A quartet of Porsche privateer race teams look to continue the German marque’s success on the great stages of North American endurance racing. This upcoming weekend at one of the United States’ most historic road courses, WeatherTech Racing, Team Hardpoint EBM, Pfaff Motorsports and Wright Motorsports each bring a class-specific Porsche 911-based race car (911 RSR-19 or 911 GT3 R) to the third of the four major IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship endurance races of the season. Watkins Glen International will host the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen on June 27. Porsche currently holds the lead in the GTD class Manufacturers Point Standings for the Michelin Endurance Cup after two rounds.
The 3.4-mile, 11-turn “full” course of the legendary track in the Finger Lakes-region of New York joins the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring – both run earlier this season – and the Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta – the November close of the season – as the four tracks which make-up the Michelin Endurance Cup. The Endurance Cup is a championship within the WeatherTech Championship that awards programs which perform exceedingly well in events greater than four-hours in length. By virtue of a one-two finish in the Pro-Am-style GT Daytona (GTD) class at Sebring, the Stuttgart, Germany-based sports car manufacturer holds the “makes” lead in the Michelin Endurance Cup. Pfaff Motorsports leads the Team points with drivers Laurance Vanthoor (Belgium), Zacharie Robichon (Canada) and Lars Kern (Germany) topping the driver rankings at the endurance season mid-point.
The Sebring GTLM class-winning team of Porsche factory drivers Matt Campbell (Australia) and Matthieu Jaminet (France) joined by Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Illinois) will pilot the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19 race car at The Glen. The privately entered team bested all the factory efforts in the GTLM class at Sebring shocking the GT racing world at one of the sport’s pinnacle events. In the GTD category, Pfaff Motorsports also brings back its winning combination of “works” driver Vanthoor, 2019 IMSA Sprint Cup Champion Robichon and Porsche research and development driver Kern in the popular No. 9 “Plaid Porsche” 911 GT3 R racer.
Joining Pfaff in the GTD class will be North America’s premier Porsche racer, Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California) leading the No. 16 Wright Motorsports entry. The Porsche factory driver will be partnered with the same co-drivers that formed to nearly win at Sebring: Jan Heylen (Belgium) and Trent Hindman (West Long Branch, New Jersey). Hindman is the 2019 GTD class pole sitter at Watkins Glen and joins the program for the remainder of the year following Ryan Hardwick’s (Atlanta, Georgia) choice to focus on the Michelin Pilot Challenge support series in the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport – co-driving with Heylen. The trio currently sits in second-place in GTD Endurance Cup standings.
The fourth entry will bring veteran Porsche specialist Andrew Davis (Athens, Georgia) to the No. 88 Team Hardpoint EBM Porsche 911 GT3 R race car for the first time. Davis joins team principal/driver Rob Ferriol (Fayetteville, North Carolina) and 2017 Six Hours of The Glen GTD class winner Katherine Legge (United Kingdom) in the naturally aspirated, rear-engine Porsche.
With an updated IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship schedule as a result of the canceling of the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park event due to travel restrictions into Canada, teams will now race back-to-back weekends at Watkins Glen. The WeatherTech 240 – a two-hour, 40-minute event – will be held on July 2.
Live flag-to-flag television coverage of the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen is scheduled for Sunday, June 27 on NBC Sports Gold and on IMSA Radio (IMSA.tv) beginning at 10:35 a.m. ET. A same-day delayed broadcast of the event can be seen at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Qualifying will be held on Saturday, June 26 with live coverage on IMSA.tv at 11:45 a.m. ET.
Matt Campbell, Driver, No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19.
“It will be my first time racing there like Mathieu [Jaminet]. We had a test there a few weeks ago and it went really well. I am looking forward to getting back in the car with Mathieu and Cooper this weekend. I am looking forward to seeing the fans there as well.”
Mathieu Jaminet, Driver, No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19.
“It has been a long time since Sebring. I have not been in the car for a while. I have not raced at Watkins Glen before, so I will need to get up to speed very quickly to have a successful weekend. We showed at Sebring that even though we are a private team we are capable of doing great things. For sure expectations are high. We will fight hard to go for a podium and more. I am looking forward to seeing the boys again and going racing this weekend.”
Cooper MacNeil, Driver, No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19.
