No. 7 Penske Porsche Leads Wet Sahlen’s Six Hours at Midpoint

By Mark Robinson

IMSA Wire Service

Halfway through the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, the No. 7 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963 held the overall lead in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race under changing weather conditions Sunday afternoon at Watkins Glen International.

Peacock continues its livestream of the Sahlen’s Six Hours through the exciting race conclusion.

Dane Cameron was behind the wheel of the No. 7 Porsche, that he shares with Felipe Nasr, at the three-hour mark. Cameron led teammate Nick Tandy in the No. 6 Penske Porsche under the fourth full-course caution of the race. A very competitive battle at the front saw nine of the 11 Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) cars in the field take a turn up front in the opening half of the race.

Among those early leaders was the No. 25 BMW M Team RLL BMW M Hybrid V8, the defending race winner. The team was forced to hurriedly transport its backup car from the Indianapolis shop after Connor De Phillippi crashed in practice Saturday morning. The car arrived at the track at 1 a.m. ET Sunday, with the crew working overnight to prepare it for the race. By rule, De Phillippi was forced to start the race from pit lane at the rear of the entire 56-car field, but he cycled the BMW into the lead during a full-course caution shortly more than 30 minutes in when the other GTP cars made pit stops.

The race began under overcast skies, with light rain beginning to fall on portions of the 3.4-mile road course about 90 minutes into the classic endurance race. Other class leaders after three hours were Seth Lucas in the No. 20 MDK by High Class Racing ORECA LMP2 07 in Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2), Harry Tincknell in the No. 64 Ford Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang GT3 in GT Daytona Pro (GTD PRO) and Kenton Koch in the No. 32 Korthoff Preston Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 in GT Daytona (GTD).

Racing was interrupted by four full-course cautions in the first three hours. Three cars – the No. 18 Era Motorsport ORECA LMP2 07 in LMP2, the No. 47 Cetilar Racing Ferrari 296 GT3 in GTD and the No. 33 Sean Creech Motorsports Ligier JS P217 in LMP2 – were eliminated, one in each of the first three incidents. When heavier rain arrived just before the halfway mark, the No. 55 Proton Competition Ford Mustang GT3 and No. 27 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Evo – both GTD cars – were caught up in a crash on the wet track approaching the entrance to pit lane.

The Sahlen’s Six Hours is also the third leg of the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup, which awards separate points at designated junctures in each of the five endurance races on the schedule. With points awarded at the three-hour mark at Watkins Glen, the class leaders are:

  • GTP: The No. 7 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963 by two points over the No. 31 Whelen Cadillac Racing Cadillac V-Series.R
  • LMP2: A three-way tie among the No. 18 Era Motorsport ORECA LMP2 07, No. 52 Inter Europol by PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07 and No. 04 CrowdStrike by APR ORECA LMP2 07
  • GTD PRO: The No. 1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3 by two points over the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3
  • GTD: A tie between the No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 and No. 70 Inception Racing McLaren 720S GT3 Evo.