Watkins Glen International, USA

Masters Historic Race Weekend
7 – 10 July 2022

Fast Racing in the Morning & Festival Atmosphere in the Afternoon!

Moving from Mosport to New York State in the beautiful Finger Lakes district, the Masters Historic Race Weekend took place at Watkins Glen International – the Mecca of Racing!

It was a fantastic, very sunny and warm weekend and we enjoyed some great racing in the morning followed by some lovely wine in the afternoon.

RACE REPORTS

Masters Endurance Legends USA – Race 1
Porter’s Peugeot powers to victory in first Masters Endurance Legends race at the Glen

Leading from start to finish, David Porter never put a foot wrong on his way to a controlled win in the first Masters Endurance Legends USA race at Watkins Glen. In his Peugeot 908, Porter stayed some 11 seconds clear from the Audi R8 of Larry Connor, who was second all race.

A late charge from Guy Cosmo in the Cadillac DPi-V.R started by Wayne Jackson lifted the ex-WTR machine up into third with minutes to spare, all at the cost of John Reisman whose Coyote-constructed Corvette DP had been third from the start. Travis Engen finished a steady race in fifth, his Audi R8 heading home Jim Devenport’s P2-class-winning ORECA-Nissan 03.

Just as in qualifying, the P3 class proved to be a fight towards the chequered flag, Will Lin maintaining a slim advantage over the rival Ligier JSP3-15 of Francesco Melandri, as the pair ran home eighth and ninth, ahead of a Kyle Tilley/James Hagan ORECA 03 delayed by a drivethrough penalty for a jump start.

Pierce Marshall was an unrivalled GT class winner in seventh overall, his Corvette C7.R staying well ahead of Douglas Baron’s Porsche 996 GT3 RS in 11th overall, with Marcus Jewell’s 997 GT3-R picking up third in class in 12th overall.

It was a lovely sunny morning for the start of the first Masters Endurance Legends USA race, in which David Porter charged off as soon as the lights went out, the Peugeot leading Larry Connor’s Audi R8 by two seconds after two laps. Reisman remained third in his Coyote Corvette DP, but Jim Devenport’s ORECA-Nissan 03 was in attack mode, flying past the similar James Hagan/Kyle Tilley machine and Travis Engen’s Audi R8. Meanwhile, among the GTs, Pierce Marshall had hauled his Corvette C7.R up to a strong ninth overall. The other Coyote-built Corvette DP, that of Adam Lindemann, proved to be a non-starter.

On lap 4, Porter led Connor by 5.9 seconds, with Reisman a further four seconds down. 27 seconds down on the leader, Engen was back up into fourth but hounded by the pair of ORECA 03s, Tilley now ahead of Devenport again. In seventh, Wayne Jackson had started in the Dallara-built Cadillac Dpi-V.R and was chased by Brandon Kidd in the Chevrolet DP – equally but earlier Dallara-built (both ex-Wayne Taylor cars)! At the back, JohnMcKenna’s/Mikel Miller’s Riley & Scott MkIII DP and Dutchman Theo Ruijgh’s Porsche 996 GT3 RS were early retirements.

Ten minutes into the race, Porter’s lead had consolidated at around seven seconds, still followed by Connor, Reisman, Engen and Devenport, while Tilley was handed a drivethrough penalty for jumping the start. In GTs, Marshall still led in ninth overall, with Baron’s 996 GT3 RS in 12th overall, ahead of Marcus Jewell’s 997 GT3-R and Loren Beggs in the 996 GT3 RSR. In the P3 class, Will Lin led Francesco Melandri’s similar Ligier-Nissan JSP3-15 by six seconds while occupying 10th overall.

As the pit window approached, Porter led Connor by 9.7 seconds, with Reisman a further 24 seconds back. Wayne Jackson was the first to pit, handing the distinctively Konica-Minolta-liveried Cadillac to Guy Cosmo, with Tilley following soon – but this was for his drivethrough penalty. It dropped the American-domiciled Briton down to tenth overall. The actual driver change to James Hagan then further relegated the ORECA to 14th. Next up was Brandon Kidd handing to Kurt Schultz, as the solo drivers now also came in for their mandatory stops.

With a pit window coming to a close, the top four had remained unchanged, with Porter still leading from Connor, now by 18 seconds, with Reisman next, 47 seconds down, while Engen was a lapped fourth. Soon, though, a flying Cosmo was through to demote the Audi to fifth. In sixth, Devenport comfortably led the P2 class, with the Tilley/Hagan challenge having unravelled, while Pierce Marshall was a dominant GT class leader in seventh overall. Lin still narrowly led Melandri in the P3 class but now in eighth and ninth overall, while Hagan had got his ORECA back up into the top-ten.

