Prototype Challenge Watkins Glen International Thursday Notebook
Thursday, June 29, 2017

The rolling curves of Watkins Glen International provided IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda competitors with a picturesque backdrop as they navigated two practice sessions Thursday, June 29, on the 3.40-mile, 11-turn road course for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen as part of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship weekend.

After steadily building up speed in the first practice session of the day, a light rain shower near the end of the session forced many competitors to back off the throttle slightly, putting Kenton Koch at the top of the LMP3 results in the P1 Motorsports No. 8 Ligier JS P3 with a time of one minute, 46.931 seconds, edging out former Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA Champion Colin Thompson in his No. 30 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Norma M30.

However, as the second practice session came to a close with no rain in sight, the results had flip-flopped with Thompson taking the top spot in combined class results with a much-improved lap of 1:42.888.

Andres Gutierrez running in the No. 12 Performance Tech Motorsports entry followed Thompson’s lead and also improved his time in the second session, gaining three positions in combined results to settle into third place overall in combined LMP3 practice results. Gutierrez, who scored a victory in race two at Barber Motorsports Park is currently leading LMP3 points.

In fourth overall, and leading the Mazda Prototype Challenge (MPC) Class – which uses the traditional, proven Elan DP02 chassis, powered by the Mazda MZR 2.0 four-cylinder engine – is 19-year-old Kyle Masson, driving the No. 18 entry for Performance Tech Motorsports. The teenager continues to push the envelope of the open-cockpit MPC cars and has swept every victory in the season thus far.

Rounding out the top five was LMP3 Masters Classman Naj Husain, running in the No. 3 Ligier for Extreme Speed Motorsports. Husain has been locked in a tight points battle with Lonnie Pechnik of P1 Motorsports for the first four rounds of the season. Newcomer Robby Foley is at the wheel of Pechnik’s car this weekend and posted a sixth-fastest time overall during the practices.

All IMSA Prototype Challenge drivers will start their day Friday, June 30, with a 20-minute qualifying session from 9 to 9:20 a.m. to determine their grid positions for the first of two 45-minute races. Race one will take the green flag at 2:25 p.m. ET Friday with race two on Saturday, July 1, at 9:20 a.m. Both races will be streamed live on IMSA.tv. Live timing and scoring will be available on IMSA.com.

Delayed television coverage of the IMSA Prototype Challenge Races at Watkins Glen International will be provided on July 13, 2017 at 8 p.m. on Fox Sports 2 (FS2). The broadcast will also be available on YouTube 24 hours after it airs on television.

For more information on all IMSA competition - or to access IMSA Radio, which will have live streaming of both races - visit IMSA.com.  

For more information about the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda series, visit www.imsa.com, follow hashtag #IMSAPC @IMSA on Twitter or IMSA on Facebook.

Schedule (all times ET): 

Qualifying: 9:00 - 9:20 a.m. Friday, June 30

Round 1 (45 minutes): 2:25 - 3:10 p.m. Friday, June 30

Round 2 (45 minutes): 9:20 - 10:05 p.m. Saturday, July 1

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