TUSCC 6 Hours at the Glen – we take a look

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Andrew Henderson was at the Tudor United Sportscar’s 6 Hours at the Glen and we take a look at what happened with this photo feature.

(c) Andrew Henderson/ RacerViews

The way IMSA balances performance of the various prototypes means the DPs are much quicker on the straights (around 9mph), while the LMP2s pull their lap time back through the corners. Unfortunately, Watkins Glen’s long front straight followed by only one corner before the long back straight, played perfectly into their hands at the restart. Despite me trying to find space behind the Safety Car that I could launch into, I was still swallowed up on the way down to turn four.

Don’t get me wrong; I was on pole by nearly 0.7 seconds so it’s not like we struggled for speed over a full lap. http://alexbrundle.com/category/latest-news/

(c) Andrew Henderson/ RacerViews

Westbrook drove his  Corvette DP past Alex Brundle in Turn 4 at Watkins Glen International after a late-race caution wiped out Brundle’s sizable lead. He then led the final five laps for a 0.877-second victory in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. The race was the third round in the four-race Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup.   “Richard and my approach for the last couple of races was to keep the car safe and be in a position that would allow us to take a podium or possibly the win,” said Spirit of Daytona co-driver Michael Valiante. “It’s worked for us the last two races.” – See more at: http://www.imsa.com/articles/spirit-daytona-wins-watkins-glen#sthash.EqeXqQmv.dpuf

(c) Andrew Henderson/ RacerViews

Gabby Chaves “It was a good start. I had a good run off the last corner and as the green flag came out, I was able to get inside and be clear of the Patrón car, then make another pass going into turn two. It really was a trouble-free stint. The car was good, we were very close in time to the leaders and we were on the lead lap. I did have a close encounter with the 007 Aston-Martin – he came out of turn nine and had a tank slapper, which spun him. He was facing me as he was spinning. Thankfully, I was able to get on the brakes and move past without hitting him, but we couldn’t have missed by more than inches. It was a really close call. There was more traffic in my second stint but we had good pace and the car was very good in traffic. We were right where we needed to be, keeping up with the race leaders until the yellow came out and we had the gearbox problem. We’re making big progress toward making it a very competitive car, so we’re taking steps in the right directions. Our priority is finishing the next race. I know everyone here will work night and day to make that happen.” – See more at: http://www.imsa.com/articles/deltawing-coupe-shows-pace-watkins-glen#sthash.9JGlFch8.dpuf

“Well, that’s the end of a miserable weekend for us,” said team owner Mike Shank. “We’ll move on. I have to thank Ozz (Negri) and John (Pew) for not stopping, not giving up on this whole process. It’s probably our worst weekend we’ve had, arguably ever in the series. We’ve had it really tough from the beginning. Then we had the problem with the throttle body. We got it un-jammed and it worked after that.  We’ve got about a week back in the shop to regroup before we leave to go up to Canada. Hopefully we’ll get some relief on the BoP; our BoP is so far off, it’s way out of balance right now. So hopefully we’ll get some relief there.”
http://www.michaelshankracing.com/tough-day-at-watkins-glen-for-michael-shank-racing-with-curbagajanian/

(c) Andrew Henderson/ RacerViews

Ralph Gilles, president and CEO of SRT Motorsports What do you take away from today’s race? “It was an excellent race for us. The vehicle demonstrated winning capability throughout the whole race and we found our groove. It seemed like at the back end of the stints our tires would come in and the cars would really grip and be consistent. Traffic was a challenge. The guys did a nice job racing through a lot of back markers. It was a very exciting race to watch, but it was bittersweet. We know that with couple more laps we could have had the win. We finished with less than half a car length between P1 and P2, but I couldn’t think of a better way to run today going from P5 and P6 to where we finished. I’m really proud of this team and how far we’ve come in the last few months.” – See more at: http://www.imsa.com/articles/srt-motorsports-post-race-report#sthash.dkgLcjqv.dpuf

For the first time this season, the No. 555 AIM Autosport Ferrari 458 Italia team did not lead at the checkered flag in a Patrón Endurance Cup event. Regardless, running third at the end of the first segment and second at the finish, the team and co-drivers Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell now hold a 14-point lead, 37-23, over the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT America team and co-drivers Andy Lally and John Potter. – See more at: http://www.imsa.com/articles/strategy-crucial-patron-endurance-cup-winds-down#sthash.EPHi0OQr.dpuf

(c) Andrew Henderson/ RacerViews

Anyone who watched the live TV coverage will have heard my radio message to the pits; it’s fair to say I wasn’t especially pleased being blasted past in a straight line! I’ve also seen that a lot of fans sympathised with my feelings, but that’s not to take anything away from Richard, Michael and Spirit of Daytona. They were all very gracious in victory. After a few races most drivers have experienced the highs and lows of our sport, and I think they felt our pain. They drove a great race and took their opportunity when it came. I’d have done exactly the same thing. http://alexbrundle.com/category/latest-news/

