Race Weekend Central

Colin Braun Tops Both Watkins Glen WeatherTech Practices

Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian’s Colin Braun was fastest overall in both IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practices at Watkins Glen International Saturday (June 24). His speed of 132.595 mph is the fastest lap of the weekend so far.

Practice No. 1

Practice on Friday started under threatening skies. As a result, teams chose to get on the 3.4-mile road course as quick as they could to see what they had in the dry.

The Porsches were fastest early on, but Braun went to the top of the chart 18 minutes into the session. A couple of laps later, Braun set a lap at 130.821 mph that held up to be the fastest lap of the day.

Braun’s lap ended up 1.229 seconds quicker than Porsche Penske Motorsport’s Felipe Nasr. Nasr’s teammate Nick Tandy was third fastest, then Chip Ganassi Racing’s Renger van der Zande in his Cadillac. Action Express Racing’s Alexander Sims was fifth.

Shortly after the quickest laps were set, the rains moved over Watkins Glen International. It did not take long for the track to become wet, giving the teams another test.

With wet weather often comes incidents and Friday was no exception. The session was stopped 52 minutes in when TDS Racing’s John Falb spun and hit the tires in turn 6. That necessitated a 13-minute interruption while repairs were made to the tire barrier.

A crash for series debutant Luke Berkeley in turn 11 with a minute to go in the session brought out a second red flag and ended the session prematurely. Both drivers wound up OK.

In LMP2, TDS Racing’s Mikkel Jensen was fastest with a lap at 127.412 mph, good enough for eighth overall. Jensen’s lap was .546 seconds faster than Era Motorsport’s Ryan Dalziel. High Class Racing’s Ed Jones was third, while prior to Falb’s crash, Giedo van der Garde was fourth quickest in TDS Racing’s No. 35. PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports’ Paul-Loup Chatin was fifth.

See also
Kenny Murillo Wins Sahlen's 120 Pole In Shortened Qualifying

Jr III Racing’s Garret Grist was fastest in LMP3 with a lap at 121.022 mph, 19th overall. Grist’s lap was .110 seconds faster than Riley Motorsports’ Felipe Fraga. JDC-Miller MotorSports’ Rasmus Lindh was third, followed by Andrew Wojteczko Autosport’s Wayne Boyd in the No. 17 Duqueine. Andretti Autosport’s Gabby Chaves was fifth.

In the GT ranks, Paul Miller Racing’s Bryan Sellers was fastest with a lap at 114.976 mph in his BMW M4 GT3, 29th overall. His lap was .066 seconds faster than Kelly-Moss Road & Race’s Jaxon Evans. Magnus Racing’s Andy Lally was third in his Aston Martin, then VasserSullivan’s Aaron Telitz. Cetilar Racing’s Antonio Fuoco was fifth.

In GTD Pro, Risi Competizione’s Daniel Serra was fastest with a lap at 114.873 mph, third of all GT cars and 31st overall. Serra’s lap was .054 seconds faster than Turner Motorsport’s Bill Auberlen. The Heart of Racing’s Ross Gunn was third, then VasserSullivan’s Jack Hawksworth and Corvette Racing’s Antonio Garcia.

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Sahlen’s Six Hours at the Glen Practice No. 1 Results

Practice No. 2

Overnight rains meant that the track was a little damp at the beginning of the 105-minute session Saturday morning. Teams had to run in order to dry the track out.

There were two red flags during the session. The first came when Andrew Wojteczko Autosport’s Orey Fidani spun exiting turn 7 and was unable to find reverse in his Duqueine M30-D08-Nissan. Some assistance allowed him to resume.

Later on, High Class Racing’s Mark Kvamme spun and hit the tire barrier in turn 6 after contact from the BMW of Sellers. Replays of the incident weren’t perfect, but Paul Miller Racing and Sellers were pretty sure what caused it.

Welp. An LMP2 car turned down on Bryan and clipped our bumper. The No. 1 made it back to the pits with some right front damage 😢 Red flag.

Posted by Paul Miller Racing on Saturday, June 24, 2023

Sellers was able to drive back to the pits with damage to his right front corner, but Kvamme required a tow back to the pits. There was also damage to the tire barrier, resulting in a lengthy cleanup.

Braun set the quickest lap of the weekend at the very end of the session, after time had expired. The lap was just four-thousandths of a second faster than BMW M Team RLL’s Connor de Phillippi. De Philippi’s teammate Augusto Farfus was third, followed by Action Express Racing’s Pipo Derani. Tandy was fifth.

Tower Motorsports’ Kyffin Simpson was fastest in LMP2 with a lap at 126.895 mph, 10th overall. Simpson’s lap was .138 seconds faster than Jensen. Chatin was third, followed by Crowdstrike Racing by APR’s Ben Hanley. Prior to Kvamme’s crash, Anders Fjordbach put the High Class Racing No. 20 fifth on the chart.

Boyd was quickest in LMP3 with a lap at 121.435 mph, 21st overall. His lap was .198 seconds faster than Riley Motorsports’ Josh Burdon. Matt Bell in the AWA No. 13 was third fastest after Fidani’s early issues, while Grist was fourth. Sean Creech Motorsport’s Joao Barbosa was fifth.

Telitz was fastest of all GT drivers with a lap at 116.217 mph, 29th overall. The lap was .038 seconds faster than the Lamborghini of USRaceTronics’ Loris Spinelli. Sellers was third in GTD before the collision with Kvamme ended his session. Turner Motorsport’s Robby Foley was fourth while Wright Motorsports’ Jan Heylen was fifth in his Porsche.

In GTD Pro, Hawksworth was fastest in class with a lap at 116.193 mph, 30th overall and just .022 seconds slower than Telitz. Hawksworth’s lap was two-hundredths of a second faster than Gunn. Iron Lynx’s Andrea Caldarelli was third, then Serra and Auberlen.

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Sahlen’s Six Hours at the Glen Practice No. 2 Results

Qualifying for the Sahlen’s Six Hours at the Glen is scheduled for 1:20 p.m. ET Saturday afternoon. The session will be streamed live on Peacock.

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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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