Machavern wins prestigious 6-hr at Watkins Glen

Dillon Machavern (center) with co-drivers Markus Paltalla and Don Yount at the Weather Tech Sports Car Challenge on Sunday, July 1, 2018. Photo by IMSA

With ambient temperatures in the upper 90s and track temps reaching well into the triple digits, teams and drivers had to dig deep in the oppressive conditions during International Motor Sports Association’s 6 Hours of The Glen on July 1.

The Turner Motorsports BMW M6 GT3 was not the fastest in the GTD (Grand Touring Daytona) field but finished the endurance race in the lead. Having started in 13thplace, the No. 96 moved through the field throughout the race. Drivers Don Yount, Dillon Machavern and Markus Palttala, along with the crew of Turner Motorsports, proved to be a race-winning strategy.

Yount started the race, handed off to Machavern who advanced several positions before handing back to Yount. Thereafter Palttala and Machavern took over driving duties, with Machavern making a pass on the #73 Park Place Motorsport Porsche, and the team short-filling Palttala to advance positions.

With Palttala, Turner has a driver capable of winning at any time. With Machavern, who is in the early stages of his career, Turner has a young prospect whose experience has been gained in Spec Miatas, Trans-Am cars, and in IMSA’s Continental Tire Series tin-top category and 2017 Driver Champion. In Yount, Turner has a late bloomer whose introduction to IMSA came to define the “Am” driver in its former PC category.

After the race, Will Turner said, “I watched Dillon last year in Conti and was really impressed and was confident he could come through the field, and when I saw him pass Patrick Lindsey, I knew he was good. So I had a better feeling for my [Ams] than maybe some others would from the outside looking in.”

The previous day, in similar conditions, the duo of Machavern and Pumpelly campaigned RS1’s GS Porsche GT4 MR in the Continental Tire 240 to a 7th-place finish but retained the championship points lead heading into the busy summer schedule.