WATKINS GLEN, New York (July 1, 2018) – As the nation prepares to celebrate another birthday with the 4th of July celebrations next week, the racing world is getting an early start to the party as IMSA stages the annual Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen event this weekend.
The event has a growing tradition as teams get into the patriotic spirit with special liveries that celebrate the birth of the nation with bursts of Red, White, and Blue on the liveries of cars entered in both the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship as well as the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge.
With a field of bespoke looks, the difference is in the details and it is the teams that have put AERO Sustainable Paint Technology to use that are leading the way.
The No. 69 HART Racing Acura NSX GT3 is carrying an incredible livery that has been the benchmark of the rest of the field. The awesome-looking entry will be shared by drivers Ryan Eversley, Chad Gilsinger, and Tom Dyer. The trio will start the race from the sixth row on Sunday.
“It looks fast,” said Eversley. “I saw last year the really cool liveries AERO Paint did with the Shank cars and I knew we were going to do one too, so I was pretty excited because everything they make is really cool! Our car is the traditional red, white, and blue, like they painted the flag right on it. We have had so many fans come out of the woodwork telling us how good the car looks. They keep asking how long it took to paint and if we were going to paint it back to black and red. I keep telling people it doesn’t take long at all since the AERO Paint goes on so quickly. I am looking forward to racing a car that pays tribute to our country with July 4th coming up and it’s an American made car in Ohio. There is a lot of love going on here with the HART team, Aero Paint, and everyone involved!”
Another all-American effort that is arriving to Watkins Glen from an international outing is the AERO-equipped Corvette Racing squad.
Back on American soil after the trip to Le Mans, the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen is the start of a critical three-race stretch in four weeks as the team looks to defend its GT Le Mans (GTLM) championships in America’s premier sports car series.
“In our 20 years of competition, Corvette Racing has been fortunate to race great tracks throughout North America,” said Doug Fehan, Corvette Racing Program Manager. “We’re hopeful to rebound from a difficult Le Mans with another strong showing for our fans at The Glen. It’s an important weekend ahead of Independence Day. We’re proud of our heritage as an American team with an American car from an American manufacturer. That’s about as patriotic as it gets!”
Having won the 2017 edition of the 6 Hour, BMW RLL Racing has an all-new BMW BMW M8 GTE ready to deploy with another amazing new AERO-enabled livery. BMW NA Ambassador Bill Auberlen rejoins the No. 25 team at Watkins Glen, bringing with him his vast knowledge and success at The Glen back to assist the M8 GTE program.
The veteran has three career pole positions and three victories in the Six Hours of The Glen and is in the hunt for his 59th career IMSA win. Currently, he stands second in all-time IMSA victories, two behind leader Scott Pruett.
“I can’t wait to get started with the Watkins Glen six-hour race,” Auberlen said. “We are coming off a victory last year and knowing how amazing the all new M8 GTE is I hope we can hit the ground running and start the drive to Victory Lane!”
Also returning Stateside after a big Le Mans 24 Hour outing is the United Autosports squad, which has AERO to its advantage for drivers Paul Di Resta, Phil Hanson, and Bruno Senna in the No. 32 AERO/MMCG/Motul/Omega Mechanics entry. While the Anglo-American squad is not sporting a custom livery, it did bring a lot of speed as demonstrated by di Resta’s fast lap time of 1:32.356-seconds in qualifying to lock in a front row starting spot.
AERO squads were also in action in the Continental Tire SportsCar Championship, with Compass Racing posting a definitive 1-2 finish in the hugely competitive TCR class.
The win was the fourth in a row for Compass Racing, which suffered a setback with the team car on the very first lap. The team’s No. 75 Audi RS3 LMS of Pierre Kleinubing and Roy Block started from the pole but was involved in a first-lap incident that ended its chances for victory.
Tom Long, who was cruelly denied a win at Sebring after the car ran out of fuel on the last lap, was thrilled to wheel his AERO-equipped Audi into victory lane.
“It was great racing,” said Long. “It’s always exciting having more cars come with the series. The eEuroparts car was there with us as a new entry, really tough. I got a good clean pass on him coming up in traffic, using it to our advantage. Then I just put my head down and drove. We were lucky enough to check out on him and I just love this track. I’ve got to really thank Watkins Glen and IMSA for putting on a great event here.”
Photo credit: Sam Cobb/BMW, HART Racing, Forge Collaborative, United Autosports