My trip to the ISMA TUDOR Race @ Watkins Glen

Discussion in 'Motorsports' started by lorge1989, Jul 7, 2015.

  1. lorge1989

    lorge1989 Posting- God

    Before I start my long winded message, I just want to say the Mini Club, Audi Club, Porsche Club plus many others were all at the race. I don't see why maybe next year we make a DITB event out of this. Even if its only 10 of us. Onto the story.....

    The first time I was able to get to the Glen for the 6 hour race, back in 2010, I arrived right as the race was starting on Sunday and left shortly after it ended. It was incredible. It was the first time I got to experience a real sports car race. Since then I have always wanted to get back and experience a the whole weekend and this year was the year I was going to do it! Well, most of it anyway.

    Each year Watkins Glen International hosts the 6 Hours at the Glen race weekend. They have been doing this since 1968, although much has changed since then. Recently it has consisted of a lot more than one race, and this year the lineup looked pretty sweet. It included Lamborghini Super Trofeo series, Porsche GT3 Cup, IMSA 'Lites' plus a whole slew of TUDOR Championship events.

    The plan was head down Friday and camp through Sunday. This way we could hike the Glen, watch a ton of cool races and of course drink plenty of beer. Unfortunately for me most of my company had bailed so instead I headed down from Buffalo on Saturday to meet up with a friend of mine. After a 2.5 hr drive through the rain I arrived.

    With no sign of clearing up I suited up and headed to the turn one grandstand to see if any photos were going to be taken. Here is a map of the track for anyone unfamilar.


    Quick sidenote, one thing about the Glen that gets me, compared to some of other tracks you see now adays, particularly F1 circuits is the lack of elevation change. This year I was able to really walk the entire track, see every corner, how each banking starts and ends, how the change of tarmac to concrete effects the cars and many other details that I never took the time to look at. Anyways, about the elevation change, getting down into the boot, particularly the heel was a hike. Being wet, the climb down was actually somewhat difficult. This image may help you understand what I mean.


    Back to Saturday and me pinned up against the fencing nearly at top of the grandstand, under an umbrella enabled me to take a few quick shots, that is until my umbrella got completely destroyed by the wind.

    [​IMG]IMGP0308 by George, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMGP0310 by George, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMGP0306 by George, on Flickr

    This race was the Continental 150, and consisted of Camaros, Mustangs, Civics, Audi S3s, Miatas, Caymans etc. Entertaining to watch, especially considering how wet the track was. I walked maybe half of the track and headed to the infield to check out some tents and dry out a bit. Chevy, Mazda, BMW along with many others had tents there. Seeing the new C7 stripped of body panel was awesome. But the BMW tent had my heart.

    Mclaren F1
    [​IMG]IMG_20150628_134623428 by George, on Flickr

    M6 GT3 debut
    [​IMG]IMG_20150628_133940957_HDR by George, on Flickr

    And my favorite, IMSA 3.5 CSL. :heart:

    [​IMG]IMG_20150628_134605913_HDR by George, on Flickr

    When the race was about to end I headed to the garage, just like everyone else. :laugh: I didn't take too many pics, because my inner engineer was showing a bit too much. I did get to chat with a few of the teams and learned that this group was definitely limited on budget and therefore tech. But the racing was still excellent.

    News to me was the limit the series has on forced induction cars, 13 psi, stock airbox to name a few. The S3 was completely stock engine wise, except for some fuel and boost tweaks. One of the guys on the team told me they were unable to change the spark maps because the new Siemens ECUs were hard to crack. (didn't get that but whatever) Upgraded motor mounts, different exhaust plus some crazy suspension/brake setup were the only real changes from a stock car.

    [​IMG]IMGP0348 by George, on Flickr

    The new GT-350R-C was there as well and raced in the Conti 150. Sounded great, and looked the part as well. Didn't get any good shots because of the people surrounding it.

    Eventually the teams started packing up and my friend and I continued on through the paddocks. We heard to our dismay that the GT3 Cup and the Super Trofeo races were going to be cancelled because of the rain. Only grabbed a few cell shots of those cars.

    [​IMG]IMG_20150627_164053127 by George, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_20150627_164420253_HDR by George, on Flickr

    Seeing these two groups run was pretty much the only reason I headed down early Saturday. And because of the packed schedule on Sunday they were unable to move the schedule around. Oh well. At that point we decided to head into town for a bite and get back to the track tomorrow hoping for some better weather.


    Got to the track right as the 6 hour race kicked off, ~10AM. One of the coolest things about going to the race, is when you are a mile or so out the radio is no longer needed. Just roll the windows down and enjoy.

    The race was great, for the first 4 hours or so. Weather was overcast but dry, only a few wrecks but nothing too serious, that is until the very end.