In fourth overall, Cosmo’s pace in the ex-Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac was such that he set fastest lap of the race on lap 17 to close on Reisman’s Corvette DP that was now just 12 seconds up the road. On lap 18, Cosmo further improved on his best to cut Reisman’s lead to six seconds, so with five minutes remaining third was definitely on the cards for the more decent Daytona prototype.

At the front, though, Porter managed his lead over Connor to win by 11.7 seconds. Behind the leading pair, Cosmo indeed vaulted Reisman to snatch third on the penultimate lap, while Engen took fifth ahead of P2-class winner Devenport. Marshall was an unchallenged GT class winner in seventh overall, ahead of Ligier duo Lin and Melandri, the former taking home the P3-class win, as the Hagan/Tilley ORECA rounded out the top ten. In 11th overall, Baron took second among the GTs, heading home Jewell and Beggs. The latter two sandwiched the Kidd/Schultz Chevrolet DP, Paul Reisman’s 991 GT3-R and the Rick Carlino/Derek Jones ORECA FLM09.

Masters Endurance Legends USA – Race 2
Porter takes another dominant Masters Endurance Legends USA win at Watkins Glen.

In front of an expectant IndyCar crowd, Krass took his second runner-up spot and GT class victory in two David Porter doubled up on his Saturday performance at the Glen by taking another dominant Masters Endurance Legends win in the Masters Historic Race Weekend action at the Finger Lakes Festival. In the 40-minute race, the Peugeot 908 driver created a 38-second margin over his nearest rival, the Whelen Coyote Corvette DP of John Reisman.

Reisman kept well ahead of Travis Engen’s Audi R8 in third, while Jim Devenport took another P2 class win in his ORECA-Nissan 03 by claiming fourth place. Pierce Marshall grabbed fifth overall on his way to a second GT class win, leading home the James Hagan/Kyle Tilley ORECA-Nissan 03 that came all the way from the back.

Will Lin decided another P3 class battle in his favour, his Ligier-Nissan JSP3-15 finishing seventh overall ahead of Francesco Melandi’s similar car. Derek Jones was ninth in Rick Carlino’s ORECA-GM FLM09 while Marcus Jewell (Porsche 997 GT3-R) and Loren Beggs (Porsche 996 GT3 RSR) profited from Douglas Baron’s demise in the Porsche 996 GT3 RS to take second and third in the GT class.

As the second Masters grid out on track on Sunday, the Masters Endurance Legends USA field got going with Porter taking charge from the start, already opening up a big gap to the chasing Reisman and Engen, as Larry Connor’s Audi R8 was a non-starter from its front-row starting position.

After four laps, Porter’s lead over Reisman’s Coyote Corvette DP was up to 12 seconds, with Engen’s Audi R8 following Reisman closely. 22 seconds down was P2 class leader Jim Devenport in his ORECA-Nissan 03, while Pierce Marshall occupied a stunning fifth overall to once again lead the GT class in his Corvette C7.R. Next up were the two P3 Ligier JSP3-15s of Will Lin and Francesco Melandri, the two continuing their battle from Saturday, while coming from the back, the James Hagan/Kyle Tilley ORECA-Nissan 03 was up to eighth. Rounding out the top-ten after ten minutes were the Porsche GTs of Douglas Baron and Marcus Jewell.

It was no change in the top-ten at the 15-minute mark, with Reisman closing slightly on Porter in his Whelen-liveried Corvette DP while inching away from Engen. Outside the top-ten, Loren Beggs ran 11th in his 996 GT3 RSR, followed by Paul Reisman in the invitational 991 GT3-R and Derek Jones in Rick Carlino’s ORECA-GM FLM09. Trailing in 14th was the Brandon Kidd/Kurt Schultz Dallara-built Chevrolet DP, but out was Baron from tenth with a puncture.

Now, with the pit window open, Porter turned up the wick while simultaneously Reisman was the first to pit, momentarily losing second place to Engen as a result. Porter was in next, as were all the rest, Melandri the last one to come in.

When all the stops had panned out, Porter still led Reisman but by six seconds only – the Peugeot 908, however, immediately set fastest lap of the race, with a stunning 1.38.6. Engen trailed Reisman by 34 seconds, with Devenport in the leading P2 car 16 seconds further adrift. Marshall still dominated GTs in fifth, leading the two P3 Ligiers that now sandwiched the Hagan/Tilley ORECA. In ninth and tenth, Jewell and Beggs had each won a place after the demise of Baron. The Kurt Schultz/Brandon Kidd Chevy DP was the next car to retire.

