This weekend, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship returns to action with six hours of racing at Watkins Glen International. 37 teams will take on Watkins Glen’s hilly 3.4-mile long course.
In the Prototype class, there are the 11 full-time entries for the season. Since this race is the shortest of the four races that are part of the Michelin Endurance Cup, teams are allowed a free choice as to how many drivers they will use for the weekend. Seven of the 11 tams have three-driver lineups. The exceptions to the rule are both Acura Team Penske entries, Wayne Taylor Racing and Juncos Racing.
Third drivers for the weekend include Mike Conway (Action Express Racing’s No. 5), Eric Curran (Action Express Racing’s No. 31) and Romain Dumas (CORE autosport No. 54). No driver changes were made here.
The LMP2 class returns for the first time since Mid-Ohio. Unfortunately, it has not expanded as only two teams (Performance Tech Motorsports and PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports) have entered. This class must have three-driver lineups. For PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports, full-time driver Gabriel Aubry returns to the team after missing Mid-Ohio due to his WEC commitments with Jackie Chan DC Racing. Eric Lux, his replacement at Mid-Ohio, stays on as the third driver. Performance Tech Motorsports has brought on Andrew Evans as their third driver. Evans, who also drove for the team at Sebring, comes out of LMP3 racing.
The GT Le Mans class has the eight full-time teams on the entry list. Unlike the prototype class, all eight teams have decided to go with two-driver combinations. As a result, there are actually no changes from the last GT Le Mans race at Mid-Ohio.
Finally, the GT Daytona class has 16 entries. Watkins Glen is not part of the WeatherTech Sprint Cup, so Compass Racing and Lone Star Racing, who competed at Mid-Ohio, are not entered.
Similar to the LMP2 class, three-driver combinations are required. There are a couple of changes here. First off, on the official entry list, Canadian driver Daniel Morad is listed for two different Audi teams, Starworks Motorsport and Montaplast by Land-Motorsport. This will not be the case. Morad will continue in his role with Montaplast by Land-Motorsport this weekend. As for Starworks, they tapped Mike Skeen on Tuesday to fill their third driver slot.
It's time to get back to endurance racing, and we're excited to welcome @MikeSkeenRacing to race alongside @ryan_dalziel and @parker_chase19 this week at @WGI in the Audi R8 LMS.https://t.co/TH8HPXrmrw pic.twitter.com/b7YLOcjVSc
— Starworks Motorsport (@starworksmotor) June 25, 2019
Skeen has not raced in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship since 2017, when he ran a part-time schedule in Lone Star Racing’s Mercedes. More recently, he has raced in what is now Blancpain GT World Challenge America. He also made a start in the Xfinity Series last year for JD Motorsports at Watkins Glen.
Precision Performance Motorsports returns with their Lamborghini for the first time since Sebring. Lawson Aschenbach will not be with the team as their third driver. He has been replaced with Jake Eidson, who is best known for winning the IMSA Porsche GT3 Challenge Cup championship in 2017 for Kelly-Moss Road and Race. Eidson will be making his IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship debut.
Park Place Motorsports is still not back to normal. Regular driver Jörg Bergmeister will still miss the race while team owner Patrick Lindsey is back in the fold. Patrick Long will continue with the team in Bergmeister’s place.
Finally, Black Swan Racing returns to the grid for the first time since Daytona. Back then, the team’s Porsche was wiped out in a crash with Scuderia Corsa’s Ferrari. A week later, the team’s other car was wiped out in a huge crash at Bathurst that has sidelined team owner Tim Pappas. Marc Miller, who has split time between Michelin Pilot Challenge and Trans-Am this year, will replace Pappas in the team’s Porsche.
About the author
Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.
Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.
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