    Through the heel.
    [​IMG]IMGP0602 by George, on Flickr

    Entering the toe.
    [​IMG]IMGP0537 by George, on Flickr

    Coming down the chute (really difficult exit)
    [​IMG]IMGP0497 by George, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMGP0493 by George, on Flickr

    Mazda diesel, super quiet but awesome sounding.
    [​IMG]IMGP0456 by George, on Flickr

    Out of the heel up to the turn 9. C7Rs sounded so nasty. They looked totally sinister rolling together, shouting out of the corners. It was glorious. :D

    [​IMG]IMGP0423 by George, on Flickr

    And then came the rain.... (inner loop)

    [​IMG]IMGP0706 by George, on Flickr

    There were a few red flags because of the puddles forming on the track. But eventually the race was completed. I ended up packing up 20 minutes before the end of the race. I was nearly soaked to the skin and had to drive back to Buffalo right after the race ended.

    Overall it was a great weekend even through the rain. Camping trackside for the whole weekend is still my goal for next year. And for anyone on here I highly recommend checking it out even if its only for the day.

    Here is a link to Part 1 of the race footage. I think its all there on youtube. If only for a second take a peek so you can get a better feel for the track.

  2. bloodtypevr6

    bloodtypevr6 BLACK DUDE

    Im really not in tune with what happens at Watkins Glen but hey i learn something new every day. This is right upy alley. I would have definitely went to this. Id be down to go next year for sure. Looked like an awesome weekend.
  3. RoachinRay

    RoachinRay Bags&Wheels BRUH

    Looks like so much fun! Shotgun in the Audi next year. I'll bring the beers
  4. BlackGTI

    BlackGTI Well-Known Member

    Very cool event at a great track. I've only been there for POS races so I haven't ever experienced a true race event there. Nice write up.
  5. Unit91MS

    Unit91MS Well-Known Member

    I always go on Friday to try to see the biggest mix of cars and racing (some practice, some qualifying, some racing). The pits also are usually a bit more laid back on Friday, but it seems like you had no problems going through the paddock after the races!
  6. lorge1989

    lorge1989 Posting- God

    Sounds good!

    Now I've never been to the chump car ones, and I am itching to get into that! haha

    Yeah Matt that weekend in general is pretty relaxed. When NASCAR comes you can't even walk around, plus you need a PIT pass to even look at the garages and stuff. I like how this weekend is more low key and less busy. It lets you expierience all the stuff going on, not just one view from one grandstand.
  7. BlackGTI

    BlackGTI Well-Known Member

    If you ever really want to get into it, I can get a hell of a deal on a Chump prepped MK1 Rabbit. It would probably take another 2-3 other guys/gals that would be into it as well.
    unibagel likes this.
  8. unibagel

    unibagel Posting- God

  9. Unit91MS

    Unit91MS Well-Known Member

    I'd be into this. George?
  10. Super Sedan

    Super Sedan Well-Known Member

    Hey George, great write up. Wish I knew you were going, I would've invited you to swing by our campsite. I go every year with my dad and little brother, arrive Thursday and stay for the weekend. We also got soaked on Saturday, I ended up sleeping in the back of my GTI on an air mattress after my tent started leaking. Not that bad of a sleep actually!

    We enjoy roaming the track to catch all the vantage points throughout the weekend as well, the hike to the boot is always fun. But this year with the rain we weren't really up for it. Plus our campsite was directly next to the giant turn 10 grandstand with a view of the jumbotron across the track, so that's primarily where we hung out for the weekend.

    I did roam around a bit on Friday and got a few good shots inside turn 2 before the Continental Tire hospitality event took over that space (excellent vantage point, very close to the track). Just two shots for now, going through the rest of my photos this weekend.

  11. Xander

    Xander McLovin

    I went last year, it was worth the trip. I might still try to do the Vintage weekend in 2 weeks. I will go at least one of the days, but might go for the weekend.

  12. Unit91MS

    Unit91MS Well-Known Member

    I'll be at the vintage Grand Prix on Friday ans maybe Saturday. It's usually equally as fun as the 6 hour
  13. Jeller

    Jeller Posting- God

    Thanks for sharing and taking the time. Good read and makes me want to go next year.
  14. Wsalisbury3

    Wsalisbury3 Well-Known Member

    First off, great write up! The Glen is such an amazing place, and seeing the IMSA race had to be spectacular! I'm actually planning on interning there next summer, so If I can land that, maybe I can get some discounted tickets or something.

    This needs to happen!! Count me in as a driver! A ditb chumpcar team would be great!
  15. lorge1989

    lorge1989 Posting- God

    Was back to the Glen last weekend for indy... was another great weekend. We stayed Friday to Sunday and camped one turn before the front straight, first row.

    [​IMG]IMGP2163 by George, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMGP2037 by George, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMGP2014 by George, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMGP2208 by George, on Flickr
  16. RoachinRay

    RoachinRay Bags&Wheels BRUH

    so jealous, tried to take off but I took off Memorial day for the indy 500 so they werent letting me have labor day off too lol

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