It feels like much more than two weeks since Le Mans, but fans of sportscar racing can finally relax, as today the first major endurance race after the French classic will take place, Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.
The 6 hour challenge on New York’s historic Watkins Glen circuit is not only the sixth round of the 2015 Tudor United SportsCar Championship, but also the third event in the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup, which features rounds at Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen and Road Atlanta.
TheCheckeredFlag.co.uk will keep you up to date for the entire race with this liveblog coverage.
Hello, and welcome to #TeamTCF’s live coverage of the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen!
Your hosts today are myself and Dan Lloyd.
The grid for today’s race will be determined by the current championship positions, after qualifying was cancelled yesterday due to heavy rain.
The latest weather reports are showing a 57% chance of precipitation at 13:00 local time.
Murky skies over New York at the moment – yesterday’s weather system hasn’t left the area just yet.
GRID TOP FIVE: #5 Action Express Racing Corvette; #90 VisitFlorida.com Racing Corvette; #31 Action Express Racing Corvette; #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette; #60 Michael Shank Racing Ligier.
Christian Fittipaldi will start from pole in the #5 Action Express Racing Corvette than won at Sebring in March.
CLASS POLE SITTERS: Prototype: #5 Action Express Racing Corvette
Prototype Challenge: #54 CORE Autosport ORECA FLM09
GTLM: #3 Corvette Racing C7.R
GTD: #48 Paul Miller Racing Audi R8
The rain is continuing to fall as the cars begin the second formation lap.
The #58 Wright Motorsports GTD Porsche is in the pits. The team opts to start the race on wet tyres.
The field is bunching up before the green flag…
And the GT cars are underway.
The #911 Porsche takes the GTLM class lead from the #3 Corvette on the back straight.
INCIDENT: Bill Auberlen (#25 BMW Z4) is stationary after spinning in front of Earl Bamber (#912 Porsche 911). Only a slight contact but that will drop the two cars down the order.
Christian Fittipaldi has developed a 2.5 second lead on the first lap.
Meanwhile, Ozz Negri Jr has moved the Michael Shank Racing Ligier up to fourth overall.
Richard Westbrook (VisitFlorida.com Corvette) went wide at turn one and is now chasing Dane Cameron (#31 Action Express Corvette) for second.
Christopher Haase leads the GTD field, but only by half a second. The #007 Aston Martin of Kuno Wittmer is doing the chasing.
SPIN for the #4 Corvette of Oliver Gavin. Slight contact made with the left-hand wall heading towards Heel.
Remember the #58 Wright Motorsports Porsche that pitted before the green flag? Madison Snow has brought it through the slick-shod field to take the lead in the GTD class, after starting from the back of the field.
Dane Cameron takes half a second out of Fittipaldi’s lead, and is now 1.3s behind.
Conor Daly is running his own race at the head of the PC field! The occasional IndyCar campaigner has developed a 40 second lead over Mike Hedlund in the #8 Starworks machine.
Cameron has brought the lead gap down to one second.
Christopher Haase tries to drag past Madison Snow in the GTD lead battle, but Snow shuts the door at turn one.
….but Haase out-brakes Snow into the chicane and regains the GTD class lead.
The Prototype leaders are now working through the GTD leaders.
Cameron is stuck behind two PC cars, which is allowing Fittipaldi some breathing room at the front.
Fittipaldi now has a 1.7 second cushion over Cameron.
Change of position: Westbrook makes a move on the inside of Cameron at the heel of the boot to take second place overall.
After ten laps, Conor Daly has manufactured a 58 second lead over Hedlund in the PC class – mesmerising stuff from the 23 year old!
Second pit-stop for the #17 Falken Tires Porsche. Bryan Sellers remains at the wheel.
The lap times are tumbling as the dry line starts to emerge. Fittipaldi has just recorded his quickest of the race so far with a 1:45.716s.
PC leader Daly is only 40 seconds off the overall pace.
INCIDENT: Bruno Junqueira (#11 RSR Racing PC) hits the wall to driver’s right after receiving a tap from Ozz Negri Jr in the #60 Ligier.
Thumbs up from Junqueira after a forceful move from his fellow Brazilian.
The cars are collecting behind the safety car.
Westbrook and Cameron opt not to pit under yellow.
Fuel-only stops for the #5 Action Express Racing Corvette and the #01 Chip Ganassi Ford.
