Porsche takes Six Hours of The Glen victory
By John Goolsby
Monday 26th June, 2023 - 8:44am
The #6 Porsche Penske Motorsports 963 has won the 2023 edition of the Sahlen’s Six Hours Of The Glen at Watkins Glen International.
Mathieu Jaminet passed Connor De Philippe in the #25 BMW M Team RLL with five minutes remaining in the race to take the victory for the GTP points leaders.
The Porsche had chased down the BMW over the last hour.
“Every lap was a qualifying lap and so much risk taken in traffic,” said Jaminet. “Before I got in the car the team told me it was all about the victory and not the championship. I just sent it.”
“I thought it was over,” said #6 Porsche co-driver Nick Tandy. “Clever strategy and a little bit of decent driving at the end.”
“What a stint, what a race, what a pass, what a team,” he added.
The fifth round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportCar Championship got off to a messy start with three full-course cautions in the first 75 minutes of the race.
The first full-course caution of the day came out after Augusto Farfus’ #24 BMW M Team RLL spun in the first turn of the opening lap.
Shockingly, the GTD green flag was displayed immediately after Farfus’ spin forcing the entire field to take evasive action to avoid the stationary BMW.
A second full-course yellow was thrown 40 minutes into the race due to an incident between Salih Yoluc’s #8 Tower Motorsports Oreca, Ben Keating’s #51 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca, and LMP2 points leader Steven Thomas in the #11 TDS Racing Oreca.
The third full-course caution of the day came when Sebastian Bourdais’ #01 Cadillac spun while attempting to avoid a slower GTD competitor.
Australian Matt Campbell’s #7 Porshe Penske Motorsports 963 showed pace early on and led numerous laps before disaster struck two and a half hours into the race.
Phillipe Nasr, running second overall in the #7 Porsche, pulled the 963 behind the wall with a hybrid drivetrain issue.
“As I left the pits, I had some alarms on the car related to the hybrid system,” Nasr said. “I tried my best to not lose positions, but it started getting worse, and I finally lost all hybrid power.”
The #7 Porsche returned to the track an hour later and thirty-five laps down.
Minutes after the Porsche encountered problems, the #10 Konica Minolta ARX-06 driven by Felipe Albuquerque lost a left rear wheel and was forced to pit from third place.
Class leaders at the half way mark were the #31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac V-Series.R in GTP, the #04 Crowdstrike Racing by APR Oreca in LMP2, the #74 Riley Ligier JS P320 VK in LMP3, the #63 Iron Lynx Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 in GTD Pro and the #96 Turner Motorsports BMW M4 GT3 in GTD AM.
The #31 Cadillac claimed maximum points in the Michelin Endurance Cup by leading at the halfway mark to extend their season lead in the endurance challenge.
With two and a half hours remaining, the #9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3.R, third in GTD PRO points, had a tyre delamination and had to limp back to pit lane and was knocked out of podium contention.
A four-car accident brought out the fourth full-course caution of the day. The #38 Performance Tech Motorsport Ligier ran into the back of the #63 Iron Lynx Lamborghini and the #42 NTE Sport Lambert that were racing side by side.
Rener van der Zander in the #01 Cadillac had nowhere to go and was caught up in the melee.
With an hour remaining in the race, the GTD PRO class-leading #14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 driven by Jack Hawksworth was penalized for a 4km/h speed violation on pit row.
The penalty elevated the #3 Corvette C8.R, which had fought back from an earlier penalty, to the lead position in the class.
Hawksworth stormed back to pass the Corvette with twenty minutes remaining and then held off the #62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 296 of Daniel Serra.
Vasser Sullivan swept the GTD classes with the #12 Lexus RC F GT3 winning in GTD AM.
The #4 Crowdstrike Racing by APR Oreca won the LMP2 class and the #74 Riley Ligier won the LMP3 class.
A massive accident by the #95 Turner Motorsports BMW M4 GT3 driven by Bill Auberlen brought out the fifth full-course caution and ended the race under yellow.