IMSA: Plowman, Cosmo, Hedlund among those added to WGI entry

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A few late adds have come into the Sahlen’s Six Hours at the Glen entry list for this weekend’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race. Here’s a quick recap:

  • Martin Plowman and David Cheng join Doug Bielefeld in the No. 88 BAR1 Motorsports entry in PC. Plowman makes his second start for the team (Sebring), Cheng his first. “Martin Plowman leads our team as our pro driver for this event,” said team owner Brian Alder. “Martin did a great job at Sebring, as lead driver in our primary car, and was running some of the fastest lap times of all the PC cars toward the end of the race. We are anxious to show what we can do here at the Glen.”
  • Guy Cosmo is back on board with Marsh Racing’s No. 31 Whelen Engineering Corvette DP, alongside Boris Said and Eric Curran. “I’ve raced anything with wheels there and I can’t wait to get back. It’s always a great weekend and I’m lucky to have a lot of family and friends who always come out for the six-hour,” said New York native Cosmo, who is also working on the new First Gear Project crowd funded motorsports projects initiative.
  • Mike Hedlund joins Performance Tech Motorsports’ No. 38 PC entry with David Ostella. “He did a great job at COTA (in testing),” said team manager Brent O’Neill. “He’s a solid guy who drives a clean race. He’s driven in Ferrari, GRAND-AM and has done some Porsche GTD. He’s got a lot of experience and is just a good guy. We circled back around with him this season and were able to put something together. It’ll be great to have him, and I think he’ll get along well with David (Ostella).”
  • Marco Bonanomi, one of the factory drivers who raced an Audi R18 e-tron quattros in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, will be with Fall-Line Motorsports’ No. 46 Audi R8 Ultra in GTD with Charles Espenlaub and Charlie Putman.
  • Brett Sandberg saddles up with Flying Lizard Motorsports in the team’s No. 45 Audi R8 Ultra in GTD, alongside Spencer Pumpelly and Nelson Canache. “I am so excited and thankful for this opportunity to drive alongside Spencer and Nelson in this historic 6-hour race. Watkins Glen has always been one of my favorite tracks, almost a home track for me,” said Sandberg.
  • Brandon Davis joins Scuderia Corsa’s lineup in the No. 63 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 in GTD, alongside Alessandro Balzan and Jeff Westphal.

Fernando Alonso completes first test with United Autosports

Photo: United Autosports
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Two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso enjoyed his first outing with United Autosports, with whom he will contest the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona, in their Ligier JS P217 LMP2 chassis.

The McLaren Formula 1 driver completed the test at Motorland Aragon in Spain alongside co-driver Phil Hanson, who will be a teammate with Alonso at next year’s 24-hour Daytona enduro. Filipe Albuquerque, a former GT class winner at the Rolex 24, was also on hand to help Alonso and the team ahead of Alonso’s first run in an LMP2 car, which comes only a couple days after he made his LMP1 testing debut with Toyota. Albuquerque races with Mustang Sampling Racing in IMSA, but will return to United’s European Le Mans Series program for all but one race in 2018.

“I had a great first test with United Autosports. Obviously, we are on a really tight schedule between now and Daytona, but it was nice to jump in the car for the first time,” said Alonso, who will rejoin the team at the official Roar Before the 24 test on January 5-7.

Alonso added, “There’s quite a few switches and things to study so it was important to do this initial shakedown before Daytona, so I could fully learn about the car. I’m happy with everything – the car felt great and the team were fantastic. The atmosphere here is wonderful, like a big family, so today has been amazing. I cannot wait for Daytona.”

Team owner Zak Brown, who also serves as executive director of McLaren Technology Group and helps lead the McLaren Formula 1 effort, shared Alonso’s enthusiasm and was not surprised he was able to acclimate himself relatively quickly.

“Fernando’s first test with United Autosports went awesome as expected. He is a world champion and it is a pleasure to have him in our car,” he said of Alonso’s debut with the team.

Alonso is currently schedule to contest the Rolex 24 with the aforementioned Hanson and McLaren test driver Lando Norris.