Ozz Negri Jr brings the Michael Shank Ligier into the pits, but receives no special attention from the mechanics after its altercation with the PC car.
Conor Daly chooses not to pit, which means the PC leader is now running third overall.
Most of the GTD runners are into the pits.
Driver change for the GTD leading #48 Paul Miller Racing Audi. Christopher Haase makes way for Bryce Miller.
The two GTLM Porsches appear to be on the same strategy as both complete fuel-only stops during the caution period.
Both GTLM Corvettes also came in for fuel.
Dane Cameron is all over the tail of Richard Westbrook at the head of the field.
Conor Daly has brought the #38 Performance Tech Motorsports PC car into the pits, after the safety car period.
Cameron takes a look through the esses but Westbrook shuts the door…
…..and race leader Westbrook does the same heading into the bus stop chicane.
A 1:41.701s lap from Cameron is the fastest of the race so far.
INCIDENT: Second placed Dane Cameron makes contact with a PC competitor at the boot.
It looks like Cameron has left-rear bodywork damage.
The #38 Performance Tech Motorsports PC car (Jerome Mee) made the contact with Cameron.
Mee is out of the car and being assisted by the trackside medical team.
FULL COURSE CAUTION. The second caution of the day is called to repair the tyre wall following Mee’s contact.
Mee’s incident promotes the #16 BAR1 Motorsports entry of Daniel Burkett to the PC class lead.
Joey Hand (#01 Ford) wobbles on the way into turn one and is now under pressure from Ricky Taylor (#10 Corvette).
1 hour down, 5 to go. Westbrook leads in the #90 VisitFlorida.com Corvette.
Ricky Taylor has just passed Joey Hand for 3rd, behind Fittipaldi.
Westbrook leads Fittipaldi, Taylor, Hand, Negri.
In PC, the #16 BAR1 car of Burkett leads Hedlund’s #8 Starworks.
GTLM is led by the #911 Porsche of Pilet, with Edwards’ #24 BMW and Magnussen’s #3 Corvette behind.
Finally, GTD leader is Madison Snow’s #58 Porsche, ahead of Wittmer’s #007 Aston and Farnbacher’s #23 Porsche.
Top 5 separated by less than 5 seconds. Lead gap is 0.5s.
#007 Aston of Wittmer has just passed Snow’s #58 Porsche to take GTD lead.
#912 Porsche (Bamber) pits. Damage to the left front. New bumper for that car.
Snow has retaken GTD lead.
That #912 Porsche damage came from contact with the #3 Corvette.
PC leader, Burkett (#16 BAR1) is lapping just 4 seconds off the P pace.
Edwards’ #24 BMW is on the bumper of Pilet’s #911 Porsche for GTLM lead.
#90 Corvette has pitted.
Fittipaldi’s #5 now leads overall, 1.7 seconds clear of Ricky Taylor’s #10.
GTD: #007 Aston leads the #23 and #58 Porsches
Fantastic move by Bryan Sellers in the #17 Falken Tire Porsche, passing Pierre Kaffer in the #62 Ferrari for GTLM P5.
Taylor is only 0.5 seconds behind leader Fittipaldi.
Joey Hand’s #01 Ford DP is being attacked by the Negri in the #60 Ligier for overall P3.
#58 GTD Porsche is being passed by leaders, but held Taylor up a little, increasing Fittipaldi’s advantage.
Ricky Taylor is now 1.5 seconds off the leader.
#911 and #24 are still battling for GTLM lead. Edwards is very close to Pilet’s bumper.
As a reminder, here are the Prototype standings:
5, 10, 01, 60, 0, 90, 31, 07
Prototype Challenge standings:
16, 8, 85, 52, 54, 38, 11
GT Le Mans standings:
911, 24, 3, 25, 17, 62, 4, 912
GT Daytona standings:
007, 23, 58, 22, 73, 93, 33, 48, 97, 63, 44
Spin: #38 Performance Tech Motorsports car of Jerome Mee.
No full course caution, as the #38 has got going again.
#23 Porsche of Farnbacher is less than 0.5 seconds behind GTD-leading #007 Aston.
Close P1 battle between Fittipaldi (#5 Action Express), Taylor (#10 Wayne Taylor Racing) and Hand (#01 Chip Ganassi).
Joey Hand has passed Ricky Taylor for 2nd place overall.
