Grand-Am Series, round 9 in Watkins Glen, USA
If your out this Friday evening, Set your DVR’s or get ready as the race will be on SPEED Aug 7, 8:00 PM ET *tape delay
The American Grand-Am Series takes off on Friday on the Watkins Glen International into its first 200 mile race. After the six hour race in June, this is the popular race series’ second visit to the time-honoured circuit in the US State New York. Porsche works driver Timo Bernhard says: ‘With its many fast corners and its roller coaster characteristic, this circuit has everything that makes a race track difficult and interesting.’
Still within reach of the title with an 18-point gap to the leader, Timo Bernhard and his teammate Romain Dumas (France) hold high hopes for the Watkins Glen race. The race runs over just 200 miles (the classic Grand-Am distance is 250 miles) and will be contested on the shorter 3.94 kilometre version of the track. In June, the pair secured third place in the prototype class with Penske Racing’s #12 Porsche Riley. After Millville, this was their second podium result in what is proving to be a trying season marked by many regulation changes for the Porsche-powered sports prototypes. In the manufacturers’ championship, Porsche occupies second position.
Brumos Racing fields two Porsche Riley. The successful customer team from Florida took off into the season with a victory at the famous Daytona 24 hour race. Since this success, David Donohue (USA) and Darren Law (USA) have not achieved another podium result with the #58 vehicle. In Birmingham they held the lead early on in the race, but their hopes of winning were dashed when an opponent ran into the rear of the car. ‘If we could just finish a race without experiencing problems,’ said Darren Law confidently, ‘we could manage a top placing.’ This also applies to the second Brumos-Porsche with the starting number 59, shared by Joao Barbosa (Portugal) and JC France (USA).
In a considerably more comfortable position than their prototype colleagues are Dirk Werner (Germany) and Leh Keen (USA). Driving the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup of Farnbacher Loles Racing they have already notched up four GT class victories so far this season and hold a clear lead, as does Porsche in the manufacturers’ classification. Recently in Birmingham they were unable to continue their usual top performance and had to settle for fifth. This, however, was not a major setback. ‘For us it’s of course more important to win the title than to collect more race victories, so for this reason we try to keep the risk of retirement as low as possible,’ said Dirk Werner explaining the strategy for the rest of the season.
Manning the second Porsche 911 GT3 Cup is Porsche junior driver Marco Holzer (Germany) and Eric Lux (USA). The TRG team reinforces the strong Porsche armada in the GT class with three 911 GT3 Cup, one of the most successful race cars in the Grand-Am Series.
The race in Watkins Glen takes off on Friday, 7 August, at 18.30 hours local time (00.30 hours CEST) and runs over 200 miles.