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Jun 26, 2013 - 06:37 AM
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GRAND-AM News And Notes: Watkins Glen International
Posted by: newsla on Jun 26, 2013 - 06:36 AM
Grand Am News
GRAND-AM News And Notes: Watkins Glen International


Fast Facts

ROLEX SPORTS CAR SERIES

The Place: Watkins Glen International
The Race: Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen
The Track: 3.4-mile, 11-turn road course
The Date/Time: Sunday, 11 a.m. ET
The Race Length: 6 hours
TV: SPEED, 4:30 p.m. ET LIVE
Radio: MRN Radio
MRN Affiliate: WRCE 1490 AM

 

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CONTINENTAL TIRE SPORTS CAR CHALLENGE

The Place: Watkins Glen International
The Race: Continental Tire 150 at The Glen
The Track: 3.4-mile, 11-turn road course
The Date/Time: Saturday, 3 p.m. ET
The Race Length: 2 hours, 30 minutes
TV: SPEED, July 7, 4 p.m. ET

30 Hours, 2 Weeks: 13 Drivers Pulling Le Mans, Glen Double

One week after racing in the 90th anniversary running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, 13 drivers will set their sights on historic Watkins Glen International to race in Sunday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, an American classic first held in 1968.

Stephane Sarrazin, coming off a second place overall finish for Toyota in the French classic, will join Michael Valiante and Enzo Potolicchio in the No. 3 Motorola-ONA Corvette DP. Potolicchio’s 8Star Motorsports was the lone GRAND-AM team to field a car at Le Mans, with Potolicchio, Rui Aguas and Jason Bright finishing 10th in GTE Am. Aguas will also race at The Glen for AF-Waltrip in the No. 56 Ferrari 458 Italia in the GT class.

Richard Lietz, LM GTE Pro winner at Le Mans for Porsche AG Team Manthey, will co-drive with Andy Lally and John Potter in the No. 44 Flex-Box Porsche GT3. Magnus Racing rebounded from a fire last year at The Glen to win at Indianapolis and capture GT honors in the inaugural North American Endurance Championship presented by VISITFLORIDA.com.

Bill Auberlen and Paul Dalla Lana – who drove for Aston Martin Racing at Le Mans – will co-drive in both the Rolex Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge races at The Glen, driving for Turner Motorsport.

Other Le Mans competitors racing at Watkins Glen include Jordan and Ricky Taylor, Ryan Dalziel, Brendon Hartley, Patrick Long, Richard Westbrook and Toni Vilander.

Wide-Open DP Title Race Highlights Return To The Glen

The GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series returns to Watkins Glen International with a wide-open battle for the DP championship, as only two points separate the top three teams entering the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.

Jordan Taylor and Max Angelelli, who won earlier this month at Detroit in Wayne Taylor Racing’s No. 10 Velocity Worldwide Corvette DP, hold a one-point lead over Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty, drivers of the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Corvette DP (173-172).

Ryan Dalziel and Alex Popow, drivers of the No. 2 Starworks Motorsport with Alex Popow Ford/Riley, are another point back in third with 171 points.

Action Express Racing is the defending winner of the Sahlen’s Six Hours. Last year, Joao Barbosa teamed with Darren Law to win the event. Barbosa returns to The Glen as the latest Rolex Series winner, teaming with Christian Fittipaldi to win at Mid-Ohio in the No. 5 Corvette DP. Fittipaldi is currently fourth in the DP standings with 155 points, two points ahead of Barbosa.

It’s been a topsy-turvy month for Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas. The pair entered June with a seven-point lead in a bid for a fourth consecutive DP championship. However, a first-lap crash at Detroit and a broken suspension part resulting from an early incident at Mid-Ohio dropped the drivers of the No. 01 Telcel/TELMEX BMW/Riley to seventh in the standings, 25 points behind the leaders.

Watkins Glen Plays Host To Round 2 Of North American Endurance Championship

Recognized as one of America’s premier sports car races, the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen will also serve as the second round of the second annual North American Endurance Championship (NAEC) presented by VISITFLORIDA.com.

The NAEC is a unique championship within a championship, encompassing the three longest races in the Rolex Series, held at three of the most historic racing facilities in the world. It opened at Daytona International Speedway with the Rolex 24 At Daytona, and closes at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the July 27 running of the Brickyard Grand Prix.

Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates currently leads the team standings with 20 points, followed by Wayne Taylor Racing (15), Action Express Racing (12) and Starworks with Alex Popow (9). Audi Sport Customer Racing/AJR leads in GT with 14 points, followed by Scuderia Corsa (13) and AIM Autosport Team FXDD with Ferrari and MOMO/NGT Motorsports, with 12 points each.
Napleton Racing leads in GX with 20 points, but is not entered at Watkins Glen. BGB Motorsports (13) and MazdaSpeed/Speedsource (8) are among the leaders entered.

While points were awarded at the end of four six-hour segments at Daytona, points at The Glen will be scored at the halfway point and finish. Leaders at both intervals in both DP and GT get 10 points, eight for second, six for third and four for the remaining positions.

