The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship resumes its season with this weekend’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, the series’ annual endurance round at Watkins Glen International. The track has held a major sports car race in all but two years since 1956, and hosts the third of four rounds in the annual Patron North American Endurance Cup. CORE autosport’s Colin Braun earned the overall pole for Sunday’s race, which will air live from flag to flag starting at 9:30AM ET on FS1.
It’s a busy and exciting stretch of the season for IMSA competitors and fans, as the series prepares for three of its 12 rounds in a four-week stretch in July. While you’re following all the action, don’t lose focus on these three storylines that will help to define the coming weeks of sports car racing:
Which Action Express Racing team will break the tie in points in its favor?
While Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr’s Whelen Engineering Racing ride leads the NAEC, they’re currently down in the overall championship to Mustang Sampling Racing’s Filipe Albuquerque and João Barbosa on a tiebreaker, two wins to one. With Barbosa sidelined due to an off-track injury, Albuquerque will partner with Christian Fittipaldi and Gabby Chaves this weekend, while Mike Conway will join Curran and Nasr. If either team can take a victory on Sunday, it will guarantee them the points lead.
Will we see a fifth different winner in the GT Le Mans class?
Four different cars have won the four GTLM rounds so far this year, with only Porsche having won with both of its cars and BMW still searching for a victory. We haven’t seen these cars compete in IMSA since Mid-Ohio in May, but they made the trip to this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans; at third in class, the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing trio of Joey Hand, Dirk Müller, and Sebastien Bourdais were the best of the bunch. Hand and Müller will search for their first IMSA win of 2018 this weekend without their third teammate.
How will the busiest stretch of the IMSA season affect the race teams?
This event and next week’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park are the only IMSA rounds on back-to-back weekends all season long in 2018. On top of that, the two GT classes run one of their two stand-alone rounds this season on July 21 at Lime Rock Park. It’s the only time all season that the Prototype class runs twice in the same month. The quick turnaround, followed by the immediate border cross, will make for a stressful seven days for the series’ traveling personnel.