Dillon Machavern, Markus Palttala, and Don Yount drove the #96 Turner Motorsport M6 GT3 to win the highly competitive GTD class in the IMSA WeatherTech Series Sahlens Six Hours of the Glen. In the GTLM class the #25 Team RLL M8 GTE, driven by Connor De Phillippi, Alexander Sims, and Bill Auberlen, finished seventh, and the #24 M8 GTE, driven by Tom Blomqvist, John Edwards, and Jesse Krohn, finished eighth. The GTLM class win went to Dirk Müller and Joey Hand in the #66 Ganassi Racing Ford GT.
The Turner M6 GT3 qualified thirteenth on the grid and moved through the pack over the course of the race. Palttala moved the car into second by getting past Alvaro Parente in the class points-leading #86 Acura NSX GT3 during the final hour. He took the lead after the #29 Audi that had led the class was called in for a penalty—and then received a second penalty for not serving the first one in a timely fashion. Rather than serving the penalties, the team pulled the car into the pits and retired with twelve minutes remaining in the race, moving the Turner car into the lead. Parente held on to finish second in the Acura that he co-drove with Katherine Legge.
It was the Turner team’s first win since Road America in 2017. Will Turner said, “It’s a real accomplishment to beat some of the best drivers in the world with up-and-coming race drivers who just did a fantastic job. Markus was the last one, and he came over the finish line, but he didn’t win the race for us. All my drivers won the race, all our pit stops won the race for us. It just came together. We took care of the tires, they did great at the end of the race for us, and we were able to pull ahead. It’s a great feeling.”
In GTLM, the BMW Team RLL M8s had a difficult weekend, qualifying seventh and eighth and running in the back of the GTLM pack during the race. The #24 car received a drive-through penalty for running over pit equipment on its first stop with Tom Blomqvist at the controls. Later, when Blomqvist handed off to Krohn, the car would not restart. It returned to competition after the team replaced a starter motor, finishing eighth in class, 27 laps behind the class leader. The #25 car ran seventh for most of the race.
Auberlen said, “It was great to be back behind the wheel of the BMW Team RLL M8 GTE. The team did a really great job, but today was obviously not our day.”
There is no time to rest between races; the WeatherTech series runs again next weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.—Brian Morgan