On the next lap, Porter produced a 1.38.3 to blast to a 13-second lead over the Coyote Corvette, while further back Kyle Tilley got the hammer down to move past both Lin and Marshall to be fifth, but class rival Devenport was still a long way away – 23 seconds, to be precise.

At the front, Porter continued to get the diesel power down to increase his advantage to 22 seconds with five minutes still to run. The clock having ticked down, the Peugeot received the chequered flag on lap 23, winning by 38 seconds. Reisman took second, 35 seconds ahead of Engen, with Devenport maintaining fourth ahead of GT class winner Marshall and Tilley who dropped away on the final lap. In seventh, Lin doubled up on P3 wins, again beating Melandri, while Derek Jones got his ORECA FLM09 ahead of the two GT Porsches of Jewell and Beggs, the two taking second and third in the GT class.

Masters Formula Atlantic Plus – Race 1
Baker wins shortened first Masters Atlantic Plus race at Watkins Glen.

Danny Baker proved triumphant in the first of two Masters Atlantic Plus races at Watkins Glen, as his Ralt RT1 won from pole to lead home Howard Katz’s similar RT1 and Kyle Buxton’s March 77B.

The race was cut short after Gray Gregory had an accident in his Chevron B39 on lap 7. Gregory quarrelled with Buxton over third place as soon as the lights went out before Buxton passed Gregory on lap 3. With time running out to clear the track after Gregory’s crash, a result was declared on lap 8. Gregory’s misfortune elevated Peter Greenfield’s Ralt RT4 up into fourth, Greenfield having hung on to the Buxton/Gregory fight all race.

Fresh from his Masters Endurance Legends race, Travis Engen jumped straight into his Ralt RT1 to finish fifth ahead of Dave Handy’s March 75B. Sadly, Kyle Tilley was unable to pose a threat to Baker as his March 80A was a non-starter due to an engine issue.

As the final race of the Saturday got underway, before the drivers would swap their steering wheels for wine glasses at the Finger Lakes Wine Festival, Danny Baker got off to a flying start in his Ralt RT1, leading Howard Katz’ similar machine by two seconds on lap 2. Sadly, Baker would miss out on Kyle Tilley’s rivalry, as the Briton’s March 80A had developed an engine issue and would not race.

This gave Gray Gregory and Kyle Buxton to fight for third in their Chevron B39 and March 77B respectively, the pair trailing Baker by eight seconds on lap 3, with Buxton in the process demoting Gregory to fourth. In fifth, Peter Greenfield’s Ralt RT4 hung on at the tail end of this group, with Travis Engen’s – who had only just climbed out of his Audi R8 in the preceding Masters Endurance Legends race! – in sixth, 20 seconds down, as he led Dave Handy’s March 75B in seventh.

On lap 4, Baker had opened up a 3.9-second gap on Katz, while Buxton trailed by another seven seconds, himself now two seconds up the road from Gregory. Now really putting his foot down, Baker’s lead increased tot 5.5 seconds on lap 5, as the halfway mark of the race approached.

Now matching his lap times with those of Katz, Baker consolidated his 5.5-second lead – but on lap 7 it was soon back down to almost nothing as the safety car was deployed: Gray Gregory had crashed his Chevron out of fourth place. With no time left to clear the track, the race was declared a result after eight laps, Baker winning from Katz, Buxton, Greenfield, Engen and Handy.

Masters Formula Atlantic Plus – Race 2
Baker goes for two with second Formula Atlantic Plus win at the Glen.

Danny Baker repeated his dominant form in Saturday’s Masters Formula Atlantic Plus race at Watkins Glen by doing it all over again on Sunday, as the Ralt RT1 driver romped away to victory by 23 seconds.

In his March 77B, Kyle Buxton momentarily stole the lead from Baker on the opening lap, but soon Baker was back out in front, leaving Buxton to settle for second place. Travis Engen took the final podium spot, his Ralt RT1 finishing 41 seconds down on the winner, with Dave Handy taking a lapped fourth in his March 75B.

On a chilly but sunny Sunday morning, the Masters Formula Atlantic Plus grid was the first out on track to get the third day of the Masters Historic Race Weekend at Watkins going. Baker led away in his Ralt RT1, but his nearest rival Kyle Tilley sadly proved to be a non-starter, his March 80A failing to function properly on the pre-grid.

