Entering the final weekend of the Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) championship, a pair of Porsche 911 GT3 R race cars are deep in the hunt for the Sprint and Overall GT titles. Arriving at Watkins Glen International, two-time Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada Champion Scott Hargrove (Canada) and Porsche factory driver Michael Christensen (Denmark) rank second and third-place, respectively, in the GT Drivers’ Championship. Porsche, with its rear-engine 911 GT3 R, comes into the Grand Prix of Watkins Glen in second-place for Manufacturers.
Utilizing the full 3.4-mile, 11-turn “Grand Prix” course, the twin 50-minute races will crown the Sprint and Overall Championships for driver, team and manufacturers. Hargrove led the point standings most of the season in the No. 96 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R. The Porsche Young Driver Academy graduate won the first two rounds of the season on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida. The 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans-winner Christensen has scored podium finishes behind the wheel of the No. 24 Alegra Motorsports 911 GT3 R in all but one race since Round 4 in April, including victories at Lime Rock Park and Road America. Pfaff and Alegra have a combined four wins – two apiece – and 20 podiums – 10 each – out of a possible 38 chances between the Sprint (50-minute, single-driver format) and SprintX (60-minute, two-driver format) championships that combine to make the Overall title.
Merging his standalone races in Sprint with the SprintX events in which he co-drove with Wolf Henzler (Germany), Hargrove has accumulated 331 points with the final two-rounds of the Sprint Championship to go on Saturday, September 1 and Sunday September 2. That places the Canadian team and driver 29 markers behind Toni Vilander. Christensen, who was paired with Spencer Pumpelly (Atlanta, Georgia) for the SprintX rounds, is three additional points behind the Ferrari factory driver. Vilander has already clinched the SprintX title in the Ferrari 488 GT3.
2017 Pirelli World Challenge GT Championship-winning Wright Motorsports returns to the series with Anthony Imperato (Brooklyn, New York). Wright took the Team and Drivers’ titles last year with “works” racer Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California). The Wright car adds to the potential point scoring entries for the German marque. Porsche is six points behind Ferrari in the Manufacturer standings.
In the GTS class, Pfaff Motorsports will also close the season with rookie Orey Fidani (Canada) in the No. 13 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR. It is the only Porsche entry in the class designed for cars meeting the international GT4-specifications.