IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Daytona (GTD) Championship Leaders Team Korthoff Motorsports and Stevan McAleer Secure First Career Pole Saturday in Qualifying for Sunday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen

WATKINS GLEN, New York – Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing entrant Team Korthoff Motorsports (TKM) continued its breakout season Saturday at Watkins Glen International where Stevan McAleer won the pole for Sunday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen in the No. 32 Team Korthoff Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3. The pole was the first for both McAleer and TKM in IMSA WeatherTech GT Daytona (GTD) competition and comes just under a year after the team’s professional racing debut at Watkins Glen in a Fourth of July weekend sprint race just days after the 2021 Sahlen’s Six Hours.

McAleer, who is in his first season of IMSA GTD competition, locked down the pole on his sixth lap of the 15-minute qualifying session with a top time of 1:45.077 (116.486 mph) on the 3.4-mile Watkins Glen road course.

McAleer competes in Sunday’s six-hour race with co-drivers Mike Skeen and endurance race addition Dirk Müller.

The No. 32 TKM entry and McAleer – Skeen missed Round 3 of this year’s championship at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca due to COVID-19 and trails his teammate in the standings – lead the WeatherTech Championship GTD team and driver championships by 34 points, 1520 – 1486, over the second-place team and drivers heading into tomorrow’s race.

The TKM pole was the third of the season for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing teams in IMSA WeatherTech GTD competition. Russell Ward won the pole in the No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 in April at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

Ward also led the field to the green flag at January’s season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway (DIS) after he and co-driver Lucas Auer won the Rolex 24 qualifying race the weekend prior.

Ward made it two Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing teams in the first two rows of the starting grid for Sunday’s six-hour race with a fourth-place qualifying run Saturday in the Winward Racing No. 57. Ward turned a top lap time of 1:45.631 (115.875 mph) and co-drives Sunday with Philip Ellis and Marvin Dienst.

The WeatherTech Championship GTD Pro class returns to series competition this weekend for the first time since the April WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca round.

The No. 79 Proton USA Mercedes-AMG GT3 carries the Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing flag in GTD Pro, and team driver Cooper MacNeil turned a top lap time of 1:46.699 (114.715 mph) in qualifying. MacNeil co-drives with Maro Engel and Mikael Grenier in Sunday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours.

The Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen starts at 10:40 a.m. EDT tomorrow, Sunday, June 26, with live coverage to the finish on the USA Network beginning at 2 p.m. EDT. Flag-to-flag race coverage is available live on NBC’s streaming network Peacock beginning at 10:30 a.m. EDT. International viewers can watch the race’s live stream on IMSA.com/TVLive.

Stevan McAleer, Driver – No. 32 Team Korthoff Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3: “We rode off the trailer good. Team Korthoff has been getting closer and closer and closer, and I was second in qualifying last month at Mid-Ohio. I feel this is the best the car has been, and when they told me I was P2, half a second off pole, I knew I was on a bigger lap. Again, real credit to the guys on the team. We finished on the podium at Daytona. Some might have called that luck. We finished on the podium at Sebring, maybe they say you got lucky twice, but here we are starting the second half of the season and we are the championship leaders. Sorry, there is no luck involved in that. The guys are executing at every race, Mike has been fantastic, there is no question about that, he has really taught me a lot in this car. It’s going to be an exciting race. Certainly, good to start out front and hopefully we can keep it there.”

Dirk Müller, Driver – No. 32 Team Korthoff Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3: “I am really looking forward to Watkins Glen. This team has been unbelievable, I got to know everybody but Mike when I was subbing for him on very short notice at Laguna Seca, and I thought we had a really strong run there already. It was really good. We recently had a couple of days testing at VIRginia International Raceway, just getting ready and getting, as I always say, the team spirit together. We stayed at a lake house together, played some pool and table soccer at the end of the day, and it was really, really cool and we had some perfect team building. I think the team is really strong and I am not surprised to see them leading the championship. It’s a very impressive story, but they have the right guys behind it and, of course, Herb Korthoff. They have one goal, and we are on the path to achieve it.”

Cooper MacNeil, Driver – No. 79 Proton USA Mercedes-AMG GT3: “Pretty good qualifying session. The WeatherTech Mercedes-AMG GT3 was handling nicely. The track conditions got a lot hotter from this morning’s practice session. That affected our Michelin tires a bit, but they stuck to the track really well allowing me to roll through these fast Watkins Glen corners. We have a good platform going into the race tomorrow. I think we have a good shot at moving up the field and battling for a podium.”



The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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