“It seems like six months since Sebring. I have two ELMS races and two one-make wins, one of those at The Glen last month, under my belt since then. It will be good to get back in the IMSA car this weekend. We took the opportunity to test there, so we will hopefully unload the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche in the sweet spot and just do some fine tuning for the race. We have a lot of good team spirit coming off our win at Sebring and we will be looking to challenge the Vettes and BMWs every lap this weekend.”
Laurens Vanthoor, Driver, No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“The team just recently completed testing at Watkins with Zach for two days which went really well, so I’m looking forward to seeing how the Pfaff GT3 R will perform. I’m quite confident and Lars will be joining us for the Six Hours, so it was a great opportunity for a shakedown to carry that momentum forward from Sebring and maintain a good championship position.”
Lars Kern, Driver, No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“I’m flying out immediately from the Spa 24 Hours test days, so that’s basically my preparation for the 6 Hours at Watkins Glen. We have the same expectations we had when we went into Sebring. Besides winning, we need to compete with zero mistakes. I think from the crew and the driver’s side, this is what we’re focused on. If we can fulfill this, we can expect a pretty strong finish. We are leading the North American Endurance Championship, so we really want to fight for this and be on top at these long-distance races.”
Zach Robichon, Driver, No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“Watkins Glen is always a unique challenge. The high-grip nature of the track means that it can vary a lot from day to day, as well as the heat outside. We had a great test session a few weeks ago that allowed us to try a number of things and continuously push forward. I am confident those two days will pay dividends going towards the six hours and the rest of the summer. Our expectations are the same as always. I think we have a strong team and we should be in a good position to fight for a top-five. From here, anything can happen. I don’t suspect Watkins to be a particularly strong track for us, but I know with a good strategy we can fight for some good championship points.
Patrick Long, Driver, No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“Watkins Glen is such an iconic track with a storied past on a world level. What doesn’t come through by watching it on TV is just how fast of a track it is. The stakes are high here and it is super rewarding when the car is tuned write and the driver is on song. But it is also one of the most difficult tracks I have ever been to in my career.
I really like the six-hour format. It blends the best of both worlds, of sprint and endurance. It will be a hard push from the start but with a few more pit stops and more strategy choices it adds to the spectacle. Having Trent [Hindman] on board for the remainder of the season is really rewarding. He is a star in the making. It is fun to go racing like this, with friends like Johnny Wright, Ryan Hardwick, Jan Heylen and Trent. Working with people you are really inspired by is special.”
Trent Hindman, Driver, No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“Massive thank you to John [Wright] and the entire Wright Motorsports team, 1st Phorm and Ryan Hardwick for having me back in the No. 16 Porsche 911 GT3 R. It’s been an honor to work with this team, Patrick and Jan throughout Daytona and Sebring. I’m grateful to be back in an extended capacity. It’s our first time back to Watkins Glen since 2019. The time spent away from this racetrack should pose a strong challenge to all teams upon returning next week. Fortunately, the excellent preparation by the Wright Motorsports team gives us confidence that we’ll be in the fight for the win.
Katherine Legge, Driver, No. 88 Team Hardpoint EBM Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“I’m really looking forward to Watkins Glen. I’ve won this race before and I’m hungry to do it again! Team Hardpoint EBM has worked really hard since Detroit and our Richard Mille Porsche is ready to go. We had a great test there just a few weeks ago, and the team is really coming together and finding their stride. That should add up to a strong result this weekend.”
Andrew Davis, Driver, No. 88 Team Hardpoint EBM Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“I couldn’t be happier with the opportunity to join Team Hardpoint EBM. Rob Ferriol and his staff have done an outstanding job of building up this organization. I immediately felt at home with the team when I joined them for the endurance rounds last season. So, I have been keeping close and remaining hopeful that our paths might cross again. There are a couple of other aspects to this opportunity that I’m excited about in addition to rejoining Rob behind the wheel. A large portion of my career has been behind the wheel of Porsche machinery, including my 2011 Sahlen’s victory in Rolex GT. So, I’m really pleased to have the chance to drive the newest version of the Porsche 911 GT3 R. The other bit of excitement for me is being able to join Katherine Legge for the first time as teammates. I always enjoy teaming up with strong partners, it’s how I push myself to get better. I would like to thank Rob Ferriol, Team Hardpoint and Porsche Motorsports North America for this opportunity.”