Wednesday, June 29, 2016 – Fresno, CA – With the third round of the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup occurring this weekend at Watkins Glen International, the PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports team and drivers have their sights set on another podium finish and furthering their lead in the TPNAEC championship.
The team and full time drivers Tom Kimber-Smith and Robert Alon completed a successful test at Watkins Glen in May with endurance cup driver Jose Gutierrez. With all drivers completing consistent lap times within five tenths of a second of each other, the trio is more than ready to get back to the 3.4-mile road course for the six hour endurance race.
“I’m really pleased with the results we had at the test at Watkins Glen. Both Robert and Jose were really fast, and I think we have the potential to do really well there this weekend,” said Kimber-Smith.
“The track has been recently resurfaced, so it’s slightly different from last year. It’s a lot smoother so the characteristics of the circuit have gone away a little bit, but it’s still super quick. We were three seconds faster at the test than we were last year and that was with not many cars on the track, so the track was fairly green. Once the track gets really rubbered in, I think we’re going to be a lot quicker there this weekend.”
“All three of us were within a second of each other at the test, so I’m looking forward to getting back there and hopefully getting back on that top step at the end of the weekend.”
Alon, who has driven Watkins Glen in an IMSA Prototype Lites car, calls Watkins Glen his favorite track in North America. While he and teammate Kimber-Smith sit second in the WeatherTech Driver's championship in the PC class, they are currently leading the TPNAEC championship in PC with Gutierrez.
“I say it all the time, but Watkins Glen is my favorite track. It blows every other track out of the water for me. It’s flowing and smooth and now that they’ve repaved it, it’s even more fun to drive,” explained Alon.
“We have a really solid line up for the weekend, and I’m excited to get back there with Tom and Jose. We’re currently second in the WeatherTech Driver’s Championship but first in the TPNAEC, so it would be great to get some more points for both and hopefully lead both championships at the end of the weekend.”
For Gutierrez, the Sahlen’s 6 Hours of the Glen will mark his first time competing in a professional race at Watkins Glen. Although he's never raced there before, he was on pace at the test and hoping to be even faster for the race.
“It’s going to be my first time racing at Watkins Glen. I’m so ready to get back in the car, because my last time racing with PR1 was at Sebring in March, so I am ready to race,” said Gutierrez.
“We had a really good test there in May. We worked a lot on car set up since the track is so different from previous years with the new pavement. The PR1 guys did a great job, and I think we’re going to have a really good set up for the race. The track was so fast when we tested there, especially the last two corners, so I can’t wait to get back there this weekend and hopefully bring home a win for PR1.”
On track action for the Sahlen’s 6 Hours of the Glen begins on Friday morning and continues through Sunday. Be sure to catch all six hours of the race LIVE on Fox Sports 1 beginning at 10:00 AM EST!