With a battle behind him, Fittipaldi has managed to create a 6 second lead over Hand, Taylor and Negri.
Ozz Negri (#60 Michael Shank) has closed up to P3.
Taylor has passed Hand for P2. Close battle now between the two, and Negri, who sits 4th.
Problem for the #07 Mazda, with Long at the wheel. No power, it seems.
Full course caution
#01 Ford of Hand is in the pits.
Team is reporting battery/alternator issues. Awaiting diagnosis as car is towed in.
— Mazda Racing (@MazdaRacing) June 28, 2015
Many cars pitting, some for driver changes.
#10 Wayne Taylor Racing comes out ahead of #5 Action Express.
Scott Pruett takes over the leading #01 Ford. Max Angelelli is next in the #10 WTR Corvette, and in third is Joao Barbosa in the #5 Action Express Corvette. Still under yellow.
#01 leads #10 and #90 out of the Esses
That’s Pruett in the lead, ahead of Angelelli.
Le Mans winner Nick Tandy leads GTLM in the #911
PC is headed by Matt McMurry’s #16 and GTD has Ian James (#23) out front.
Pruett’s lead is 2 seconds.
Memo Rojas has overtaken John Pew to move the #0 DeltaWing into P5.
Spencer Pumpelly (#70 Porsche) is holding a narrow lead over a gaggle of GTD cars as they exit the sweepers.
The GTD lead battle has calmed slightly as the faster prototypes break through the traffic.
Scott Pruett’s lead over Max Angelelli at the head of the field has been cut to 1.6 seconds.
Lucas Luhr replaces John Edwards in the #24 GTLM BMW.
The #38 Performance Tech Motorsports PC machine is off again, with James French at the wheel.
A slight moment at turn one as Chris Cumming rotates the #11 RSR Racing ORECA – no harm done.
Dirk Werner (#25 BMW) is piling the pressure on GTLM leader Nick Tandy (#911 Porsche), taking 0.3 seconds out of the Le Mans winner on the previous lap.
Lucas Luhr (#24 BMW) moves up to third in GTLM with a pass on Jan Magnussen (#3 Corvette).
With 65 laps in the books, Scott Pruett leads the motor race by two seconds ahead of Max Angelelli.
GTLM leader Nick Tandy has a close call as he taps the #54 CORE Autosport PC of James Gue. Tandy continues but Gue is forced to recover himself from the left-side barrier.
Andrew Palmer sets the fastest PC lap of the race with a 1:42.492s.
Possible problems for Jan Magnussen in the #3 Corvette as the Danish veteran continues to fall off the GTLM pace at a rapid rate.
John Pew keeps his set of tyres as the #60 Michael Shank Racing Ligier takes a drink of fuel in the pit lane.
Change of position in GTD – Andrew Davis passes Christina Nielsen at the bus stop to take third in class.
The race leader heads down pit road. Scott Pruett takes four tyres, fuel and has a windscreen tear-off removed before resuming his stint in the #01 Ford EcoBoost Riley.
Richard Westbrook (#90 VisitFlorida.com) and Joao Barbosa (#5 Action Express) both come into the pits a lap after Pruett.
Westbrook ends his two and a half hour stint by handing over to Michael Valiante.
The #90 driver change means that the #5 Action Express Corvette is back ahead.
Now it’s the turn of the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing crew in the pit lane. Max Angelelli comes in from the lead and hands over to Le Mans class winner Jordan Taylor.
The pit stop cycle leaves Pruett two seconds behind Barbosa.
Jordan Taylor emerges four seconds ahead of Barbosa with tyres that are a lap younger.
Behind Barbosa is Pruett, less than 1 second off the #5
Following the #24’s pitstop, Nick Tandy’s #911 is back in GTLM lead.
#93 Viper of Goossens leads GTD from Pumpelly’s #73 Porsche
John Edwards has crashed the #24 BMW into the tyre wall.
Full course caution, the fourth of the day.
A lot of GT cars are pitting, some for driver changes.
As a reminder, Prototype standings under yellow are as follows:
10, 5, 01, 90, 31, 60, 0, 07
Jordan Taylor has kept the lead, ahead of Barbosa and Pruett.
GTLM: Nick Tandy leads Bryan Sellers and Tommy Milner
PC: Martin Plowman is ahead of Rusty Mitchell and Renger van der Zande
GTD: Marc Goossens leads, ahead of Townsend Bell and Patrick Lindsey
Battle for GTLM P3 between Milner (#4 Corvette) and Werner (#25 BMW). Milner keeps lead.
