Drivers Jimmie Johnson (Mooresville, N.C.), Simon Pagenaud (France) and Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) return to action in the No. 48 Ally Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R for this weekend’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International.
Johnson, Pagenaud and Kobayashi are only competing in the WeatherTech Championship’s four Endurance Cup races in 2021. Despite the limited race schedule, the trio have had some success this year in their first two races. In the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the team finished second. German driver Mike Rockenfeller joined the trio for that race. At Sebring in March, the No. 48 Cadillac crossed the finish line third at the end of the race. But, following the race, IMSA officials levied a drive time infraction for one of the drivers being in the car less than one minute too long. The infraction resulted in a seventh-place classification.
The Action Express crew, with help from Hendricks Motorsports, has given Johnson, Pagenaud and Kobayashi a competitive car each time the drivers strap in. That said, the drivers are looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of the No. 48 Ally Cadillac and competing for the win in the six-hour classic.
“I am looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of the No. 48 Ally Cadillac,” said Johnson, who will make his second six-hour race at The Glen start. “I was able to run the six-hour event at The Glen a few years back, so I am looking forward to the challenge and getting back competing in the IMSA Series with Action Express. There is no question we have a strong team and showed some really good speed in the previous two Endurance Cup races. Simon and Kamui continue to show why they’re world class drivers and it’s great to be back working with Chad (Knaus) and the crews from Action Express and Hendrick Motorsports. Watkins Glen is an incredible racetrack and we’re looking forward to getting the No. 48 Ally Cadillac upfront and competing for the win.”
“It’s a pleasure to get back into the Cadillac with Jimmie and Kamui for the Six Hours of Watkins Glen,” Pagenaud said. “The race is a classic on the sportscar calendar, and the Cadillac is lots of fun to drive around this very fast circuit. I look forward to getting some rest this week and heading to the Glen prepared to go for the win.”
“It will be my first-time racing at Watkins Glen,” Kobayashi said. “It is a bit difficult to say what it is going to be like for me without having driven the track. The last couple of races we have been very strong. I am doing the Dallara SIM session on the track before the race so that will help. I am looking forward to driving the Cadillac with Jimmie and Simon again. We have had very strong performances the last two races, but we are missing the win. I am looking forward to getting the best out of the weekend.”
This weekend, Ally Racing will be part of a two-car Action Express Racing effort along with the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac. Action Express Racing has had some success at Watkins Glen. In 2016, the team finished 1-2 with Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi winning in the No. 5 Corvette DP. Action Express won again in 2017 with Barbosa, Fittipaldi and Felipe Albuquerque in the No. 5 Cadillac DPi.
This weekend’s schedule starts with a one-hour practice starting at 4:20 p.m. (ET) Friday, June 25 (all classes). Practice #2 gets underway at 8:15 a.m. (DPi/GTLM) Saturday, followed by a 15-minute DPi qualifying session at 1:05 p.m. The green flag drops on the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen at 10:40 a.m.
Source. Kyle Chura/Photo. Brian Cleary