Temperatures at Watkins Glen International climbed near the triple digits today, feeling like it was almost 110 degrees.
The heat, however, didn’t stop pit crew members at the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.
To stay in the fast lane, it requires some life in the pits. Crew members emphasize that every single second counts here.
“Our vital role is to get the tires on the car as fast as possible, so that way you can beat other people in and out of the pits,” Steve Floyd, pit crew chief of the Mercedes-AMG Team. “Depending on how much fuel is in the car, it can take up to like 38 seconds.”
“On this last stop, we stopped early, which means we needed less fuel, so because we needed less fuel, we were six seconds faster than many of our competitors, we were all excited,” Ben Keating, driver of No. 33 on the Mercedes-AMG Team. “That’s less six seconds than we have to chase somebody else down in front.”
Throughout this six-hour endurance race, about three drivers switch between two-hour intervals during multiple pit stops.
Cars can go about 55 minutes before needing to refuel. With refueling, also comes tire changes.
“Every 55 minutes, the most important thing about this whole operation, is those guys going over the wall,” Keating said.
The guys who hop the wall consist of only about four mechanics who practice multiple times a week to do pit stop changes in under a minute.
“It’s actually, like, pretty easy, other people may think it’s really hard, but we make it look easy because we put the time and work to perfect our skill,” Floyd said.