The other Kyle on the entry list swiftly took his place, though, as Kyle Buxton’s March 77A swept into the lead on the opening lap, as Baker was trailed by Travis Engen’s Ralt RT1 and Dave Handy’s March 75B. After crashing his Chevron B39 in the first race, Gray Gregory also failed to appear for the second race, as did Peter Greenfield in his Ralt RT4.

On lap 2, Buxton having had his moment of glory in the lead, Baker restored the order by reclaiming the lead he had occupied all race on Saturday, as Engen trailed the pair by seven seconds, with Handy a further six seconds behind.

Setting fastest laps of the race, Baker soon began inching away from Buxton, his lead growing to 9.3 seconds after five laps – or half the race distance. Engen had now dropped the leader by 25 seconds but was safe in third place, as Handy trailed by another 27 seconds.

Going towards the 15-minute mark in the 20-minute race, Baker further upped his pace to lead by 17 seconds on lap 8. Engen’s deficit to the leader had increased to 39 seconds while Handy in fourth was a minute and 32 seconds down.

As the clock wound down, Baker got his fastest laps down into the 1.50s before crossing the finish line 23 seconds ahead of Buxton, with Engen in third, 41 seconds down on the winner. Handy was fourth, a lap down on Baker.

Masters Racing Legends – Race 1
Lights-to-flag win for Constable in first Masters Racing Legends race at Watkins Glen.

Jamie Constable won as he pleased in the first Masters Racing Legends race of a Masters Historic Race Weekend preceding the Finger Lakes Wine Festival at Watkins Glen, as the Briton’s Tyrrell 011B led away from pole never to be headed again. In his Lotus 87B, American Jonathan Holtzman put up the strongest challenge to Constable, coming home in second place, 6.9 seconds down on the winner, while Lee Mowle finished a distant third in his Lotus 78.

Ron Maydon took fourth overall while also claiming pre-78 class honours, his Lec CRP1 trailing Mowle’s Lotus for the entire race. The two Englishmen headed home Maydon’s class rivals, led by Gray Gregory in the March 761, who in turn was followed by Chris Locke’s Lotus 77 and Doug Mockett’s Penske PC4.

James Hagan’s pre-78 class challenge faded early on when the Irishman was forced to pit with a gearbox stuck in fourth gear. Meanwhile, Bud Moeller’s winning aspirations were put to an end before the race had even started, the American’s Williams FW08 that would have started from third on the grid never leaving the pits due to an engine issue.

On a bright and sunny Saturday morning at the Glen, the Masters Racing Legends charged off for its first of two 25-minute race, Constable immediately opening up a 2-second gap over Jonathan Holtzman in the Lotus 87B. Mowle was third ahead of Maydon, Hagan and Gregory, all moving up a spot thanks to Bud Moeller’s engine problems, forcing the American to start his Williams FW08 from the pits – and in fact, Moeller would never get the Williams going.

Three laps into the race, Constable headed Holtzman by 4.7 seconds, while his Tyrrell 011B was already 11 seconds clear of Mowle’s Lotus 78 in third. Maydon trailed by 14 seconds, while Gregory had inherited fifth from Hagan, Chris Locke in the Lotus 77 and Doug Mockett in the Penske PC4, as Hagan had pitted at the end of lap 2, his Hewland ‘box stuck in fourth gear.

On lap 5, Constable’s lead over Holtzman had grown to 7.6 seconds, with Mowle now 20 seconds away, the Lotus 78 driver holding some five seconds over Maydon’s Lec CRP1. Gregory trailed the Lec by five seconds, with Locke a further ten seconds behind. In seventh, Mockett was 14 seconds down on Locke. Meanwhile, Hagan had resumed his race, now two laps down on the leader.

As we approached the halfway mark, Holtzman began to pick up the pace, having set his personal best lap on lap 7, to stay within 7.6 seconds of the leader, while Mowle in third was losing further ground on the American in second place. Mowle was under no immediate threat, though, as his countryman Maydon was setting similar lap times, as was Gregory in fifth.

With another improvement, Holtzman cut Constable lead to 7.2 seconds on lap 8, but was the Briton in the lead simply managing the gap? On the next lap, the Tyrrell’s lead was down to 6.6 seconds, as the pair continued to lap in the 1.44s, with Mowle and Maydon behind them circulating in the 1.47s, as the two Brits trailed by 34 and 39 seconds respectively. While Gregory was in the 1.48s, Locke and Mockett were lapping in the 1.52s and steadily lost ground to the leaders.