Taylor has a narrow lead over Barbosa of 0.289 seconds
Milner passes Sellers for GTLM 2nd place. Tandy leads the class.
Rain starting to fall.
Milner, leading GTLM, cut the Inner Loop chicane.
Barbosa has passed Taylor for the lead.
We are now halfway through the race. Three hours to go.
The top four are 4.5 seconds apart. Barbosa, Taylor, Pruett and Valiante is the order.
Taylor lost the lead when he cut the chicane. As per the rules, he came to a complete stop before restarting.
The #8 of van der Zande leads Plowman’s #16 in PC.
Tandy (#911) leads Milner (#4) in GTLM.
#93 of Goossens is out front in GTD, ahead of Bell’s #63.
#3 Corvette of Garcia spun, but rejoined the race.
Taylor has closed Barbosa’s lead to 0.7 seconds.
Valiante has pitted from 3rd.
Markus Paltalla, in the #97 BMW, has taken GTD lead.
Taylor is 1 second down on Barbosa.
That rain that began to threaten the track didn’t come to much.
Barbosa pits from lead. Taylor takes P1.
Taylor pits, a lap after Barbosa.
Fittipaldi took over the car from Barbosa in the pitstop.
Scott Pruett overtakes Fittipaldi for 2nd.
Jordan Taylor stays in the #10, and exits the pits ahead of Pruett, but is being caught by the #01 Ford.
So far, Taylor has maintained his lead over Pruett, and leads by 0.8 seconds.
Michael Shank Racing are stuck in the pits with a suspension issue. Disappointing considering how strong they looked earlier in the race and weekend.
GTLM now led by Wolf Henzler in the #17 Porsche.
Taylor now leads Pruett by 3.7s
Pit stops for the #5 Action Express Racing Corvette and #90 VisitFlorida.com Corvette. Both take on wet tyres.
The #01 Ford-Riley is continuing to circulate on slicks, which could pay off if the Chip Ganassi team spares itself of an extra pit stop.
The #48 Paul Miller Audi comes in from sixth in class, but takes a new set of slick tyres as rather than wets.
Jordan Taylor holds a 10 second lead over Scott Pruett. Both drivers are currently using slick tyres.
The #01 Ford Riley comes into the pits from second overall. The team adds fuel and four wet tyres. Joey Hand takes his seat for the next stint.
Jordan Taylor (slick tyres) is lapping two seconds quicker than those on wet tyres.
Wet weather tyres are applied to the GTLM cars as well. Both Corvettes and the Falken Tire Porsche have just made the switch.
Joey Hand keeps the #01 car’s second position, two seconds ahead of Christian Fittipaldi.
The #911 Porsche also takes on fresh rubber.
Race leader Jordan Taylor trundles down the pit lane. Max Papis brings the #31 Action Express Corvette in as well.
Taylor hands the #10 car over to his brother Ricky. Wet weather tyres are applied, placing all of the front-running cars on the same tyre compound.
The cars are avoiding the concrete-surface apexes as much as possible. Grip is a sought after commodity at the moment.
Patrick Pilet (#911 Porsche) goes wide briefly, but continues.
The Michael Shank Racing Ligier has reportedly been pushed behind the wall.
We’re keeping a nervous eye on the Watkins Glen weather forecast……the chances of persistent rainfall remain high.
Ricky Taylor (#10 Wayne Taylor Racing) is managing a 20 second gap to the second placed Corvette of Christian Fittipaldi.
Renger van der Zande (#8 Starworks Motorsport) still leads the PC class. The Dutch driver currently sits sixth overall, two laps behind Ricky Taylor.
Brief rotation for the #54 CORE Autosport PC ORECA of Colin Braun in front of the pit lane entrance.
Braun is struggling to engage reverse gear and is effectively blocking the pit-lane exit.
Braun has freed himself and is back on his way. The #54 CORE machine is fifth in class.
As a small track, there is very little opportunity for drivers to escape the spray. Those on track at the moment are clearly struggling with the poor visibility.
Max Papis (#31 Action Express) is being caught by PC leader Renger van der Zande. The Starworks driver gained three seconds on the previous lap.
Kuno Wittmer has brought the #007 Aston Martin into the pits after an extraordinary rain stint on slick tyres.
