built a significant lead over the rest of his peers after two wins and two second-place finishes this season. The NGT Motorsport's competitor's biggest competition is Kasey Kuhlman with Wright Motorsports who has garnered two victories this year as well.

The Gold Cup class has been all TPC Racing thus far. Michael Levitas tops the charts, having won all four races this season and teammate David Williams, who has placed second in every race, follows.

After fans witness history in the making, a silent auction begins in the GRAND-AM Fanzone with the Austin Hatcher Foundation. Various Porsche memorabilia will be auctioned off to commemorate the 100th race including four 24x36 canvas photos, a banner signed by all of the 100th race participants and a limited edition hardcover Porsche book. As fans head to the GRAND-AM Fanzone, Series drivers will gather to toast the winner in victory circle immediately following the race.

But the celebration and the fan interactivity doesn't end there. GT3 Cup driver and former Marine Mark Llano will bring his SERKET Racing program out to Turn 1 to honor over 2,000 attending military, veterans and their families in an appreciation picnic that starts as early as 8 a.m. on Sunday, June 30. Following race two, Llano plans to celebrate his race weekend results with his military "family."

All GT3 Cup Challenge drivers take the 11-turn, 3.4-mile circuit on Friday, June 28 for two practice sessions and qualifications. The green flag for the 100th race drops Saturday, June 29 at 1:05 p.m. for a 45-minute race. Race two and round six of the 2013 season begins Sunday, June 30 at 9 a.m. For live updates and race results visit the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge event page or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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