That’s two in a row at this event
The 2021 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen was a wonderful way to say hello to racing again. This was another cracking Weathertech IMSA event with strong races in every class. Mazda won overall with canny strategy all day but a two-tire pit stop during a late yellow gave them the lead to the flag. Chasing hard but falling .965sec short at the end was the Meyer Shank Acura DPi which led strongly throughout the event.
It was the second win in this event for Mazda. They won in 2019 for their first IMSA win but Covid made them wait 2 years to get that 2nd victory. Mazda is making a strong run for the championship in what will be their last year at this level. similarly, Meyer Shank was going for their own second successive win after victory at Indy.
The DPi class was close throughout with all cars running together strongly. It was interesting to experience the booming and ground-shaking Cadillacs compared with the Acura and Mazda turbos that had a more relaxed sound. Downshifting crackles and pops from all lent more subtle differences too. The Wayne Taylor Acura ran with the Meyer Shank example but dropped back after the last pit stop to finish third.
Cadillacs filled places 4-7 but not without putting up a fight. The Whelen and Ally cars were on the same lap as the leaders at the end while the Ganassi and Mustang Sampling Cadillacs were 1 lap down at the finish.
The Corvette C8s led and the BMWs followed like a train for most of the race. In the last laps the #3 Garcia/Taylor passed their slowing teammates and fended off a late charge by the #24 RLL BMW M8 for the win.
The Weathertech Porsche 911RSR was also in attendance but fell out just 3 laps into the race with a brief fire.
The WIN Autosport Oreca of Thomas/Nunez/Merrill pulled out a 1 second victory in LMP2. Finishing on the second step of the podium was the colorful Wynn’s Oreca of Keating/Jensen/Huffaker in 9th overall. The screaming Gibson engines in these cars are really delightful.
The 5.6 liter V8 Nissan engines in LMP3 are gutteral under acceleration and delightful in their own way. These 7/8th scale prototype cars have pace too.They handle great and harass the GT class cars constantly.
On this occasion the Riley Motorsports team of Robinson/Fraga/Andrews was 1.1635 to the better in winning their class. The CORE Autosport Ligier drivers Bennett/Braun/Kurtz gave the Riley drivers a hard run for their money but fell just short.
The 14 car field roared off from the start in a bunch and never looked back. This performance-balanced class ran tightly throughout separated only by the other classes and pitstops. In the end, 11 GTD cars were on the class-leading lap at the finish!
The Turner BMW M6 driven by Auberlen/Foley/Read also benefitted from that late yellow flag period as they had pitted just before the yellow. This gave them commanding track position for the rest of the race. The Paul Miller Lamborghini of Sellers/Snow/Lewis was 5.7 seconds back when it was over.
The wrap-up and a photo gallery
The 2021 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen was a great race all the way around. There was not much in the way of carnage and just close racing in all classes. The weather was warm but a pretty good breeze blew all weekend with its cooling effect.
Most of all, it was great to see a huge crowd fill the track and enjoy a classic 6-hour race at the Glen. Seemed like old times.
Complete results can be found here.
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