Race Weekend Central

Watkins Glen Qualifying Abandoned Due To Rain, Nick Tandy To Start From Pole

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – Qualifying for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Sahlen’s Six Hours at the Glen Saturday (June 24) was stopped a third of the way through the LMP2/LMP3 portion of the session due to heavy rains and a multi-car crash. It was not resumed.

As a result, all three of the prototype classes will be gridded up by points for Sunday’s six-hour endurance race. Porsche Penske Motorsport’s Nick Tandy will start from the overall pole by virtue of the No. 6 Porsche leading the points.

The rain began to fall almost immediately after the GTD Pro/GTD session finished. IMSA rules do not allow for tire changes outside of the GTP class during qualifying. Everyone had already declared they would go out on slicks before the skies opened, limiting the session.

According to TDS Racing’s Steven Thomas, the track was OK until he got to turn 8 on his warmup lap. After that point, the rest of the circuit was completely soaked before teams even completed their warmup. As a result, all teams could do was tiptoe around the 3.4-mile track.

Just over four minutes into the session, Jr III Racing’s Ari Balogh aquaplaned on the run down to turn 7 and spun. He hit the wall, then slid back across the track and hit the other barrier.

Further up the track, the same thing happened to PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports’ Ben Keating. Keating spun his ORECA 07-Gibson, hit the wall, then slid across the track and hit Balogh.

A third driver, Andrew Wojteczko Autosport’s Anthony Mantella, also lost control and spun in turn 7. He slid into the runoff and hit Keating. At this point, the red flag was thrown.

Action Express Racing’s Pipo Derani will start second, followed by Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport’s Ricky Taylor. Chip Ganassi Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais and BMW M Team RLL’s Connor de Phillippi round out the top five.

In LMP2, Thomas will start from pole, followed by Keating, then Tower Motorsports’ Salih Yoluc. George Kurtz and Dwight Merriman will start fourth and fifth.

LMP3 will see Riley Motorsports’ Gar Robinson start from pole, followed by AWA’s Orey Fidani. JDC-Miller MotorSports’ Till Bechtolsheimer starts third, then Mantella and Ave Motorsports’ Tonis Kasemets.

GT drivers actually did get a full 15-minute qualifying session. That said, they had to deal with moisture as well. Rain had fallen prior to the session and part of the backstretch and Inner Loop were moist at the start of it. As qualifying continued on, a dry line developed.

In the session, Risi Competizione’s Daniel Serra was quickest for most of the time, but US RaceTronics’ Loris Spinelli snuck ahead, setting a GTD track record with a lap at 117.208 mph to win the GTD pole.

Spinelli’s lap was .773 seconds faster than VasserSullivan’s Aaron Telitz. Iron Dames’ Doriane Pin will start third in her Lamborghini, followed by Paul Miller Racing’s Madison Snow. The Heart of Racing’s Ian James was fifth.

Serra’s lap ultimately held for the GTD Pro pole, nearly four-tenths of a second slower than Spinelli. Serra’s lap was .310 seconds faster than Iron Lynx’s Jordan Pepper. VasserSullivan’s Jack Hawksworth will start third in class, then WeatherTech Racing’s Jules Gounon and Corvette Racing’s Jordan Taylor.

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Sahlen’s Six Hours At The Glen Qualifying Results

The Sahlen’s Six Hours at the Glen is scheduled to go green at 10:40 a.m. ET Sunday. Coverage starts at 10:35 a.m. ET on Peacock and will be joined in progress on USA Network at 2 p.m. ET.

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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