IMSA: Mix of entry choices on 55-car Watkins Glen entry list

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The entry list for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, the June 29 round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, reveals a number of intriguing entry list news and notes. The race marks the first round where all four classes – Prototype, Prototype Challenge, GT Le Mans and GT Daytona – race together in the same race since the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on March 15.

Additionally, the race is the third of four in this year’s Tequila Patron North American Endurance Championship.

Here’s the nuggets out of the entry list:

FULL ENTRY LIST

P/PC

  • Of the 13 P class entries, eight have gone for a three-driver lineup (Cars 2, 9, 10, 31, 42, 70, 01 and 07).
  • Ho-Pin Tung will make his first TUDOR Championship start in OAK Racing’s No. 42 Morgan Nissan alongside Gustavo Yacaman and Alex Brundle, the latter of whom fills in for Olivier Pla.
  • Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 01 may take on a third driver, per Mike Hull who tweeted Tuesday, “01 for WG 6-hours – slight twist will be announced.” That slight twist could be either Sage Karam or Marino Franchitti alongside Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas; both Karam and Franchitti have driven with CGR’s P program this year, Franchitti won at Sebring and Karam has impressed in his handful of starts in both the TUDOR Championship and the Indianapolis 500.
  • Oddly of the 10 PC cars, only one (No. 25 8Star Motorsports entry) features a three-driver lineup listed: Sean Rayhall will share with Tom Kimber-Smith and Eric Lux. You’d figure the Pro-Am class would take the opportunity to see teams add a paying third, but, all would need to be Silver-rated drivers. BAR1’s No. 88 car has all drivers TBA.

GTLM/GTD

  • In GTLM, Krohn Racing (No. 57 Ferrari F458 Italia) has a designated third driver listed, in the form of Jaime Melo. Meanwhile SRT Motorsports has listed Jonathan Bomarito (No. 91) and Marc Goossens (No. 93) as respective third drivers for its two SRT Viper GTS-Rs; both would be pulling double duty between entries if they actually race both.
  • Thus far only Cars 22, 27, 44, 51, 81 and 007 have three drivers in GT Daytona – or 6 of 21 cars.
  • “TBA” is a frequent part of the entry list, appearing with Cars 18, 19, 46, 63, 71 and 73.

Alex Palou named reserve F1 driver for McLaren Racing in 2023

Alex Palou McLaren reserve
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
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Alex Palou was named a Formula One reserve driver for McLaren Racing on Thursday, confirming the end of a prolonged battle for the IndyCar champion and the F1 team.

The Spaniard, who won the 2021 IndyCar championship for Chip Ganassi Racing, last July said he was declining to return to Ganassi next year and instead would drive for McLaren.

Ganassi held an option on 2023 for Palou, who wanted to move to McLaren for a shot at motorsports’ highest level. The fight for the driver dragged into September through mediation, where it was decided that Palou would finish his contract and also be allowed to do F1 opportunities with McLaren.

Palou, 25, since has tested for McLaren, and he made his F1 debut at the United States Grand Prix in October when he drove the first practice session.

In his role as a reserve driver, Palou will support McLaren whenever it does not conflict with his responsibilities in the final year of his IndyCar contract with Ganassi. He officially will move to McLaren at the end of the upcoming IndyCar season and drive either for Arrow McLaren SP in IndyCar or move completely into an F1 role.

“I’m excited to be part of the McLaren team as one of their reserve drivers in 2023,” Palou said. “I can’t wait for the involvement with next year’s car. I look forward to continuing my development as a driver and I appreciate the trust McLaren have in me with this new role next year.”

Palou has four wins and 15 podiums through three IndyCar seasons and is the only Spaniard to win the championship.

“The team are pleased to have Alex on board as one of our reserve drivers for next season,” said Andreas Seidl, McLaren team principal. “He impressed with his FP1 session in Austin and his driver development tests this year.”