With five minutes remaining, Constable upped his pace slightly to consolidate his lead at 6.7 seconds and looked to be totally in control. On lap 12, he lost a second while lapping Mockett but on the next lap it was Holtzman’s turn to work his way around the Penske, the gap returning to 6.9 seconds. Smelling the chequered flag, the Tyrrell driver reeled off the final two laps to take the win, with Holtzman in second place. Mowle finished a distant third, 45 seconds down, while Maydon took fourth and the pre-78 class win, heading home class rivals Gregory, Locke and Mockett.

Masters Racing Legends – Race 2
Holtzman takes last-gap win in second Masters Racing Legends race at Watkins Glen.

Jonathan Holtzman only led a single lap but it was the one that counted, as the American pounced on Jamie Constable late in the race to win the second Masters Racing Legends USA race at Watkins Glen. Race 1 winner Constable had surged through the field from a reversed grid, taking the lead on lap 5, with Holtzman following him though, but towards the end Holtzman’s Lotus 87B closed right up to Constable’s Tyrrell 011B passed and repassed each other before the Briton retired his car with a damaged front wing due to contact with a backmarker.

Bud Moeller had been the early leader in his Williams FW08 and came home in second place, 1.4 seconds in arrears of Holtzman, the pack having bunched up after a late caution period for Doug Mockett’s Penske PC4 braking its input shaft and stopping out on track.

Lee Mowle’s Lotus 78 ended up in third, the Brit also fighting his way up past a fight for pre-78 class honours eventually won by Ron Maydon’s Lec CRP1 after a race of attrition that ruled out James Hagan’s Hesketh 308, Chris Locke’s Lotus 77 and Gray Gregory’s March 761 right at the end.

In the final race of the Masters Historic Race Weekend at Watkins Glen, a reversed grid start produced Bud Moeller as the early leader, the American’s Williams FW08 having faltered on the previous day. After the opening lap, he was followed by James Hagan’s Hesketh 308, Doug Mockett’s Penske PC4 and Ron Maydon’s Lec CRP1, while Lee Mowle in the Lotus 78, Saturday’s winner Jamie Constable in the Tyrrell 011B and Jonathan Holtzman in the Lotus 87B were making their way through already, having passed Chris Locke’s Lotus 77 and Gray Gregory’s March 761.

Constable’s pace was such that the Briton was up into P3 on lap 3, having moved ahead of Mowle, Maydon and Mockett, with Holtzman following him through into fourth. Moeller still led, though, 3.4 seconds from Hagan, who soon had Constable on his tail. Next time around, both Constable and Holtzman got past the Irishman to set after the Williams in the lead. Further back, Mowle’s progress was halted by Mockett and Maydon, both keeping the Lotus 78 back down in sixth place.

Constable was right up with Moeller at the start of lap 5, and sure enough the Briton swept into the lead before the end of the lap, with Holtzman trailing the lead duo by three seconds. Hagan was now ten seconds down on Moeller, the Irishman leading Maydon by three seconds to still hold the pre-78 class lead. Seven seconds down on Maydon, Mowle had finally made it past Mockett to take fifth.

At the halfway point, seven laps into the race, Constable led Holtzman by 2.3 seconds, the latter having passed his countryman on lap 7. Moeller was in a safe third, though, as Hagan trailed the FW08 by 17 seconds and producing similar lap times. Up front, Holtzman was homing in on the leader to make it a two-horse race for the win. Holtzman and Constable passed and repassed each other, but soon Constable was in trouble, his Tyrrell suffering from a broken front wing from clashing with a backmarker while trying to keep ahead of Holtzman.

Meanwhile, the fight for the pre-78 class win was equally on, since Maydon was now on the Hesketh’s gearbox. At the same time, Mowle was closing on both Maydon and Hagan, the Lotus now three seconds adrift of the warring pre-78 pair, while behind them almost simultaneously Gray Gregory’s March 761 retired to the pits and Doug Mockett’s Penske PC4 came to a halt on the track.

This brought out the safety car, bunching up the entire field. The cars were released again on lap 10, but the drama wasn’t over yet – as Jamie Constable decided to retire from the race, the damage to his front wing too much to continue. This allowed Holtzman back into the lead, albeit with a part of Constable’s front wing still lodged into his own front wing, but he held on, followed by Moeller, Mowle – who had swiftly dealt with Maydon and Hagan – while the two pre-78 class rivals had switched positions themselves. Behind them, Locke was another retirement, his Lotus 77 giving up on him on the last stretch home.

And so, Holtzman came away with a last-gasp win as well as taking fastest lap of the race, as the American led home countryman Moeller, with Mowle completing the podium. Maydon took fourth and the pre-78 class win as Hagan crashed out on the final lap.

RACE RESULTS