IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, round 5, Watkins Glen, USA
A fortnight after winning the 24-hour classic at Le Mans, Porsche takes on the next challenge in the USA: The six-hour race at Watkins Glen on 1 July heralds the start of the second half of the IMSA SportsCar Championship season. At the traditional race in the U.S. state of New York, the Porsche GT Team fields two Porsche 911 RSR in the strongly represented GTLM class. After scoring victories at Sebring and Mid-Ohio, Porsche leads the manufacturers’ classification of America’s premier sports car series. In addition to the long-distance races at Daytona, Sebring and Petit Le Mans, Watkins Glen, too, counts towards the North American Endurance Cup. Porsche currently ranks second in the toughest and most important performance and reliability category in GT racing worldwide.
The 5.472-kilometre Watkins Glen International racetrack was built around a forested hilltop and opened in 1956. The storied course is not merely a phrase for sports car fans around the world: From 1961 to 1980, the United States Grand Prix was contested on the outskirts of this tranquil town. 2015 marks the last Porsche victory at “The Glen” courtesy of Wolf Henzler and Bryan Sellers in the 911 RSR.
The Porsche drivers
The cockpit of the #911 Porsche 911 RSR is shared by the GTLM winners of the Sebring 12-hour race, Patrick Pilet (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain). The newly-crowned Le Mans winner Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) joins forces with Earl Bamber (New Zealand) to drive the second 911 RSR (#912) fielded by the Porsche GT Team. The pair recently won the Mid-Ohio race in the USA. Porsche customer teams contest the GTD class, with Patrick Long (USA) and Porsche Selected Driver Christina Nielsen (Denmark) driving for Wright Motorsports, as well as Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Lindsey (USA) competing for Park Place Motorsports.
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