NIC JONSSON, Driver, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 GTLM: “The start of the race was very warm but then the cloud cover came out so the car was not too bad. Obviously, we struggled a little in practice and qualifying. If you look at the pace, we were pretty close to race pace now so I’m happy with our performance. Unfortunately, we were penalized for some minor infractions and got caught up in a few track incidents. Something happened during a pit stop with the removed wheel not being under control and the penalty we received was a stop and twenty seconds. The other infraction was a drive through so we lost a few laps. Running in this GTLM class with all the factory cars, drivers and teams, Krohn Racing is doing a very good job. Just to be out here competing and turning laps is an achievement with this stiff competition, even though today we got caught in some of the mess. I’m very proud to be a part of Krohn Racing and for Tracy and I, it’s a great way to get seat time and get a little more fine-tuned for the races we have coming up and in the future. It’s been the whole point of us competing in GTLM this year, which is to go up against factories, this competition and drive hard. Next year we may even come up with something more fun that will be awesome for everybody.” – See more at: http://www.imsa.com/articles/krohn-racing-finishes-11th-return-sahlens-six-hours-glen#sthash.iljMubft.dpuf

(c) Andrew Henderson/ RacerViews

Following a promising effort during yesterday’s GT Daytona qualifying session, the Lizards were unfortunately unable to convert their strong starting spots into race results in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, with the No. 45 Yoddle / Venezuela / eSilicon Audi R8 LMS fighting through a flat tire and a suspension repair to stay on track and earn 14th place points for its drivers Nelson Canache Jr., Brett Sandberg, and Spencer Pumpelly. Nelson started the race with a double stint, interrupted by a flat left rear tire which required a slow in lap to the pits for repairs. Brett was up next for his double stint but it too was interrupted, as he was run wide by a PC car and spun due to pickup on his tires. Brett’s awareness allowed for a quick dive into the pits but damage from a light wall impact after the spin meant that the team had to take the car behind the wall for further repair, replacing the right front upright and right rear track rod. Spencer then took over for his double stint before Brett finished the race out, although even a top ten finish was out of reach at that point. http://www.lizardms.com/news/releases/2014/june-29.html

(c) Andrew Henderson/ RacerViews

Qu: Peter, it’s your first year in the Prototype Challenge class in the new TUDOR United Sportscar Championship, how are you finding it?
Peter: “It is exactly how we envisioned it; very tough and competitive. We feel that we are catching up to the teams who have run these cars for multiple years and have three drivers in striking distance for a championship. It’s a shame it’s considered an amateur series because most of the Silver/AM drivers are only a fraction of a second off the Pro’s. I’m sure many are better than some Pro’s! I would say the only surprise is how good some of them are. But the cars are great to work on, the racing is competitive and it’s the most modest budget in the TUDOR series. It’s a shame they capped the entries.” http://starworksmotorsport.com/qa-with-peter-baron-ahead-of-2014-six-hours-of-the-glen/

(c) Andrew Henderson/ RacerViews

All the results can be found here

(c) Andrew Henderson/ RacerViews

Braun’s addition at SpeedSource brings the number of degreed engineers at the South Florida-based team to seven.
“I am very excited to join Sylvain and his SpeedSource team.  Having watched the phenomenal progress in their first four race events, I knew this was a serious engineering-based program.  And, it’s exciting to be part of an organization where I can put my race engineering experience to the ultimate test with this all-new project,” enthused Braun. “This team exemplifies the ‘Never Stop Challenging’ spirit of Mazda that I had to try to compete against for many years, and now I am humbled to join this group of dedicated pros.”
http://www.speedsource.com/speedsource-news.cfm

At least seeing OAK Racing take such a big step forward and securing my first TUSCC pole position/podium combo slightly made up for it. After all, it could have been a lot worse: my Dad’s only sportscar appearance at Watkins Glen resulted in retirement after 10 laps! Mind you, I have plenty more to achieve before drawing even in that contest… http://alexbrundle.com/category/latest-news/

(c) Andrew Henderson/ RacerViews

If you were to poll teams and drivers before the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona about what it would take to win the inaugural Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup you would have heard some common themes: speed, skill, luck.    Through three races and 42 hours of intense TUDOR United SportsCar Championship competition, teams are adding an additional variable to get a leg up in the grueling four-race competition: strategy.  – See more at: http://www.imsa.com/articles/strategy-crucial-patron-endurance-cup-winds-down#sthash.EPHi0OQr.dpuf

(c) Andrew Henderson/ RacerViews

“Just fighting to the finish is not what we want to do,” said Negri. “We don’t want to be battling from the back to the front every time. But it is what it is. We gave our best and drove our hardest and that’s all I can say. We’ve just got to get ready for the next race. The Glen, we always do pretty well here so we came with high expectations. It’s pretty frustrating.”   – See more at: http://www.imsa.com/articles/tough-day-watkins-glen-michael-shank-racing-curbagajanian#sthash.CdmodCFk.dpuf

Photos, Andrew Henderson  July 2014

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