We’re in Watkins Glen, New York for the IMSA Six Hours of The Glen race weekend! Traditionally the midpoint of the IMSA season, the Watkins Glen race is also the third of four rounds of the IMSA North American Endurance Cup (NAEC), a championship within a championship that only counts the points from the four longer endurance races at Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen, and Road Atlanta. With a duration of six hours, the Watkins Glen race is the shortest of the NAEC races, but quite a bit longer than any of the other races on the calendar.

Track action got underway on Friday with races for the Mazda MX-5 Cup, Porsche Carrera North America, and Lamborghini Super Trofeo races. BMWs were in action in the practice sessions for the Michelin Pilot Challenge and WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Series. The pair of M Hybrid V8 GTP cars are looking to get their first win of the season this weekend. “Watkins Glen is one of my top favorites on our IMSA calendar,” Connor De Phillippi said. “The combination of speed and grip allows us to really unleash the potential of these GTP cars. With that said it’s typically the hottest and most physical track on the schedule so all of us will need to bring our A-game for the six-hour event.”

While heat may often be a factor at Watkins Glen, it’s rain that will likely play more of a factor this weekend. Air temperatures were supposed to only be at around 80 degrees, but there is a very good chance of showers and thunderstorms on both Saturday for the Michelin Pilot Challenge race and on Sunday for the Six Hour main event. Expect a lot of caution periods and strategy calls with changes in the weather.

The BMW entry for the weekend has three M4 GT4s in the Michelin Pilot Challenge race, with Greg Liefooghe and Sean Quinlan teamed up in the #43 Stephen Cameron Racing car, Robert Megennis and Cameron Lawrence in the #95 Turner Motorsport car, and Robby Foley and Vin Barletta in the #96 Turner entry. In the WeatherTech series, Phillip Eng and Augusto Farfus are in the #24 BMW Team RLL M Hybrid V8, and Connor De Phillippi and Nick Yelloly are in the #25 GTP car. In GTD Pro, Turner Motorsport has Bill Auberlen, Chandler Hull, and John Edwards in their #95 M4 GT3. There are two BMW entries in GTD, with Robby Foley, Patrick Gallagher, and Michael Dinan (fresh off a podium finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans) in the #96 Turner M4 GT3, and Bryan Sellers, Madison Snow, and Corey Lewis in the #1 Paul Miller Racing car.

In the first Michelin Pilot Challenge practice session on Friday, Turner Motorsport had both of their entries in the top-five fastest lap times, with Robby Foley third quickest in the #96 car and Robert Megennis fifth quickest in the #95. The Michelin Pilot Challenge race will take place Saturday afternoon, followed by the WeatherTech Six Hour race on Sunday. You can find out more information on television times on the IMSA website.

—David Haueter

[Photos by David Haueter]

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