It will be “winner take all” in the three-hour race at Indianapolis. The Brickyard Grand Prix winners gets 20 points, with 16 for second, 12 for third and eight for the remaining finishing positions for both classes.

Starworks Motorsport and driver Alex Popow were the inaugural NAEC DP champions, while Magnus Racing and drivers John Potter and Andy Lally won in the GT division.

Bourdais To Rejoin Starworks Motorsport For Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen

With the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen being the second-longest event on the Rolex Series schedule, several teams added third drivers to their lineups while several new cars have joined the lineup for Round 2 of the NAEC.

Sebastien Bourdais rejoins Starworks Motorsport with Alex Popow for the event, co-driving the No. 2 Ford/Riley with Alex Popow and Ryan Dalziel. Bourdais finished third at The Glen and then joined Popow in winning the inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Rolex Series, Etc.

· 8Star Motorsports has added a second car for The Glen. Luis Diaz and Emilio DiGuida will share the No. 4 Venezuela Corvette DP.

· Gustavo Yacaman has a new co-driver in the No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford/Riley, Justin Wilson. In addition to sharing in MSR’s victory in the 2012 Rolex 24 At Daytona, Wilson also was an IndyCar winner at The Glen in 2010. MSR’s No. 60 Ford/Riley will be sponsored by Dunn Tire for the race.

· Mark Wilkins will join Dane Cameron and Wayne Nonnamaker in the No. 42 Team Sahlen BMW/Riley.

· CTSCC regular Fall-Line Motorsports makes its Rolex Series debut, with Al Carter, Charles Espenlaub and Charles Putman co-driving the No. 46 BePositive.org/Safecraft Audi R8

GRAND-AM Corporate Corner

· BMW will be the official pace car for the Watkins Glen event weekend pacing the field with a 335i outfitted with BMW Performance Parts.

· The official guitar and amplifier of GRAND-AM, PRS Guitars is conducting a concert on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. at the Red Cat Summer Stage with the winners from their “Race to the Stage” contest. They will open for PRS Guitar Signature Artist, Davy Knowles. The “Race to the Stage Contest” awards a high school age guitarist and drummer, as chosen by music industry heavyweights, the opportunity to perform at a GRAND-AM event weekend.

Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Reaches Mid-Way Point

Defending Continental Tire 150 winners Matt Plumb and Nick Longhi have the championship lead and momentum on their side when they return to Watkins Glen International. The Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge reaches the midway point of its 2013 season with the two-hour, 30-minute race, which begins at 3 p.m. Saturday. The race will be broadcast on SPEED on Sunday, July 7, at 4 p.m. ET.

Plumb and Longhi scored their second victory of the 2013 season in the most recent race at Mid-Ohio in the No. 13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche 997, opening an 11-point lead in the Grand Sport standings.

John Edwards and Matt Bell, riding a streak of three consecutive podium finishes in the No. 9 Stevenson Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro, are second in the GS standings (151-140).

Kyle Gimple and Ryan Eversley regained the lead in the topsy-turvy Street Turner standings with a third-place finish at Mid-Ohio in the No. 75 Compass360 Honda Civic Si. Former leaders Terry Borcheller and Mike LaMarra – Road Atlanta winners in the No. 23 Burton Racing BMW 128i – are two points behind (123-121).

Two Rochester Area-Based Teams To Compete This Weekend

Two teams based in the Rochester, N.Y. area are set to compete in Saturday’s Continental Tire 150, Round 6 of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.

John and Dinah Weisberg of Webster are the lone husband-wife team co-driving in GRAND-AM. They both own and co-drive the No. 40 Porsche Boxster. This will mark the fourth time that they’ve co-driven, and second time at Watkins Glen, where they have extensive experience at the club level. They finished 24th in the 2012 Continental Tire 150.

PRP Racing will debut in CTSCC competition with the No. 28 Honda Civic Si. The team is managed by Jeffrey Bock of Ontario, N.Y., who formerly owned Next Generation Motorsports. The team is owned by Sergio Musacchio of Hasbruck Heights, N.J., who will co-drive with Richard Picut.

Corning native Rob Ecklin Jr. returns in the No. 99 Automatic Racing/Invisible Glass BMW M3. Ecklin, son of former Corning Inc. Executive Vice President Rob Ecklin Sr., is now based in Lancaster, Pa., where he is president of Stoner Incorporated, the parent company of Invisible Glass.

Other New York drivers competing in the Continental Tire 150 are Justin Piscitell, Patterson; Ari Strauss, Monticello; Nick Longhi, Nyack; Michael Marsal, Bedford; Stevan McAleer, Cold Spring; and Aaron Povoledo, Brooklyn. Another regional resident who will compete is John Yarosz of Swoyersville, Pa.

CTSCC, Etc.

· David Thilenius, sidelined since an accident in the season-opening race at Daytona, will make his return in the No. 77 Compass360 Racing Honda Civic Si.

· Formula Drift star Tyler McQuarrie returns to the CTSCC, co-driving the No. 3 CJ Wilson Racing Mazda MX-5 with Chad McCumbee.


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