People who love racing love to see races on road courses with a long and distinguished history of great competition. And they love to see races in the rain because it puts the drivers’ maximum talent on display. Thus, the Tudor United Sports Car Championship race at Watkins Glen International Raceway, Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, was the perfect storm of motor racing.

The weather was bad all weekend, with torrential rain on Saturday that cancelled the qualifying session and some of the support races. Sunday started out relatively dry, but the track must have been very slick from all of the previous rain and the lack of running time.

The prototypes start first and here they are coming through The Ninety after the main straight. In the early laps, the track was still wet, but a dry line was forming.

The GTs came through shortly after the prototypes, owing to the staggered start. Like the prototype field, the GTs were led by a Corvette. In fact, like the Trans Am series race at NJMP that I went to a couple of weeks ago, Corvette has definitely left it’s stamp on IMSA racing.

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Pretty early in the race, the #912 Porsche North America 911 pitted for some new bodywork at the front of the car. The crew changed the front fender and the tires in less than 90 sec.

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Things stayed dry for most of the race. Here the field is coming out of the last turn before the front straight. This is a turn you have to get right to make the most speed down the front straight to set up a pass going into The Ninety.

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The #007 TRG-Aston Martin Racing led for much of the race, but crashed out before the finish.

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Claro/TRACPhone Racing deserves special mention for bringing their innovative Delta Wing prototype to the race. Here is running fifth, but it would not finish the race.

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The Mazda SKYACTIV prototype was having a hard day. Here it is running in eighth place. The big news of the week was that Mazda is planning to switch from a diesel to a gasoline engine next season and they were going to run one diesel and one gasoline engine at Watkins Glen. Unfortunately, however, they withdrew the gasoline-powered car and only raced one prototype. Whatever they pick to put in the back, this is one of the best looking cars in the field.


The back straight has a bus stop before the entrance to the Inner Loop and this is the entrance to that chicane. Here the #4 Corvette Racing C7.R comes through. Along with the #3 C7.R, these guys were fresh from the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where they did quite well. Unfortunately, the #4 car would not finish the race.

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Note the tape over the NACA duct on the #24 BMW Team RLL Z4 GTE. Presumably this was done to keep the rear brakes up to temperature in the cool air. Many teams used similar strategies to manage the temperatures of their equipment. The #24 would end the day in the wall near the entrance to The Boot.

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Past the Chicane, the cars go through the Inner Loop and down The Chute into the Boot. Here the #90 VisitFlorida.com Racing Chevrolet Corvette DP prototype, the eventual overall race winner, passes the #3 Corvette Racing C7.R. The Chevy marketing department could not have planned that better.

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After The Chute, the cars go through The Boot and emerge here at Turn 9. This is the #62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F458 Italia. This is another example of taped-off ducts (to the inside of the headlights), presumably to keep the engine and/or brakes at the right temperature in the cool air.

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Aaaaaand then came the rain. It had been raining all weekend, so we all knew it was only a matter of time. At first there was a light drizzle, seen here from the Jackie Stewart grandstands on Turn 10. You can see the rooster tails forming as the track gets wetter and wetter.

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Back at the pedestrian bridge. The rain was really coming down in buckets at this point. Eventually the race was red flagged until the worst of it passed.

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The race would be stopped for 14 minutes. After the restart, the field took a few more green laps before the #10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP hit the tires at the exit of Turn 10. The race would finish under caution.

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Sadly, I couldn’t hack it once the rain restarted. Even my vintage West McLaren Mercedes hat wasn’t enough keep out the soaking gloom, so I don’t have any pictures of the end of the race. But I’m already making plans to go to next year’s race at the Glen.