FULL COURSE CAUTION.
Race control deemed the conditions to be too treacherous for racing.
The race timer is still ticking.
The radar is showing that the worst of the rain has passed over Watkins Glen.
The race will get underway within the next five minutes.
The chance of rain rises to 46% at 16:00 local time, so we could see a shower just before the finish.
The drivers fire up their cars, ready for the restart.
The safety car is leading the field around the 3.4 mile circuit.
After getting a sighting lap both the #90 VisitFlorida.com Corvette and PC-leading #8 Starworks Motorsport ORECA have re-entered the pits for tyre changes.
Several GT cars have made their way down pit road. Both Corvettes come in, with Gavin taking over driving duties in the #4 car and Antonio Garcia remaining in the #3 machine. Pierre Kaffer gets back behind the wheel of the #62 Risi Competizione Ferrari.
A logical decision for the #8 and #16 PC cars to come into the pits under the safety car as they held a one lap lead over the chasing #52 machine.
Wolf Henzler leads the GTLM class from Patrick Pilet. Bill Auberlen took third place from Oliver Gavin in the pit-stops, while the #912 Porsche has recovered and is now in fifth.
The top seven GTLM runners are all on the class-lead lap.
GREEN FLAG! 1 hour to go!
Ricky Taylor leads Joey Hand and Christian Fittipaldi
Oliver Gavin, #4 Corvette, in the wall.
“I hit the Porsche” – Gavin on team radio.
Full course caution to recover the Corvette at the exit of T1.
Pits will NOT open, as this caution comes so soon after the restart.
#8 of van der Zande leads PC, ahead of Kimber-Smith’s #52
Wolf Henzler in the #17 Porsche leads GTLM, in front of Pilet’s #911.
GTD leader is Goossens’ #93 Dodge, leading Lally’s #44 Porsche
Earl Bamber’s #912 Porsche was the car hit by Gavin.
Joey Hand looking to pass Ricky Taylor at T1, but can’t do so.
There is a LOT of water on track.
Top four cars: 10, 01, 5, 90 – within 1.6 seconds.
#10 WTR Corvette spins, gets a lot of bodywork damage. Pits, but tags the #01 on the pit entry, sending the Ford spinning.
Fittipaldi now leads Hand.
Debris from the #10 is on the track between the final two corners.
#5 pits. Wet tyres, and Barbosa takes over.
Minor damage to the left-front of Hand’s #01 Ford, leading the race.
#5 Action Express Corvette will have to do a drive through penalty, for speeding on pit lane.
Westbrook is 4 seconds behind Hand.
Full course yellow
The Wayne Taylor Racing #10 retires.
30 minutes remaining, still under yellow.
Let us know who you think is going to win (if the race goes to green). Tweet @TheCheckerFlag or comment below.
Because of its pitstop, the 3rd place #5 Action Express Corvette has a full tank, whereas the leading #01 and #90 will need to stop, should the race restart.
16 minutes to go
Hand leads Westbrook and Barbosa
#8 van der Zande leads PC, #17 Henzler in GTLM and #93 Goossens in GTD
#01 Ford of Hand pits for fuel. Loses lead to Westbrook.
#90 VisitFlorida.com Corvette DP of Westbrook leads by 5.6 seconds over the #01 Ford Chip Ganassi DP of Hand.
FULL COURSE CAUTION… AGAIN
Wittmer has crashed in the #007 GTD Aston Martin. So has the #23 GTD Porsche
7 minutes to go, under yellow at the moment. We could be in for a last-minute shoot-out between the #90, #01 and #5.
White flag, with 4 minutes left. The race will finish under caution, as the #007 is stuck in the barriers.
Chequered flag waves. Race finishes under yellow. The #90 VisitFlorida.com Corvette DP wins.
Prototype top three:
#90 VisitFlorida.com Racing Corvette DP – Westbrook/Valiante
#01 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford EcoBoost Riley DP – Hand/Pruett
#5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP – Barbosa/Fittipaldi/Papis
Prototype Challenge winner
GT Le Mans winner
#17 Team Falken Tire Porsche – Sellers/Henzler
GT Daytona winner
#93 Riley Motorsports Dodge – Carter/Lawrence/Goossens
That’s all for our liveblog coverage. Thanks for following, and look out for the race report on TheCheckeredFlag.co.uk, which will be online soon.